The graphic novel “Shuna’s Journey” by Oscar-winning animator and filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki is set to be released in the United States for the first time after nearly 40 years since its original publication in Japan.
“Shuna’s Journey,” which was originally published in 1983 by Tokuma Shoten, is a one-volume watercolor-illustrated graphic novel that follows the story of a prince’s quest to save his village from famine.
The first-ever English version of the novel will be translated by author Alex Dudok de Wit and published under the Macmillan imprint “First Second” on Nov. 1, according to the Associated Press.
“Fans of ‘Princess Mononoke’ and ‘Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind’ — there are millions of us — will delight in finding early hints of these masterworks in gorgeous watercolor pages by Miyazaki’s own hand,” Creative Director Mark Siegel of “First Second” said in a statement.
Miyazaki, the 81-year-old legendary co-founder of Japanese animation studio “Studio Ghibli,” is known for his acclaimed films including, “My Neighbor Totoro” (1988), “Spirited Away” (2000) and “The Wind Rises” (2013).
De Wit announced the news to his official Twitter account on Feb. 22, sharing a few sneak peeks into the new version of the novel.
🥁Some personal news🥁 I’m translating SHUNA’S JOURNEY, a 1983 graphic novel by Hayao Miyazaki, into English. The good folks at @01FirstSecond will publish it on November 1. (1/4) https://t.co/Wqyzbf7rgC pic.twitter.com/LWTtes4CYQ
— Alex Dudok de Wit (@dudeydok) February 22, 2022
“The book isn’t so much a manga as an emonogatari (illustrated story), with all-watercolor images and text mostly presented as captions. It is based on a Tibetan folk tale, and the fantastical pseudo-Central Asian setting has a lot in common with the world of ‘NAUSICAÄ,’” de Wit wrote.
“It’s just a really beautiful story, strange even by Miyazaki’s standards, somber and luminous by turns,” he added. “I can’t wait for this to be out!”