The Boy and the Heron Soundtrack: The Boy and the Heron (Japanese: 君たる みきろうろか, Hepburn: Kimitachi wa do Ikiro ka, literally “How Do You Live?”) is a 2023 Japanese animated fantasy film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and produced by Studio Ghibli.
The Japanese title references Genzaburo Yoshino’s 1937 novel of the same name, which appears in the film but features an origin story not connected to the novel.
The Boy and the Heron was released theatrically in Japan by Toho on July 14, 2023, and was shown in both traditional theaters and other premium formats such as IMAX.
The release of the film said to be Hayao Miyazaki’s last feature film, was for the deliberate absence of any promotion, with Ghibli making a point of not releasing any trailers, images, synopses, or casting details of the film in advance.
The option was chosen. Japanese premiere except for a single poster. It grossed over $52 million in Japan.
The Boy and the Heron Soundtrack (Music)
The voice cast includes Soma Santoki, Masaaki Suda, Ko Shibasaki, Aimone, Yoshino Kimura, Takuya Kimura, Karou Kobayashi, and Shinobu Otake.
Described as a “big fantasy film”, it follows the story of a boy named Mahito Maki (Santoki), who discovers an abandoned tower in his new town and ends up with a talking gray heron. Enters an imaginary world.
The Boy and the Heron Soundtrack theme music, Kenshi Yonezu’s “Spinning Globe”, is now released. Check it out below.
The Boy and the Heron is Miyazaki’s first film since 2013’s The Wind Rises. This is reportedly the final feature of the influential 82-year-old animator, who also directed the film and wrote its script. Studio Ghibli did not release any production photos, trailers, or cast details before the film hit theaters.
The Boy and the Heron is set for North American distribution later this year, but a specific release date has not yet been announced. Joe Hisaishi, a longtime associate of Studio Ghibli, scored the film.
In a statement about “Spinning Globe,” Yonezu said “I remember walking under the pitch-dark shades of the trees while overhearing the cheers of nursery school children nearby,” Yonezu said.
“As a person who usually writes music drawing from recollections of the past alone in a small room, it was an experience nothing short of enriching.”
The Boy and the Heron Soundtrack (Themes)
There are autobiographical features in The Boy and the Heron. The film’s protagonist, Mahito Maki, is based on Miyazaki’s childhood. Miyazaki’s father, like Mahito, worked at a company involved in the manufacturing of fighter aircraft components.
Additionally, during the war, Miyazaki’s family had to move from the city to the countryside. Mahito’s emotional relationship with his mother parallels Miyazaki’s deep affection for his mother, who was known for her strong opinions and is believed to be the source of inspiration for many of the director’s female characters.
The BBC described the film as a “coming-of-age story” about a child overcoming selfishness and learning to live for others.
The film has the message of creating a “conflict-free world with your own hands”. According to The Japan Times, Miyazaki’s unwavering belief in the ability of children to outlive previous generations in challenging circumstances is reflected in the film’s Japanese title, which gives children a choice between emulating the chaos of Japan’s past war or forging a better path.
Provides a choice, and displays as such. Enduring optimism that serves as evidence of the director’s intense imagination.
The Boy and the Heron Soundtrack (Orignal Soundtrack)
The film score is composed by Joe Hisaishi. The soundtrack, consisting of 37 songs, was released in Japan on August 9, 2023, by Tokuma Japan Communications. Kenshi Yonezu was in charge of the theme song in Japan, which was titled “Chikyugi” (地球儀, lit. “Globe”) and internationally it was titled “Spinning Globe”.
Here is the complete list of The Boy and the Heron soundtrack with individual descriptions of all the songs.
Ask Me Why (Evacuation)
- Ask Me Why (Evacuation) is a song by The Boy and the Heron, a band inspired by the anime film of the same name directed by Hayao Miyazaki. The song is a piano cover of the original soundtrack composed by James Newton Howard.
- White Wall is a hip-hop song by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, featuring Schoolboy Q and Hollis. It was released in 2012 as part of his album The Heist. The song is about Macklemore’s love for Cadillac cars and his journey from a drug addict to a successful rapper.
- Blue Heron from The Boy and the Heron Soundtrack of the animated movie The Boy and the Heron, directed by Hayao Miyazaki and produced by Studio Ghibli. It is a short instrumental piece composed by Joe Hisaishi, who is known for his collaborations with Miyazaki on many other films.
- The song is played during a scene where the boy meets the heron for the first time and is captivated by its beauty.
- The song is dedicated to the band’s longtime friend and manager, Jordan Feldstein, who passed away due to health problems. The song and music video are filled with authentic emotion about remembering loved ones who have passed and learning to let go.
Blue Heron II
- It is an instrumental short composed by Jō Hisaishi, who is known for collaborating with Miyazaki on several other films. This song is played during the scene where the boy and the heron fly together in the sky with twilight wings
- It is a slow and melancholic composition composed by Joe Hisaishi, who is known for his collaborations with Hayao Miyazaki on several other films. The song is played during a scene where the boy’s uncle, who is a retired pilot, recalls his past and gives advice to the boy. You can download soundtracks from different platforms.
The Grey Heron
- The soundtrack is composed by Joe Hisaishi, who is known for his collaborations with Miyazaki on several other films. This song is played during a scene where the boy meets a gray heron in the forest and forms a bond with it.
The Book II
- It is composed by Joe Hisaishi, who is the music director of the film. The song is played during a scene where the boy reads the novel by Genzaburō Yoshino, which inspires him to live a better life.
Chikyûgi Spinning Globe (Theme Song)
- Spinning Globe is the official theme song for The Boy and the Heron, written and performed by Kenshi Yonezu, one of the most influential music artists in Japan right now. The song is a bittersweet and melancholic ballad dedicated to the film, which explores the themes of life, death, and love.
- The song was released as a single on July 17, 2023, and has a tempo of 78 beats per minute and a key of A# Maj.
How Do You Live?
How Do I Live is a song written by Diane Warren and performed by LeAnn Rimes. It was released in 1997 and was featured in the movie Con Air. The song is a ballad about a person who cannot imagine living without their lover. The song was a huge hit and became one of the longest-charting songs in the Billboard Hot 100 history.
The Boy and the Heron soundtrack also includes the other songs mentioned below. You can see the full list of The Boy and the Heron Soundtrack here.
- “Ask Me Why (疎開)” (Evacuation)
- “白壁” (White Wall)
- “青サギ” (The Blue Heron)
- “追憶” (Reminiscence)
- “青サギⅡ” (The Blue Heron II)
- “黄昏の羽根” (Feather of Twilight)
- “思春期” (Puberty)
- “青サギⅢ” (The Blue Heron III)
- “静寂” (Silence)
- “青サギの呪い” (The Curse of the Blue Heron)
- “矢羽根” (Arrow Feathers)
- “Ask Me Why (母の思い)” (Mother’s Thoughts)
- “ワナ” (Trap)
- “聖域” (Sanctuary)
- “墓の主” (Lord of the Grave)
- “箱船” (Ark)
- “ワラワラ” (Swarming)
- “転生” (Reincarnation)
- “火の雨” (Rain of Fire)
- “呪われた海” (The Cursed Sea)
- “別れ” (Farewell)
- “回顧” (Retrospective)
- “急接近” (A Sudden Approach)
- “陽動” (Diversion)
- “炎の少女” (Girl of the Flame)
- “眞人とヒミ” (Mahito and Himi)
- “回廊の扉” (Corridor Door)
- “巣穴” (Burrow)
- “祈りのうた” (Song of Prayer)
- “大伯父” (Great-Uncle)
- “隠密” (Covert)
- “大王の行進” (March of the Great King)
- “大伯父の思い” (Great-Uncle’s Thoughts)
- “Ask Me Why (眞人の決意)” (Mahito’s Decision)
- “大崩壊” (The Great Collapse)
- “最後のほほえみ” (The Last Smile)
- “米津玄師 – 地球儀 (主題歌)” (Spinning Globe (Theme)