Is it the end of an era for one of Japan’s most beloved anime studios? Studio Ghibli, the creators of My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, The Boy and the Heron and many more anime classics, is set to become a subsidiary of broadcast Nippon TV (NTV).
The company will acquire a further 42.3% of Ghibli shares on top of what it already owns, making it the majority shareholder.
The acquisition was announced at a press conference in Tokyo Thursday. Ghibli president Toshio Suzuki explained that the plans came from a failure to find a successor for its co-founders, himself (age 75) and Hayao Miyazaki (82). Goro Miyazaki, Miyazaki’s son, refused offers to become studio head, and his father also opposed the idea.
According to Suzuki, the acquisition will “allow Ghibli to continue to concentrate on making movies.” Yoshikuni Sugiyama, CEO of NTV, said he “would continue to support Ghibli’s works and protect the environment in which Ghibli could continue to make movies.”
Ghibli and NTV have a long relationship, with the latter often showing Ghibli films on Friday nights.
NTV acquired anime studio Madhouse in 2011.
What will come next for Ghibli in its new position as NTV subsidiary? Only time will tell.