Miyazaki Hayao takes the helm at Studio Ghibli for the first time since Ponyo to bring us Kaze Tachinu. It already came out in cinemas in Japan but we're now getting our first proper look at it (that is, one that you can understand if you don't know Japanese) in the build up to the Toronto International Film Festival, though its English language debut will be a couple of weeks earlier at the Venice International Film Festival.
Oddly, I never get all that excited about anime films. I always feel like they run on a bit too long (and that episodes of anime tv shows run too short. I'm a hard man to please) and even Ghibli can suffer from that drag. That said, you'll never hear me say that they're bad films, they are, in fact, excellent films.
Ghibli has this odd aesthetic that means I can never tell if I'm watching something new or old because it all looks like Heidi, though with good reason. I think Ghibli is what Disney wishes it still was, where they could allow Pixar to get on with making the fun, modern stuff and they can get back to making classic tales with lush animation. Instead they settle for distributing Ghibli films and making the only half decent dubs you'll ever hear in English (though Kaze Tachinu has Anno Hideaki voicing the protagonist, so that's something).
Despite all that, you can pretty much guarantee that this will be worth a watch and I'm interested to see how Miyazaki will handle a story which is neither fantasy nor sci-fi (the story is about the man behind the development of one of the main fighter aircraft for the Japanese air force in the second world war, so there's not much scope for sci-fi and fantasy). My prediction is that he won't and there'll be a whole load of exaggerated dream sequences going on, but you never know. The closest I can think to him managing a straight story is Lupin III and that's hardly a slice of life biopic.
What I'm getting at is that there's nothing wrong with being excited about seeing a new Ghibli film on the horizon that tackles such a sensitive subject matter. Grave of the Fireflies has taught us that they're the right studio for the job; just make sure you're ready for a big ol' cry because this one's not gonna be a kawaii job (but don't worry if you demand cute, Kaguya-hime Monogatari will be out hot on its heels and that'll probably have plenty of squee to go round).