Anime studio touched by the kindness of a fan who grew up watching Ghibli movies. 

On 11 January, Studio Ghibli sent out an SOS on its Twitter account when the longtime electric eraser used by director Hayao Miyazaki stopped working.

The beloved object, a model called RADIC RE-14800, played an important role behind the scenes in the making of many a Ghibli film, but now it was no longer being made by the manufacturer.

According to the studio, the ideal solution would be to purchase the exact same model, and preferably a new one, but given its age and rarity, it seemed like a long-shot, meaning Miyazaki might have no other choice but to join the modern world of electric erasers and let go of his old-school ways.

▼ The original tweet from Studio Ghibli

Thankfully, though, a hero appeared, in the form of Sakura Color Products Corporation, or Sakura Craypas as they’re commonly known. The Japanese manufacturing company produces a range of stationery products, particularly art supplies like coloured crayons, pencils and pens, and they were keen to help Miyazaki find a replacement.

A staff member at the company started the search by pulling out an old catalogue, which revealed they had once stocked the exact model of electric eraser Miyazaki was looking for.

▼ The tool and its charging stand retailed for 7,350 yen (US$64.21) each.

This news gave Studio Ghibli a glimmer of hope, and they were quick to respond with:

Two days later, there was an update on the quest to find the rare eraser, when Sakura Craypas staff tweeted that they were heading out to the factory in the morning. Then, by the afternoon, they tweeted out this happy announcement:

▼ “Got it… Got it!! Ghibli!!!!”

When Sakura Craypas sent out the above tweet, showing the RADIC RE-14800 in a brand new box, Studio Ghibli responded just over an hour later with this message:

The message — which includes an image of Sophie from Howl’s Moving Castle, alongside the words ドキドキ (“doki doki”) to express the pounding of one’s heart with excitement — read:

“Wha…what! All the staff are surprised & impressed. You brought it out of the stockroom for us, didn’t you…arigatou gozaipasu. When we informed Miyazaki, he said ‘Thank you!’ so please allow us to buy it.”

Studio Ghibli’s excited message of thanks was made all the more heartwarming with their use of the phrase “arigatou gozaipasu”. This really means “arigatou gozaimasu” (“thank you”), but swaps out the “masu” for “pasu”, which is something Sakura Craypas commonly does in its tweets, as a cute way of inserting the “pasu” from “Craypas” into its messaging.

The heartening communication didn’t end there, though, as Sakura Craypas responded soon after with this message:

“Thank you very much for using our products for so many years! We would be honoured if this is even the slightest bit helpful for your future works. It’s a discontinued product, so please allow us to give it to you as a present from Sakura Craypas.”

Selling a product that’s been discontinued isn’t normal protocol for a company that prides itself on selling only the best products to customers, which is likely why Sakura Craypas offered to gift it to Studio Ghibli rater than sell it to them.

Still, four minutes later, Studio Ghibli responded with this:

“To the person in charge,
Don’t be ridiculous…we’re grateful to just be able to buy the discontinued product. Electric erasers are an indispensable tool so the sound of electric erasers always echoes around our studio. One of our staff will send an email to your company info email.  
Thank you. 

And the response from Craypas:

“Oh wow. We’re so happy for you to describe it as an indispensable tool. We can picture the scene with the sound of electric erasers echoing (so warm and cosy). We look forward to hearing from you.”

Then, at 6:04 p.m., a little under three hours since Sakura Craypas tweeted their initial tweet about the product, Studio Ghibli ended their public conversation with:

“Arigatou gozaipasu.”

People online were touched by the Ghibli magic they witnessed online, which played out like a happy ending to a Studio Ghibli film, saying:

“This exchange between Studio Ghibli and Craypas is so wholesome it’s totally touched my heart!”
“The mutual appreciation these two companies have for each other is so wonderful!”
“God-like work from Craypas!”
“Studio Ghibli should adapt this into a film!”
“I don’t know why but this has got me all emotional!”
“I”m so glad this story got its happy ending!”
“Such an amazing story — arigatou gozaipasu!”

A lot of people in Japan grow up using Sakura Craypas pencils from a very young age, so to see the beloved brand from their childhood step in to help save the day for an equally beloved animation studio made this happy ending even more emotional.

A day later, the person behind the tweets at Sakura Craypas added some more heartwarming background to the story, explaining why it meant so much to them to be able to help the animation studio.

“I grew up watching Ghibli [movies]. I have great memories of wanting to look like Kiki [from Kiki’s Delivery Service] when I was little, and my mum went out of her way to find me a long dark blue dress and take photos of me in a full outfit. And last week, when I saw Spirited Away [on TV], I thought I had to go to and see it on stage. I’m so glad to be on Twitter.”

It certainly is heartwarming to know the tale of Miyazaki’s broken-down eraser has ended on a happy note. Hopefully the new replacement lasts the director for years to come, and hopefully — fingers crossed — we’ll now see an electric eraser or Sakura Craypas’ famous sakura logo hiding like an Easter egg in Miyazaki’s upcoming film!

Source: Twitter/@1921_SAKURA via Net Lab
Featured image: SoraNews24
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