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TV Show Calls Out Miyazaki for 'Retiring,' Apologizes for Misquoting Him

posted on by Jennifer Sherman

Anime fans often snicker at Hayao Miyazaki's supposedly repetitive and insincere retirement announcements. Fuji TV's Wide na Show program, which stars the comedy duo Downtown's Hitoshi Matsumoto and comedian Kōji Higashino, decided to call out the Studio Ghibli co-founder for his fickleness. The program featured a segment on Miyazaki on Sunday that showed apparent quotes from the director as he expressed his intention to retire over the years.

The segment featured supposed retirement announcements from around the years he released his Castle in the Sky, Porco Rosso, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, Ponyo, and The Wind Rises films. The apparent quotes express Miyazaki's conviction in his intention to retire during the period of 1986 to 2013. The television program let fans laugh at Miyazaki's inability to let go and remove himself from the world of feature filmmaking.

The problem is, the beloved 76-year-old anime creator did not make those declarations.

After the episode aired, the program's official website posted an apology. The show acknowledged that the alleged quotes were not from Miyazaki and apologized to the director, representatives, and viewers. The program said that it aired the program without checking the veracity of the quotes.

Most of the made-up quotes seem to originate from Twitter user Arekkusu, who tweeted five of the quotes in 2013. Arekkusu commented on the use of his material, saying "My joke tweet (of course not a quote from Hayao Miyazaki) was used on TV."

The Twitter user seemed less than enthused that the program used his words without his consent. He said, "Fuji TV, please pay me for the work." He also apparently issued a complaint to Japan's Broadcasting Ethics and Program Improvement Organization (BPO) watchdog group.

In the wake of rumors surrounding his retirement, Miyazaki officially announced his retirement from the production of feature-length films in 2013. The Niconico video service even streamed the announcement press conference live in English.

However, as many fans expected, the NHK television special Owaranai Hito Miyazaki Hayao (The Man Who Is Not Done: Hayao Miyazaki) revealed in November that the acclaimed director is working on a proposed new anime feature film.

Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki then revealed in April that Miyazaki's next work, the CG short "Kemushi no Boro" (Boro the Caterpillar), will debut at the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo in July. However, the Ghibli Museum's schedule lists an earlier short, "Treasure Hunting," in July. The website does not yet list screenings for "Kemushi no Boro."

After that, Suzuki firmly denied that Miyazaki can release his next proposed feature film in 2019. Miyazaki is drawing the storyboards for the project now, and has been since last July. However, Suzuki then said that Miyazaki has only drawn 20 minutes of storyboards so far, which is not a good sign of progress toward the previously proposed 2019 date.

Suzuki demurred from revealing the feature's title, saying, "I can't tell you." When asked if Miyazaki can finish the film while the director is still alive, Suzuki replied, "Hmm, I don't know."

The studio is hiring animators on a three-year contract starting on October 1 for the film.

[Via 0takomu, Hachima Kikō, Yaraon!]

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