It’s been a while since we’ve heard any news from the Japanese animation studio Studio Ghibli, but finally rumors are surfacing of what its next project will be. According to the twitter of animator and illustrator Osamu Kobayashi, Studio Ghibli founder—Hayao Miyazaki—is working on an animated film about the World War II fighter plane, the Mitsubishi A6M Zero, and the plane’s designer, Dr. Jiro Hirokoshi.
The ANN (via Nausicaa.net) broke the news after viewing a few conversations between Japanese animators about the project. Kobayashi wrote, “Mr. Miyazaki’s new film is about the man who developed the Zero fighter.” To which Japanese animator Takashi Hashimoto replied that Studio Ghibli was “eagerly searching for animators who could draw airplanes.” Studio Ghibli did say that Miyazaki’s next film would be an autobiography (although they didn’t necessarily say it would be his) and this seems to fit the bill. And if that isn’t enough proof, Kotaku notes this 2009 YouTube video in which Miyazaki can be seen checking out the Zero in flight. So far, the studio has yet to officially respond. But anime insiders and enthusiasts are convinced that this news is true.
The Mitsubishi A6M Zero plane was used by the Japanese Imperial Navy in WWII and since has become quite famous. The long-range fighter plane combined the deadly combo manuverabilty and long range, resulting in it being built more than any other plane in Japan at the time. The dogfighting plane acheived an impresisve kill ratio of 12 to 1, making it incredibly lethal. Although the Zero became outdated within four years, Japan continued to use it in kamikaze operations.
The studio’s latest film was The Secret World of Arrietty, which was released in Japan in 2010. So obviously (or hopefully) it’s been working on something these past few years. A film about the Zero would be an interesting shift for the studio, which normally tackles the fantasy-adventure genre.
What do you think about Studio Ghibli and Miyzaki’s next rumored project? Let us know in the comments below!