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The Boy and the Heron Ending Explained: Is Mahito’s Granduncle Dead?

The Boy and the Heron ending explained


The latest film from director Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli is finally out after years of anticipation. The Boy and The Heron is a blunt but beautiful modern-age tale. 

It is also a realistic magical story about loneliness, grief, and letting go of the past in the process. The story is impactful, it is an emotional film with a dramatic ending.

There are a lot of things going on with the movie, so the audience may miss a bit here and there. In this article, we will take a quick look at how the movie ends. Here is your friendly reminder of spoilers.

How does the movie conclude?

After getting the responsibility of maintaining the alternate reality from his grandfather, Mahito denies, blaming the head injury he got and wasn’t free to take the position.

This makes Parakeet king to the role, but he is driven down by his impatience and malice, and the reality begins to collapse.

The Boy and the Heron
The Boy and the Heron (Credits: Toho Co., Ltd.)

As they try to get back to the real world, Himi tells Mahito that she has to travel back in time and become his mother, she also says that she is not afraid of her future death by fire.

Kiriko, Mahito and Natsuko, and Heron manage to just escape. Heron ensures that Mahioto will not remember anything that went down in an alternate reality.

The gateway tower collapses, which is the connection between the two worlds. Parakeet army also gets converted into birds as they come back in reality.

Two years later, Mahito and his family are shown, who are preparing to get back to Tokyo.

Does any character die at the end of the movie?

It is not definite, but it looks like Mahito’s granduncle died when reality broke down. We see Parakeet King making it back to reality in time, so he survived.

The Boy and the Heron
The Boy and the Heron (Credits: Toho Co., Ltd.)

In an early scene, Grey Heron said unless you doesn’t see a body it is not safe to say that someone is dead and this is lacking long when it comes to Mahito’s granduncle, maybe he is alive after all.

It could be said that Himi is dead, as it is shown that she is Mahito’s mother as a child. But her death is far away from the point we see her in the movie.

Is The Boy and The Heron connected to How Do You Live?

There were many rumors that The Boy and The Heron is an adaptation of How Do You Live, a 1937 novel, but it is not. The novel does make an appearance in the movie, but there is no connection to the screenplay.

Is The Boy and The Heron last from the director?

Initially, it was announced that it would be final from the great Miyazaki but later in the promotional tour, Jinichi Nishioka, a Studio Ghibli executive said that the director had been working on new ideas for a movie.

The Boy and the Heron
The Boy and the Heron (Credits: Toho Co., Ltd.)

He is there present in the office every day working, so he is not going to retire anytime soon.

Does the ending of the movie leave room for part 2?

At the moment, there is no official announcement for part 2 of the movie. There is no development in the works. The story concludes on a very conclusive note.

The Boy and the Heron
The Boy and the Heron (Credits: Toho Co., Ltd.)

Mahito and his family move away, and it looks like the cycle has also broken, so the new upcoming generation will get called not the fantasy world.

Irrespective of the movie’s global success, Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli are not known for making sequels to the original movies.

Where can you stream The Boy and the Heron?

For those who have still not watched the movie, they should check it out. The series is available on HBO Max and will be available on netflix in the future.

The Boy and the Heron
The Boy and the Heron (Credits: Toho Co., Ltd.)

A complete season is available, so binge-watchers can watch the show in a go. The movie hot applauded for the blend of fantasy and reality, the magic of childhood takes the movie to another level.

The soundtrack, cinematography, and dubbing by the voice artists make it a pleasurable watch.

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