Sazae-san Anime to Lose Main Sponsor Toshiba After 48 Years
Electronics manufacturer Toshiba contacted the staff of the long-running television anime Sazae-san to end its sponsorship of the anime, which it plans to do as early as the end of next March. Toshiba 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.
Plastic surgeon Katsuya Takasu confirmed reports that his Takasu Clinic chain has begun negotiating with Dentsu and Fuji TV to replace Toshiba as a sponsor. Takasu Clinic already ran commercials for another anime based on family manga centering around the mother, Kaasan – Mom’s Life. Takasu is the domestic partner of Kaasan – Mom’s Life manga creator Rieko Saibara.
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.