UPDATE: Kotaku points out Suzuki used the word shoukyuushi in this interview, suggesting “pause” or “break”, rather than saying kyuushi (“stop”), which suggests Studio Ghibli may be ceasing production only temporarily.
After the anime world’s Walt Disney, Hayao Miyazaki, retired last year, we’d heard rumors of Studio Ghibli shutting down. Today we learned last month’s When Marnie Was There (which has only grossed $3.5 million so far), is officially the final film of Studio Ghibli. This makes me a sad panda.
That’s right, the renowned studio behind Howl’s Moving Castle, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Princess Mononoke, Laputa: Castle in The Sky, Ponyo, and the Oscar-winning Spirited Away is no more, ending a nearly thirty year run of classic anime.
Studio Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki confirmed the news on Japanese show Jounetsu Tairiku earlier today, saying the company will now focus on managing its back-catalog and trademarks. He left us with a slight bit of optimism — as Studio Ghibli always has — by saying they’ll maintain some staff for “Miyazaki projects”, although no explanation was given for what that means. Maybe we’ll see Grave of the Fireflies 2: Cry Harder, You Big Baby.