Studio Ghibli has shocked audiences and fans as co-studio head Hoshino Koji announced that Hayao Miyazaki will be retiring, making The Wind Rises the final film written and directed by Miyazaki. The announcement was made at the Venice Film Festival in Italy where The Wind Rises is currently competing. Though no further details were given, we can expect an official announcement from Miyazaki in the coming weeks.
From VeniceFilmFestival: Miyazaki San is retiring- sad news. But what inspiring films he gave us. The Wind rises is the perfect swan song.
— enrico casarosa (@sketchcrawl) September 1, 2013
According to Animation News Network, the official wording of the announcement says that he is to "retire from the production of feature-length films", which is giving some people hope of Miyazaki working on smaller projects. Though this may very well be a possibility, it is also crucial to take in that this is not the first time Miyazaki has sought retirement. The first time was in 1997 shortly after Princess Mononoke was released, and he only came out of retirement during the production of Howl's Moving Castle when the original director stepped away from the project.
We are all saddened by this news, but wish Master Animator Hayao Miyazaki the best, and thank him deeply for all that he has given us. Expect a love letter of sorts in the coming days from Mayra Amaya to Hayao Miyazaki.