The Edition

Latest

Coronavirus interrupts world's longest-running cartoon

11 May 2020, MVT 16:05
This handout received on May 11, 2020 from the Hasagawa Michiko Art Museum in Tokyo shows an image from the "Sazae-san" TV cartoon series, with the character Sazae-san (2nd L) and her family in front of their house. - Production of the world's longest-running cartoon "Sazae-san" and a mainstay of the Japanese weekend has been interrupted by the COVID-19 coronavirus, forcing the broadcast by Fuji Television Network of re-runs for the first time in decades. (Photo by Handout / HASEGAWA MICHIKO ART MUSEUM / AFP) / -----EDITORS NOTE --- RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / HASEGAWA MICHIKO ART MUSEUM" - NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS - NO ARCHIVES MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION - TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION /
11 May 2020, MVT 16:05

Production of the world's longest-running cartoon and a mainstay of the Japanese weekend has been interrupted by the coronavirus, forcing the broadcast of re-runs for the first time in decades.

"Sazae-san", which first aired in 1969, revolves around the life of Mrs Sazae, a cheerful but klutzy full-time housewife who lives with her parents, husband, son, brother and sister.

The 30-minute episodes aired Sunday nights are very popular, and for many in Japan have come to denote the end of the weekend.

But the cartoon, recognised as the longest-running animated TV series by Guinness World Records, has been hampered by the outbreak of the virus, with animation dubbing halted to keep staff safe, broadcaster Fuji Television Network said.

"We will halt broadcast of new episodes of 'Sazae-san' for the time being from May 17 and instead air re-runs," it announced on Sunday.

The network said upcoming broadcasts would be episodes from two years ago, adding it would announce a date for the resumption of new episodes as soon as possible.

It is the first time the network has been forced to air re-runs since 1975, when the economic effects of an earlier oil crisis lingered.

Japan has seen a comparatively small coronavirus outbreak with nearly 15,800 infections and 621 deaths.

The country is under a state of emergency that was extended last week until the end of May, though the government is considering lifting the measures early in parts of the country.

Tokyo, Japan | AFP

MORE ON ENTERTAINMENT