It looks like the Studio Ghibli hype train continues to chug along, even as the studio halts production until further notice. Yesterday Studio Ghibli International posted this tweet on its Twitter account, which left me and other Ghibli fans to ponder many different possibilities:
Sweltering in Tokyo… Heading to LA (nicely chilly recording studios!) this weekend for recording with our good friends at #studiopolis.
— Studio Ghibli Int’l (@ghibli_intl) August 5, 2015
A quick Google search brings up to the LinkedIn page of Geoffrey Wexler, the chief of Studio Ghibli International, on which he posts all the work he has done with the company. If you scroll down, you may stumbled upon these two surprises:
For those who are unaware, Only Yesterday is a 1991 anime drama created by Isao Takahata for Studio Ghibli. The film follows Taeko Okajima as she laments about her rather boring life as a normal Japanese businesswoman and how her excursion to farmland during her summer vacations reveals truths about her past and present. Only Yesterday was originally included in the deal that allowed Disney the rights to dub and release all of Studio Ghibli’s films, but – because Disney felt the film was too mature for Western children and families – it chose never to release it. While Only Yesterday does have some mature elements in it, such as when a child Takeo is slapped by her father, Taeko’s first period, and discussions of one’s place in life, this film is still popular among animation fans in both Japan and Western cultures.
The second Studio Ghibli work to receive a new English dub is Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter, a 2014 CGI TV series directed by Hayao Miyazaki’s son, Goro Miyazaki. Ronja tells the story of a young girl, Ronja, who lives in the forest with a clan of robbers in Medieval Scandinavia. The TV series follows Ronja as she learns of her talents as a robber, makes new friends, and finds her place in the world as she knows it.
Yes, you heard me right. This is Studio Ghibli’s first and only fully CGI work and TV series that it has produced. When Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter originally aired in Japan, no North American entertainment publishers licensed the show and it has remained unseen by fans of Studio Ghibli outside Japan. However, with this work also getting an English language dub, Ghibli’s first and only TV series may finally be seen by fans all around the world.
There are no dates to indicate when either Only Yesterday or Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter will be released or in what manner they will be released, but it is hard to deny the amount of happiness that the English language dubs of these two Studio Ghibli works will bring fans outside Japan.