If you haven’t lived in Japan, it’s hard to appreciate just how beloved are anime maestro Hayao Miyazaki and his creative hub, Studio Ghibli.
Annual surveys of Japanese consumers often find that Ghibli is their favorite domestic brand, ahead of stalwarts such as Toyota and Sony. Miyazaki’s animated epics regularly top the domestic theatrical market. “Kaze Tachinu” (“The Wind Rises”), his latest film — loosely based on the life of engineer Jiro Horikoshi, designer of Japan’s wartime Zero fighter plane — soared above its box office rivals for seven consecutive weeks after its July release. Meanwhile, his Oscar-winning “Spirited Away” (2001) remains the top-grossing film in Japanese history, knocking aside Hollywood live-action contenders such as “Titanic” and the “Harry Potter” films.