Nippon Television Network (Nippon TV) is set to become a majority stake in the popular animation studio Studio Ghibli, after acquiring 42.3% of Ghibli’s shares. This move will make the studio a subsidiary of Nippon TV. Hiroyuki Fukuda, a long-term Nippon TV figure and former rugby player, will become Studio Ghibli’s new president, while Toshio Suzuki (the current president) will be promoted to the role of chairman. Hayao Miyazaki will become an honorary chairman.
According to a joint press conference, the executives have approached Goro Miyazaki with offers to take over, but he has so far refused. ANN reports that older Miyazaki is also opposed to this.
Nippon TV has close ties with Studio Ghibli, which included funding all of the company’s production for the 1989 anime film Kiki’s Delivery Service. The relationship dates back to the 1980s when Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind first aired on NTV. At one point, they even hosted Ghibli’s website.
The broadcast network, owned by Nippon Television Holdings, has been responsible for producing and broadcasting anime titles such as Hunter X Hunter (2011), Ouran High School Host Club, Claymore, Death Note, Berserk, Parasyte -the maxim-, Nana; Hajime no Ippo: The Fighting! and Monster. These titles have been also licensed by Nippon TV to Netflix through a streaming deal in August 2022.
Studio Ghibli was founded in 1985 by Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata, and Toshio Suzuki. Some of the studio’s most popular works include My Neighbor Totoro (1988), Grave of the Fireflies (1988), Spirited Away (2001), Howl’s Moving Castle (2004), and Ponyo (2008).
The majority stake acquisition from Studio Ghibli comes right after the premiere of the studio’s latest work The Boy and The Heron at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) earlier this month. A trailer for it was recently released for the first time as part of the promotion for the film’s upcoming US theatrical release.
Source: Nippon TV Press Release