Studio Ghibli Inc., the production company of anime director Hayao Miyazaki, is set to become a subsidiary of Nippon Television Network Corp., with the major Japanese broadcaster aiming to help manage the studio, the companies said Thursday.
Nippon Television plans to acquire 42.3 percent of voting rights at an undisclosed price on Oct. 6 to become the studio's leading shareholder. It said it aims to build on its longtime relationship with the company, which has included its airing of many of the studio's films starting with "Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind" in 1985.
With board member Miyazaki now 82 and Toshio Suzuki, the current president, 75, the studio had been considering who should take over its running, with Miyazaki's eldest son and anime producer Goro Miyazaki's name repeatedly brought up as a potential candidate, they said.
But Goro Miyazaki has declined, and was quoted in the statement as saying, "It is too much to shoulder by myself. It is better to leave it to somebody else."
Nippon Television's Senior Operating Officer Hiroyuki Fukuda will be the studio's new president, replacing Suzuki, who will become the chair of the board.
"Managing (a company) is tough. We want to concentrate on production," said Suzuki at a press conference.
Fukuda said, "I know there are expectations (in the studio) to make something new so I want to help bring it about."
In addition to airing Miyazaki films on TV, Nippon Television has also invested in the studio's filmmaking, starting with "Kiki's Delivery Service" released in 1989. It also helped establish the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka in western Tokyo, which opened in 2001.