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After 40 years, Hayao Miyazaki’s first solo-directed anime is finally coming to North America

7 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Hayao Miyazaki’s path to fame and admiration among international animation fans has been anything but linear. Particularly in the English-speaking world, the Studio Ghibli co-founder didn’t earn significant mainstream recognition until "Spirited Away’s" Oscar win in 2002, at which point he’d been working in the anime industry for almost 40 years.

The result for a lot of non-Japanese fans is that when they did discover Miyazaki’s magic, they had a treasure trove of his past works to experience too. But there’s one early work that’s never been offered for sale in North America, and actually wasn’t even allowed to be sold there, that’s finally going to be available, as "Future Boy Conan" has been licensed for North American distribution by GKids.

Screen-Shot-2021-07-.png

"Future Boy Conan," alternately known as "Conan, The Boy in Future," is a 26-episode post-apocalyptic adventure anime TV series that aired in the fall of 1978. It’s an imaginative adaptation of American author Alexander Key’s novel "The Incredible Tide," but what’s really noteworthy about it is that it’s the very first anime for which Miyazaki has sole credit as a director (Miyazaki shared co-directing credits with eventual Studio Ghibli colleague Isao Takahata for the 1971 "Lupin III" TV series, and a brief pilot Miyazaki directed in 1972, titled "Yuki’s Sun," was never developed past a four-minute teaser).

▼ "Future Boy Conan"

But while "Future Boy Conan" is considered something of a half-forgotten classic by anime historians, it didn’t impress Key, who was upset at the changes Miyazaki had made to his original story, such as giving it a more optimistic tone. Key’s animosity continued from beyond the grave, as he instructed his estate to block any attempts to bring the anime to North America, evidently made possible through the original agreement not including the territory.

It’s now been 40 years since Key passed away, though, and cooler heads seem to have prevailed among his descendants. GKids says that "Future Boy Conan" will be available in North America later this year, and it’s getting a 4K restoration and optional English dub as consolation for the several-decades wait.

Source: Twitter/@GKIDSfilms via Anime News Network/Alex Mateo

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

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-- Hayao Miyazaki Working on Proposed New Anime Feature Film

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© SoraNews24

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

7 Comments
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Future Boy Conan is an awesome story. I remember watching it as a child. I bought the DVD of it years ago not knowing if it would be available one day, but it's good to see that it will get exposure in the west.

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Classics were good and nostalgia but why the legendary creators use modern tech for their new projects. To please new young fans or to experience new tech? Forgetting original fans?

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One of my very first, and most profound, cultural epiphanies while in Japan occurred in a 'mansion' where my company had placed this new inductee one-week in Japan in 1990CE. I had turned on the TV just in time to see a rotund man with a mustache on NHK finish talking and a 'movie' started. It was "TOTORO". It completely stunned me. I didn't know what to expect, really, in Japan, and in my first week I had discovered pure cultural Gold. And this was without understanding more than one or two spoken words. I had never had an interest in anime but the emotional depth and Human beauty of this work coming at me from nowhere was like a hit to the head. And then, maybe weeks later, "NAUSICA" came to me and I knew I was in the right place and that what I would gain from being in Japan was well beyond my imagination. And, in every way, it has been. But, the Japanese envoy who made my mind open to ANYTHING Nihonsei, which made for instantaneous 'cabure', was Miyazaki Hayao. Thank you, my Sir. Change a mind, change a Life...if only I could see them 'for the first time' again...

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One of my very first, and most profound, cultural epiphanies while in Japan occurred in a 'mansion' where my company had placed this new inductee one-week in Japan in 1990CE. I had turned on the TV just in time to see a rotund man with a mustache on NHK finish talking and a 'movie' started. It was "TOTORO". It completely stunned me. I didn't know what to expect, really, in Japan, and in my first week I had discovered pure cultural Gold. And this was without understanding more than one or two spoken words. I had never had an interest in anime but the emotional depth and Human beauty of this work coming at me from nowhere was like a hit to the head. And then, maybe weeks later, "NAUSICA" came to me and I knew I was in the right place and that what I would gain from being in Japan was well beyond my imagination. And, in every way, it has been. But, the Japanese envoy who made my mind open to ANYTHING Nihonsei, which made for instantaneous 'cabure', was Miyazaki Hayao. Thank you, my Sir. Change a mind, change a Life...if only I could see them 'for the first time' again...

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I saw this in my country when I was a kid !!..

Tooooo late for NorthAmerica!!!.. Too much backwardness and underdevelopment..lol !!..

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Given that "Shichinin no Samurai" seen at 14yo on public TV had brought me to Japan, and shame for Hiroshima and Nagasaki had brought me to Hiroshima, being massively epiphanied by my first exposure to real Nihonsei culture was completely unexpected but one of my best memories of this Life so far.

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with dub no thanks

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