Famed Studio Ghibli sold to Nippon TV after Hayao Miyazaki’s son refuses succession offer


The critically acclaimed Studio Ghibli has been acquired by Nippon TV after co-founder Hayao Miyazaki’s son refused succession.

Undoubtedly one of, if not the, best and most iconic animation studios in history, Studio Ghibli, has a new owner. The famed anime production company has been acquired by Nippon TV after a series of discussions over the studio’s succession led to a refusal from Miyazaki’s son – here is everything that fans need to know.

Yubaba reads a contract document
Spirited Away/Studio Ghibli/Crunchyroll Store Australia YouTube channel

Nippon TV acquires Studio Ghibli after Miyazaki’s son refuses succession

On September 21, it was announced that the Nippon TV broadcasting network had acquired 42.3% of the shares in Studio Ghibli, which will make the critically acclaimed animation company a primary subsidiary of the NTV conglomerate.

Talks surrounding the future of Studio Ghibli have been ongoing for several months (possibly even years behind closed doors) in response to co-founders Toshio Suzuki and Hayao Miyazaki reaching the end of their professional careers at the ages of 75 and 82 respectively.

In a statement made at an emergency press conference, as reported by Oricon, Suzuki shared how “for a long time we have been struggling with the question of a successor.”

It turns out that prior to the acquisition by NTV, Studio Ghibli had “several times” offered the role of company president to Hayao Miyazaki’s son Goro.

However, the eldest son of the famed anime filmmaker, who also works as an animation director for the studio, refused to succeed his father and noted that “It is difficult to take on the responsibility of Ghibli by myself.”

“Goro Miyazaki himself has been adamant in his refusal, believing that it would be difficult for him to take on Ghibli alone and that the future of the company would be better left to others.”

Interestingly, the press release also included a note that Hayao Miyazaki “was also against the idea of his son Goro taking over the reins.”

The final date for the acquisition is reported as October 6, meaning that anime fans can expect some exciting news to be shared regarding what’s next for the studio before the end of 2023.

The deal between NTV and Studio Ghibli will be a landmark moment for the anime industry as a whole. Thankfully, the acquisition should not negatively impact the potential titles coming from Studio Ghibli.

The statement noted, “NTV will respect Studio Ghibli’s autonomy, and Studio Ghibli will continue to focus on the production of animated films and the operation of the Ghibli Museum and Ghibli Park.”

Ghibli are responsible for four of the top ten highest-grossing films in Japan; four have won the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year, and five feature movies have been nominated for an Academy Award.

The highest-grossing films from Ghibli include Spirited Away at $395 million, Howl’s Moving Castle at $237 million, Ponyo at $204 million, and Princess Mononoke at $170 million.

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