‘Spirited Away’s Studio Ghibli Gets New Lead Shareholder After Succession Search

Studio Ghibli has a new lead shareholder in the shape of Nippon Television Holdings.

A joint statement noted Nippon, one of Japan’s leading media and broadcasting congloms, was acquiring 42.3% of the Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro studio, according to Reuters. This gives Nippon a leading position in the famed anime house. No financial details were disclosed.

The statement revealed Studio Ghibli and its director and founder Hayao Miyazaki and producer Toshio Suzuki had been looking at succession plans before the Nippon deal was struck.

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Miyazaki’s son, Goro Miyazaki, had been looked at as a candidate to take the business forwards a number of times but he believed it would be difficult to lead the studio into the future and declined a role, the statement added.

At this point, Nippon TV stepped in and acquired the stake through its Nippon Television Network Corp subsidiary. Nippon and Studio Ghibli have a long-running partnership.

The news comes after a series of management changes at Studio Ghibli this year, with Chairman Koji Hoshino stepping down over the summer.

Founded in 1985, Studio Ghibli is easily the most famed Japanese animation producer, with many of the country’s top-grossing features hailing from its operation. Spirited Away won Best Animated Feature Film at the 75th Oscars and is often cited as one of cinema’s greatest triumphs.

The elder Miyazaki had retired back in 2014 but he returned three years later to direct a final film, The Boy and the Heron, which released this year after Covid-19 delayed the production process.

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