Azumi Inoue, who performed the main theme song for Studio Ghibli’s My Neighbor Totoro, canceled her 40th anniversary concert to focus on recovering from major surgery.
The original Inoue 40th Anniversary Concert will be held on August 26 at Nakano Zero Hall in Tokyo. Originally reported by Oricon and Anime News Network, Inoue announced on her official website that she had to cancel due to emergency surgery due to a sudden brain hemorrhage that occurred during rehearsal. Inoue’s husband, Kosuke Imao, who is also a representative of Inoue’s management company, DoReMi, apologized on behalf of the singer and announced that he would refund the ticket. Inoue’s website later informed fans that the surgery was a success and that Inoue will undergo both rehabilitation and follow-up during recovery.
Azumi Inoue made her professional debut in 1983. In addition to My Neighbor Totoro, she performed the theme songs for Castle in the Sky (1986) and Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989). Castle in the Sky follows the journey of Pazu and Sheeta as they uncover the mysteries behind the legendary floating island called Laputa. Kiki’s Delivery Service is Ghibli’s famous coming-of-age story about a 13-year-old witch who sets out to find her place in the world. In addition to his work for Studio Ghibli, Inoue also performed the opening theme music for Nippon Animation’s Before Green Gables (1979) and Group TAC’s Yadamon television series.
Ghibli’s 1988 film My Neighbor Totoro follows two sisters, Satsuki and Mei, who move to rural Japan to be closer to their hospitalized mother. However, they soon discover that their new home is inhabited by friendly soot spirits and that the forest surrounding their house is the domain of a giant forest spirit named Totoro. Throughout the film, Satsuki and Mei share some memorable encounters with Totoro and his friends. The film premiered in North America in July 1990.
Studio Ghibli’s latest film, The Boy and the Heron, is currently in theaters in Japan. Set after World War II, the film follows a boy named Mahito Maki, whose mother was killed in a bombing in Tokyo. This tragic family upheaval took a huge toll on Mahito mentally. One day, the boy meets a talking heron in the forest, who promises to reunite the boy with his mother. When Mahito agrees, he is transported to a strange new world and must rely on his wits and courage to return home. The Boy and the Child Heron has dominated the Japanese box office since its debut, grossing the equivalent of $11.3 million in its opening weekend alone. As of August 14, the film has grossed over 6.23 billion yen ($42.8 million at the time) in Japanese cinemas.
Inoue’s management company announced that they will provide continuous updates on the singer’s health. My Neighbor Totoro, along with other Ghibli films, is now available to stream on Max.
Source: Oricon, via Anime News Network