UPDATE: A new translation of the interview has surfaced and it says that Toshio Suzuki only “mused” that the studio production will be dismantled. He emphasized that the studio is seriously considering restructuring for now.
Here’s the original story:
In a sad turn of events, Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki has announced that the legendary anime studio which has given the world anime classics like My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, and the Academy Award-winning Spirited Away would be closing down.
He announced the closure via the Japanese TV show, MBS Jounetsu Tairiku. He stated that its animation production studio will be closing, however, Ghibli will be surviving as a company which will manage the trademarks of its many classical anime works.
Suzuki said that “the animation production department will be dismantled”, however, a small staff will be kept for Hayao Miyazaki’s projects as well as a Momonoma Department, which is Yoshiyuki Momose’s freelance production department for short video clips and commercials.
The closure may bring problems to many Studio Ghibli employees, many of whom have long-term contracts with the company. This means many of its talented animators and artists may be out of the job very soon.
Studio Ghibli’s closure has been attributed by many to the poor box office reception of The Story of Princess Kaguya as well as the retirement of legendary anime director Hayao Miyazaki.
Japanese fans have also given plenty of sad reactions to the closure with many saying that it is a sad day for the world of anime. The studio’s last work is When Marnie Was There, which is currently showing in Japanese theaters.
Thanks to fellow SGCafe writer Zenko for the huge heads up and also to fellow writer Ellehaym for the update