According to Japanese news site ZakZak, Studio Ghibli is apparently set to be purchased by Japanese online entertainment company Dwango.
This news comes as Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki recently said the studio needed a "short rest" and that they were considering "making a big change to the larger view of Studio Ghibli."
Dwango runs Japanese video site Nico Nico Douga and owns game developer Spike Chunsoft. Nobuo Kawakami, Dwango's chairman, previously worked at Studio Ghibli. What's more. Studio Ghibli is teaming up with Dwango for Ronja the Robber's Daughter, its upcoming television anime.
Several sources tell ZakZak that under the plan, Dwango will take over Studio Ghibli, including the studio's staff. This apparently doesn't include only Studio Ghibli animators, but also its copyright business. Though, it is possible that not all the animators will make the leap to Dwango, should this rumor be true.
One insider told ZakZak that this rumored deal could conform to Suzuki's ideal of reorganizing the studio.
There is no official announcement yet regarding this and no details about when this rumored buyout will happen.
Kotaku is following up with Dwango to confirm and will update this story should the company comment.
UPDATE: A PR spokesperson told Kotaku that Dwango did not take over Studio Ghibli, and that the company has "no intention of doing so."
To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter @Brian_Ashcraft.
Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.