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“Sazae-san”, the animated series that holds the world record for longevity, suspended due to the Covid-19

“Sazae-san” holds the world longevity record for an ongoing animated series. HANDOUT / AFP

Since 1969, it has been a cult appointment for the Japanese on Sunday on television on Fuji TV. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which is disrupting animation studios and dubbing crews, viewers will have to be content to rerun old episodes for a few weeks, and starting May 17. This had not happened in forty-five years, a TV spokeswoman told the Reuters news agency: in 1975, the blame was on the long-term effects of the oil crisis.

The dubbing of the series, which generally requires collective gatherings, has been stopped for the safety of the team, explains the Fuji TV channel. This is not an isolated case: several programs, including animation content, have been suspended or postponed in recent weeks.

Read also Postponements, cancellations … The Japanese manga and animation industry turned upside down by the pandemic

The adventures of Sazae-san, broadcast weekly in episodes lasting around 30 minutes, tell the story of the ups and downs of Sazae Isono, a young mother living in her large family. Offered on television since 1969 and to date with more than 2,500 episodes, Sazae-san was recognized in 2013 by the Guinness Guide to Records as the longest running animated series in the world, title previously held by The Simpsons, according to Japan Times.

Before being a mainstream animated series, Sazae-san was especially one of the first successes of the manga of the immediate post-war period. Created by designer Machiko Hasegawa, a pioneer woman in Japanese comics who disappeared in 1992, this humorous strip on four boxes (called yonkoma), was published in 1946 in a local newspaper before being picked up by the prestigious daily Asahi Shimbun three years later. Sazae Isono is one of the most famous and popular fictional characters in Japan.

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