SoraReview: Mary and the Witch’s Flower, the newest anime from Studio Ghibli director Yonebayashi

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More than a half-dozen key Ghibli creators team up for the first anime film from brand-new Studio Ponoc, but do they do their pedigree proud?

Studio Ghibli is dying.

The last film it released was 2014’s When Marnie Was There, production for which began before veteran director Hayao Miyazaki entered the latest of his many announced retirements. Following the release of Marnie, Ghibli went dormant, a status which lasted until Miyazaki recently decided that he doesn’t want to retire yet after all, and so Ghibli has fired up its engine again for his latest vision.

But eventually Miyazaki will no longer be unable to continue being the Lazarus of Japanese animation, and when that time comes it seems pretty clear that Ghibli isn’t going to be interested in having anyone else hold the reins. Hands-on visionary Miyazaki may be, other talented people have also played important roles in the creation of Ghibli’s films, and many of them now find themselves at Studio Ponoc, which has just released its