TOKYO: Japanese animation powerhouse Studio Ghibli Inc.’s film titles will be removed from a Russian streaming service on Thursday, apparently as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Russian state-run news agency Tass has reported.
The report said the rights to distribute Ghibli films in Russia could not be renewed. The affected titles include “Spirited Away” and “My Neighbor Totoro,” both directed by Hayao Miyazaki.
Until Wednesday, Russian streaming service Kinopoisk is discounting Ghibli titles to 1 ruble each, or about 2 yen, to allow users to bid farewell to the titles.
Kinopoisk says on its website that even if the films disappear, they will remain in your heart forever.
After Russia began its aggression against Ukraine, US film companies including Walt Disney Co. suspended theatrical releases in Russia.
However, a pirated version of the sequel to the US movie “Avatar” were openly screened in Russian theaters last winter using data obtained via a third country. Pirated titles, including anime, are also widely available online in Russia.