After Hayao Miyazaki announced his final-final retirement in February, fans of Studio Ghibli were understandably worried about the animation studio’s future. Unfortunately, half-formed rumors and conflicting translations don’t do anything to give audiences a sense of security either way.
Just this past weekend, a Ghibli producer’s quote was taken out of context to mean that the studio was being dismantled. It was quickly followed up by another translation clarifying that what we may be looking at is more of a restructuring.
Of course, our problems start with all of the Ghibli news occurring on Japanese television, and people jumping on loose translations. A recent interview with Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki had him saying, “The production department of anime will be dismantled.”
However, Kotaku did a much more thorough, line-by-line translation of Suzuki’s words, and seem to have teased out a more nuanced meaning:
We’re thinking about disbanding the production department and making a big change to the larger view of Studio Ghibli.
Obviously, Miyazaki’s retiring was quite significant. After that, what should Ghibli do? With that, continuing to endlessly create like this is not impossible, but once, right about now, we will take a short rest and think about what’s next.
The wording he uses for “a short rest” is more literally translated to “breather” or “break.” The Japanese word for “restructure” is also mentioned a few times.
Kotaku also made the keen point that if Studio Ghibli were indeed closing, it would be national news in Japan—and so far, no major Japanese outlets have covered it.
So… they could decide that a restructuring means no more anime. Or they could continue onward even without Miyazaki’s involvement. We won’t know for some time. But we’ll leave you with this moment from the Ghibli documentary The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, where the creator himself seems unperturbed by the thought of Studio Ghibli running its course:
Image: Studio Ghibli