Hayao Miyazaki Creates Coronavirus Character For Studio Ghibli’s New Year’s Greeting

We’ve seen all kinds of strange and quirky things come out from Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli, but nothing could top what appeared in the studio’s official New Year’s greeting.

In a tweet from Studio Ghibli’s newly opened Twitter account, an illustration of an ox, in honour of 2021 being the Year of the Ox in the lunar calendar, was depicted with one of its hooves pinning down a spiky-looking masked purple character which appears to be Miyazaki’s rendering of the coronavirus.

The following message accompanied the cheeky illustration:

“We would like to extend our sincere greetings to all of you, and thank you for always supporting Studio Ghibli.

The global coronavirus pandemic, which has been ongoing since last year, is yet to show signs of ending. There will be many people celebrating the New Year differently from usual years. Above all, medical professionals will be devoted to treating infected patients, regardless of it being the end-of-year holiday period. To them, we would like to express our deepest respect and profound gratitude.

Last year, for Studio Ghibli, we had more opportunities than usual to interact with everyone, through the TV broadcast of Goro Miyazaki’s latest work, ‘Earwig and the Witch’, the re-screening of four works including ‘Spirited Away’, the free distribution of still images, and full-scale digital distribution worldwide. In a world where we continue to practice self-restraint due to coronavirus, we hope we were able to make you all smile, even if only a little bit.

In 2021, Studio Ghibli will begin work on Tuesday, 5 January. In fact, on this day, Hayao Miyazaki will celebrate his 80th birthday. Director Miyazaki is still fine and is working on production of the new movie ‘How Do You Live?’ every day.

Thank you for your continued support of Studio Ghibli and Studio Ghibli works this year.

Here’s hoping that 2021 will be a good year for Studio Ghibli and everyone else out there, and remember to always stay safe and be socially responsible!