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Today in Awesome

Studio Ghibli Announces First Animated Series in Ronia the Robber’s Daughter


Studio Ghibli has announced an animated series based on Swedish author Astrid Lindgren‘s Ronia the Robber’s Daughter, to have its Japanese debut this fall.

The show will be directed by Goro Miyazaki, son of Hayao, and it’ll be a first television series for the studio and the director. Says Goro:

Ronia the Robber’s Daughter is a story not just about a girl who grows into adulthood, but it is also a story about the love and growth between a parent and a child, and a story about the bonds between friends. My goal is to create a work that everyone, from children to adults, will be able to enjoy.

Published in 1981, Lindgren’s Ronja Rövardotter is the story of Ronja (Kirsty or Ronia, depending on which English translation you have), born to the chief of a band of robbers, and expected to inherit his position in adulthood. On the day of her birth, the robber’s castle home was split in two by a lightning bolt. In the years between then and the beginning of the story, the other half of the castle has been taken over by a rival clan. Ronia meets and befriends the only son of the rival band’s chief, goes on many fantasy adventures with him, and eventually heals the rift between the two groups.

Of course, you might know Astrid Lindgren better as the creator of Pippi Longstocking. I have only one problem with this series, and that is that it doesn’t have a release date in a country that I live in or a language that I speak. I shall have to wait patiently and drool over screen caps and advertising.

(via Anime News Network.)

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  • Anonymous

    Miyazaki just put the anime industry on blast so it’s nice to see them launching their own TV show!

  • St. Jason

    Oh hell yeah! I just hope it doesn’t take forever to get over here

  • Anonymous

    Oh, wow, this sounds really cool, actually. Goro Miyazaki’s first film didn’t really impress me (nor did it seem to impress anybody else, if the reviews for Tales of Earthsea are anything to go by), but From Up on Poppy Hill was really good, in my opinion, and the source material sounds like it could be really neat and fun!

    I’m sure it’ll get over here eventually, I mean, it is a Ghibli work…

    Ooooh, now I’m excited, this is gonna be gooood~

  • Samantha Klein

    What what what??? Ronia the Robber’s Daughter is a fantabulous book. Everyone should read it immediately, and I am reminded to get back to lobbying my husband to name any potential second daughter Ronia.

  • locuas

    you mean the guy who refused to let Hayao make a Longstocking ghibli film? guess this was the closest thing they could have…
    Now seriously, While Goro is not his father, This would be a great chance to show he can be a good director as Hayao himself.
    Also i am saying it now, disney is going t air this anime. They distribute Ghibli films, they are probably going to distribute this one, too.

  • Anonymous

    I was a bit worried when I heard the news, because I think Ghibli generally does better using Japanese stories for inspiration than European (I was really disappointed in Howl’s Moving Castle). But the quote from the director at least shows that he really understands what are the important themes of this story. I especially hope they manage to bring Ronja’s complicated relationship with her father to life, both the depth of love and the despair of realising your father is far from perfect.

    Not really sold on this image though, she looks too young and babylike. She should be a wiry 11-12-year old.

  • Omegasama

    As a Swede, I am VERY happy about these news. As a fan of Ronja, I am even happier. I grew up watching the TV films (it was made the year I was born) and reading the book (and all other Astrid Lindgren’s books). Ronja is incredibly important to me, especially since it showed that as a woman I can also be a leader of a Robber’s gang, or go out and do battle… or you know, just be equal. (Ronja and ElfQuest really) Astrid’s books really are a deeply rooted part of the childhoods of most people in Sweden (of a certain age)… there are something for everyone.

  • Anonymous

    Oh the childhood memories… I just hope they do justice to the bird/people creatures (They’re called vildvittror in Swedish, but I don’t know the english name for them) that were so horrifying in the movie adaption I grew up with.

  • oldziekill

    This is my favourite book and I’ve read it a hundred times or more. I’m so excited I’m literally crying

  • Kat

    Hm. Im going to be on the fence about this ’til I know more I think.
    Being swedish, Ronja was always important to me, one of my favourite stories when i grew up. I loved the movie, to bits. And I mean, the movie had Alan Edwall, and directed by Tage Danielsson, and music by Björn Isfält and designs by Per Åhlin and it kinda cant get much better than that without being Resan till Melonia(which is the best animated movie ever made. Don’t argue. You wont win.). And to me, the music in the movie are as much an integral part of the story as the tale itself. One part of me feels like they shouldn’t mess with perfection.
    And as people have pointed out, Ghibli haven’t impressed too much with their adaptations of european stories. Also, Astrid Lindgren said no about Pippi Långstrump, chances are she would’ve said no about this too.
    So, hrm. I am skeptic at this point, but I’d really would love to be proven wrong. It’s Ghibli after all, but right now they have some pretty big shoe to fill.

  • Saraquill

    Did anyone else here read Astrid Lindgren’s name and immediately think of Lisbeth Salander?

  • WTheregoth1983

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  • Anonymous

    Look at that, this book has jumped to the top of Amazon’s results when you search on Astrid Lindgren.
    Well hello there one-click buy button, how are YOU today?

  • Mariah Huehner

    This book is one of my all time favorites. It’s fantastic, dark fantasy, with amazing characters. Ronia is incredibly engaging and it’s just…yeah. Read it. And I will find this when it’s available as soon as I can.

  • Mariah Huehner

    Well, the story takes place over the course of her childhood. This isn’t necessarily how she’s going to look the whole time.

  • Joie Young

    This is one of my FAVORITE books. I am going to die of waiting. I highly
    recommend THE BROTHERS LIONHEART, also by Astrid Lindgren, for those in countries outside Sweden who want a good book that they’d not necessarily be exposed to. We have a really terrible young adult and teen book importation in the US, I don’t know how it is elsewhere.

  • Anonymous

    Very true that Ghibli is not terribly faithful to the source material more often than not, but even in those instances, you can still count on beautiful animation and a good story. I just hope that holds true for a series like it does for their movies.

  • Darket

    I have the same objections towards this as to the horrible concept art
    of Pippi from St. Ghibli we saw not long ago… Why on Earth does Studio
    Ghibli have to make Lindgren’s borderline adult characters look like
    little kids when they are very much able to to ‘teenage-heroines’ like
    Mononoke and Chihiro? One of the big plot points of both Pippi and Ronja
    is growing up and and becoming independent from your parents… And how
    are they going to explain the underlying sexual attraction (as they
    grow older) between Ronja and Birk?

  • Anonymous

    I hope this happens and is available soon. I have tracked down every Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli film ever produced. They are simply wonderful and beautiful beyond compare, and the stories always emphasize human values. We just got the DVD of “From Up On Poppy HIll”. Now I need to find a copy of “The Wind Rises”, which has been nominated in the animated film category for this year.

  • Anonymous

    Could be great if they adhere to the book. My problem with the Swedish movie from the 80s was that Ronja and Birk were portrayed as very young kids, in the book they are teenagers in puberty with all the strange and confusing feelings that brings with it.

    The book was one of my Christmas presents in the mid-80s and I loved it dearly. I also loved the dark fantasy touch it had with those eery voices who wanted to lure Ronja in the “underworld” and the “drudes” (a frightening mix between a large bird of prey and a woman). Could be great

  • Samantha Klein

    Oh, yay! I love finding a book you thought you’d lost. Enjoy!!

  • Darket

    I have the same objections towards this as to the horrible concept art
    of Pippi from St. Ghibli we saw not long ago… Why on Earth does Studio
    Ghibli have to make Lindgren’s borderline adult characters look like
    little kids when they are very much able to to ‘teenage-heroines’ like
    Mononoke and Chihiro? One of the big plot points of both Pippi and Ronja
    is growing up and and becoming independent from your parents… And how
    are they going to explain the underlying sexual attraction (as they
    grow older) between Ronja and Birk?

  • Alice Ruppert

    Honestly, I don’t remember a single thing about this book except that I absolutely loved it.

  • Christine Stephenson

    Sounds good. Even if it doesn’t get an English release there is always fan subs.

  • Luna Carya

    I’m excited about this! After watching Poppy Hill I’m much more confident in Goro Miyazaki, and from the comments it looks it’s an amazing book. Let it be fall soon!

  • Ashe

    I’m doing a fricking jig in my chair I think this is the best news ever oh gosh a Ghibli anime series oh my GOSH-

    The book sounds really interesting to boot, too! Ghibli has stumbled on adaptations before (man I didn’t like Howl’s Moving Castle), but I’m eager to see this. If anything, give us a breath of fresh air, Miyazaki. How about them otaku?

  • Silverwisp

    I wouldn’t consider 11 as borderline adult…

  • Silverwisp

    This…. looks nowhere near scruffy enough. It looks like Heidi: tree edition.

    I’ll probably give this a try, bit I fear there will be too much whimsy.