Amazon, Baby Goods Chain, Homebuilder Replace Toshiba as Sazae-san's Sponsors

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Toshiba to end nearly 50-year-long sponsorship of longest-running animated series at end of March

Amazon Japan, baby goods company Nishimatsu Chain, and homebuilding company Daiwa House will be the new sponsors of the long-running television anime Sazae-san when Toshiba ends its sponsorship of the anime in March.

Toshiba plans to end its sponsorship of the anime at the end of March. It was the exclusive sponsor of the world's longest-running animated series during its first three decades, and then its primary sponsor for almost two more decades.

The sponsors were chosen from a pool of about 10 companies that participated in bidding. While plastic surgeon Katsuya Takasu's Takasu Clinic chain was in talks with Dentsu and Fuji TV to replace Toshiba as a sponsor, Takasu confirmed on Twitter that he lost the bidding war as he was unable to compete with larger companies.

The anime adaptation of Machiko Hasegawa's family life manga Sazae-san began airing in October 1969, and Toshiba was the founding and exclusive sponsor of Sazae-san from the anime's premiere to October 1999. Toshiba began sharing the anime's sponsorship with other advertisers for the first time in November 1999, but it has remained the head sponsor for the last 18 years.

Toshiba continued its sponsorship after an improper accounting scandal in 2015. The company is undergoing restructuring and is having financial difficulties following a significant loss in the American nuclear energy market. However, as recently as this past March, the company had planned to continue sponsoring the anime through this fall in order to avoid worsening its corporate image.

Sazae-san is usually the highest ranked animated series in Japan each week. In 2013, the show was awarded the Guinness World Record for longest-running animated television series.

Source: The Mainichi Shimbun via Hachima Kikō

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