Although we've known it'd likely be a long time before we saw Hayao Miyazaki's samurai manga, the anime legend now concedes he's become so busy since his retirement that, "I have my doubts as to whether I can finish it or not."
Miyazaki, who's being honored Saturday with a Governors Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, told Variety the manga "keeps getting pushed behind other projects. I can’t work on it as much as I’d like to."
The manga came to light in November 2013, just two months after the filmmaker announced his retirement. Set during the Sengoku (Warring States) period of Japanese history, was set to be serialized in the Japanese magazine Model Graphix. Progress was slow, but now it may have stopped all together.
"I have my doubts as to whether I can finish it or not," said Miyazaki, who turns 74 in January. "I wanted to put a lot of effort into it, ignoring costs, like a hobby. I thought I’d have free time, but I keep getting project offers. Not necessarily lucrative ones, but they have a significance for me."
He drew his first manga, Puss in Boots, in 1969; however, he's best known for Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, which he later adapted for film.
Miyazaki also revealed in the interview that, despite his "retirement," he puts in a full work week in his studio. "I’ve recently changed my work schedule to five days a week. I didn’t know what to do with myself taking three days off a week," he told Variety. "I try to take Saturdays and Sundays off, though."