Studio Ghibli is shutting down

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Old 08 August 2014   #1
Studio Ghibli is shutting down

Very sad news :(

http://www.hypable.com/2014/08/03/s...rect=no&oswrr=1

Quote: Toshio Suzuki, Studio Ghibli’s general manager, took to Japanese television today to announce the closure of their animation feature film department.

Rumours of the Japanese animation studio’s closure have been circling the internet for the last couple of years, but a report from a Ghibli insider to Japanese website News Café made it appear as though that closure would be imminent. This rumour has now been confirmed by the general manager of the studio.

Studio Ghibli has been responsible for many beloved animated movies, not limited to Spirited Away, My Neighbour Totoro, and Howl’s Moving Castle. But they made no secret about the fact that in recent years they have been struggling financially, with their most recent movies failing to make a profit for the studio. The Tale of Princess Kaguya, released in 2013, made 5.1 billion yen, and was considered a flop by the studio due to the costs of the production.


More at the link.
 
Old 08 August 2014   #2
Unfortunately Miyazaki has retired and he was too integral a part of the studio to keep going on without him. The Japanese animation industry is already in dire straits as it is. Some of the studios aren't letting younger fresher perspectives take a chance, and the older generation didn't really foster new talent the way someone like Pixar would have.

Right now it's more profitable to take an existing light novel, manga and just translate that to screen. That's what most studios are doing. Great studios like MadHouse, Production IG, etc. have pretty much left the feature film industry behind and now they concentrate on TV shows to spectacular results (like Attack on Titan, No Game No Life, etc.). As great as those are I which we had a studio doing something in the safe scale of Akira, but the money just isn't there and the margins on a 13 episode OVA is better. Especially when you have CrunchyRoll, Hulu, Funimation willing to pay upfront cash for streaming rights.

It's sad because Ghibli has such a unique style and delivery and we will loose a very singular voice in the anime industry (the animation industry in general) once their door closes.
 
Old 08 August 2014   #3
The headline is sort of misguiding. Studio Ghibli, as we know it, would be shutting down its in-house feature animation department in favor of building some new animation department staffed by freelancers. Ghibli already has a department like this working on commercials, music videos and Ronja The Robber's Daughter TV series debuting in autumn. Don't forget, Ghibli is also running a Museum and licenses all sorts of stuff like Totoro dolls, so they're not completely shutting down as the headline implies. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/new...partment/.77263 <-- This article from Anime News Network seems to agree with my interpretation.

It's weird that Suzuki's announcement hasn't been reported by the mainstream Japanese news outlets since it would be major news for them. They arranged a grand press conference for Miyazaki's retirement announcement, so why didn't they do that same for this major decision? So Suzuki is currently thinking about those plans and hasn't formally shut down Ghibli yet as the rumors are saying.

Originally Posted by Apoclypse: Unfortunately Miyazaki has retired and he was too integral a part of the studio to keep going on without him. The Japanese animation industry is already in dire straits as it is. Some of the studios aren't letting younger fresher perspectives take a chance, and the older generation didn't really foster new talent the way someone like Pixar would have.

Miyazaki did try to foster his replacements, but it just didn't work out. Yoshifumi Kondo, director of Whisper of the Heart, was set to become Ghibli's third big director (after Miyazaki and Isao Takahata), but Kondo passed away suddenly. Howl's Moving Castle was going to be directed by Mamoru Hosoda who left the project for undisclosed reasons, so the directorial reins were passed to Miyazaki. Hosoda went on to direct The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006), Summer Wars (2009), and Wolf Children (2012). Hiromasa Yonebayashi is the latest hopeful, but the lackluster response to his The Borrower Arrietty and When Marnie Was There (currently out in Japanese theaters) implies that Yonebayashi can't fill Miyazaki's shoes because of the extremely high expectations.
 
Old 08 August 2014   #4
Sad news indeed.
Especially Arietty made me feel there most definitively was a future for Studio Ghibli "after" Hayao Miyazaki. Would seem to be a devastating blow to 2D animation in general as well...
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Old 08 August 2014   #5
Originally Posted by pomru:

Miyazaki did try to foster his replacements, but it just didn't work out. Yoshifumi Kondo, director of Whisper of the Heart, was set to become Ghibli's third big director (after Miyazaki and Isao Takahata), but Kondo passed away suddenly. Howl's Moving Castle was going to be directed by Mamoru Hosoda who left the project for undisclosed reasons, so the directorial reins were passed to Miyazaki. Hosoda went on to direct The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006), Summer Wars (2009), and Wolf Children (2012). Hiromasa Yonebayashi is the latest hopeful, but the lackluster response to his The Borrower Arrietty and When Marnie Was There (currently out in Japanese theaters) implies that Yonebayashi can't fill Miyazaki's shoes because of the extremely high expectations.


I wasn't speaking of Miyazaki specifically though he was known to be quite hard on those who worked with him and his vision on his movies was absolute. Which is fine he is a genius, he storyboarded all his own movies and wanted to make sure his vision was met, but that can be stifling when someone can't throw in an idea or two.

I was speaking about the anime industry in general.
 
Old 08 August 2014   #6
The BBC is reporting they are taking a "pause" in the film production side of things and Ghibli is still figuring out what their next will be. So they aren't shutting down but re-evaluating their business. It also states they are think of giving more opportunities to younger directors and animators.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-28637750

There's still some hope that one day, they'll release another film.

Originally Posted by Apoclypse: The Japanese animation industry is already in dire straits as it is. Some of the studios aren't letting younger fresher perspectives take a chance, and the older generation didn't really foster new talent the way someone like Pixar would have.


That's not completely true, they have been training junior level animators up with the Anime Mirai project since 2010.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Young_...raining_Project

The problem is the level of difficulty to get the artists up to the standards of senior staff. I suggest watching the little witches academia documentary(can't link it cause you're supposed to get the DVD....ahem...youtube, edit: it's not on there any more guess got taken down but if you even get a chance watch it to see how an anime studio works) and you will understand what I mean, that the young artists even with 1 or 2 years experience struggle creating the keys in animation.

There's also the issue of not as many Japanese want to choose this career path due to the low pay and long hours.

Last edited by Darkherow : 08 August 2014 at 01:24 PM.
 
Old 08 August 2014   #7
Originally Posted by Darkherow:

That's not completely true, they have been training junior level animators up with the Anime Mirai project since 2010.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Young_...raining_Project

The problem is the level of difficulty to get the artists up to the standards of senior staff. I suggest watching the little witches academia documentary(can't link it cause you're supposed to get the DVD....ahem...youtube) and you will understand what I mean, that the young artists even with 1 or 2 years experience struggle creating the keys in animation.

There's also the issue of not as many Japanese want to choose this career path due to the low pay and long hours.


2010 is a little late to be training new talent don't you think? The only reason that project was put together is because Japan themselves realized that the anime industry was in trouble and that newer talent wasn't being developed from within the studio system. That's where new talent should have been developed to begin with.

As for the rest, yes that's another reason the industry is not doing great. You have some studios that are bringing the more western way of thinking and working and hopefully that will catalyze a change over there where artists are more important, fostered and rewarded accordingly.

Polygon Pictures is one of those studios. Then again they have worked mostly on western productions like Clone Wars and Tron Legacy. They had to adapt. There was an article I read about PPI where the director of Knights of Sidonia was astounded by how different the culture was over there. That is what is needed in an industry that is stuck in it's own head imo.
 
Old 08 August 2014   #8
Wow, sad indeed. I didn't know they were doing that poorly. I thought their Disney partnership was in the process of righting the ship as they didn't have great worldwide distribution even though they have a great worldwide reputation. I wouldn't mind seeing Disney buy the company outright...a couple of their classics would translate pretty well to live-action. Peter Jackson doing Howl's Moving Castle and/or Princess Mononoake sounds about right to me.
 
Old 08 August 2014   #9
Originally Posted by PhilipeaNguyen: Peter Jackson doing Howl's Moving Castle and/or Princess Mononoake sounds about right to me.


No. No. No. Just no.

Edit: It's obvious that a lot of people find Tolkein's writing and Peter Jackson's directing to be perfectly entertaining. But personally I prefer my fantasy to have a lot less of the usual false dichotomy of bad-guy versus good-guy, to not be filled with heavy-handed and lazy racial caricatures under the pretense of world-building and most importantly, to not be populated with stereotypical one-trait-cardboard-cutout characters. And as such, I'm perfectly happy with my Ursula K. Le Guin books and Miyazaki films. I would rather that they are not ruined.

But for what it's worth, I did actually like Similarion.

Last edited by KingOzymandias : 08 August 2014 at 05:17 PM.
 
Old 08 August 2014   #10
+1 (and more)
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Old 08 August 2014   #11
Originally Posted by PhilipeaNguyen: I wouldn't mind seeing Disney buy the company outright...a couple of their classics would translate pretty well to live-action. Peter Jackson doing Howl's Moving Castle and/or Princess Mononoake sounds about right to me.


Those two statements right there, are without a doubt the two most horrible things I've seen anyone write on these forums!
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Old 08 August 2014   #12
I second that...

Originally Posted by DutchDimension: Those two statements right there, are without a doubt the two most horrible things I've seen anyone write on these forums!
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