Late yesterday, news started to spread that the Japanese anime studio Studio Ghibli was closing its doors following the retirement of its main superstar director Hayao Miyazaki. But it appears as if those reports may be premature, stemming from a mistranslation of a statement from Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki.
In an appearance on the Japanese television news show Jounetsu Tairiku this weekend, Suzuki was reported to have said that the studio will be closing its doors and maintaining a small staff just to manage the company’s trademarks. The news came vie the anime tumbler fansite Oh-Totoro, but it turns out that their translation of Tairiku’s comments may have been misconstrued.
Asian geek media site Kotaku is reporting that Tairiku actually stated that the studio is considering restructuring their business, not definitively shutting down. If the studio were to be shutting its doors, it would have been all over the Japanese mainstream media due to the popularity and success of its films in the country.
In the interview, Tairiku does admit that Miyazaki’s retirement is “significant” and in light of that the studio does need to consider what its options are going forward. Tairiku stated that the copany would be taking “a short rest” but did not rule out “continuing to endlessly create like this” being “impossible.”
Granted, Tairiku does not preclude the possibility of them deciding to close their doors, it is just not a forgone conclusion yet. Studio Ghibli’s identity is so closely tied with Miyazaki that the two are often times referred to interchangeably. I could certainly see an argument for shutting down the studio in light of Miyazaki’s retirement. But I can also think of no better way than to honor the legacy of Miyazaki than to continue to create films inspired by his creative visions.