Studio Ghibli has announced world-renowned director Hayao Miyazaki “is retiring from making feature films,” throwing the future of Studio Ghibli into immediate doubt.
Coming just as his latest work was being shown in Venice and amidst numerous nominations for top awards, the timing of the announcement has proven unusual to say the least.
Amongst anime fans there has been some dismay, not least as to how the studio can possibly survive such a blow and how many times a director can keep retiring:
“Ghibli is finished then…”
“How many times is he going to retire?”
“He’ll be back, again.”
“When he retires it is more like that of a pro-wrestler or politician.”
“He’s not supposed to be retiring until he has a half decent apprentice at least.”
“Once he wants to make another movie he’ll just start up again.”
“This is the first time he has officially announced it like this though. I think he is serious.”
“He looked pretty frail when he appeared on the NHK though.”
“I think this time his age may be a factor.”
“He only said ‘feature length’ films. So expect his next movie to be 80 minutes long.”
“After Howl he has not made much of note, well done and goodbye.”
“After Kiki it was all onanism for this guy. Would like to see a TV series from him though.”
“In ’86 after Laputa he said he’d retire, then in ’92 with Porco Rosso it was his last, next it was Mononoke Hime in ’97 which was his finale, then Howl in ’04, but in ’08 with Ponyo he said he’d keep at it. Now in ’13 the NHK runs his retiral as their top story, what are we to make of all this?”