Home Anime Studio Gainax Declares Bankruptcy

Anime Studio Gainax Declares Bankruptcy

The legendary Gainax anime studio announced bankruptcy earlier today. The studio filed on May 29 and Tokyo District Court accepted earlier this month. Gainax was founded by Hideaki Anno, Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, Hiroyuki Yamaga, Takami Akai, Toshio Okada, Yasuhiro Takeda, and Shinji Higuchi in 1984. Anno left the company in 2007 after starting a new studio, Khara, but remained on as a shareholder. The official statement by Gainax lists debt and bad management for the bankruptcy:

Due to the large amount of debt created by the executives, we fell into a difficult situation, such as being expelled from the committee for non-payment of royalties and being sued for loans. Many affiliated companies bearing the name Gainax were established in local areas, represented by the executives and their associates, resulting in a large number of resignations and the loss of our animation production function as a studio. These companies have declared that they are not related to our company and have abandoned their management responsibilities.
In 2018, the company’s representative director, who had held the position since 1992, transferred shares to a person with no knowledge of video production, with the approval of the management at the time. In 2019, that person was arrested for sexual assault on a minor and the company lost its ability to operate completely while saddled with a large amount of debt.

Former Gainax CEO Tomohiro Maki was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison in 2020 for indecent acts: he harassed an aspiring voice actress and assaulted her. The statement goes on to say that following the incident the studio worked on revamping the management team but in the process discovered a number of financial irregularities. They have been unable to resolve the large amount of debt that accumulated under the previous system as many members of the former management team are also shareholders. They cooperated with Khara, directors, creators, and cooperating companies to resolve the intellectual property rights and rights of writers and creators so that works can still exist and be operated through production committees. However, they were sued in May for the debt they collected and ultimately decided it would be difficult to continue operating as a company. Gainax’s Representative Director Yasuhiro Kamimura apologized to the fans, companies that cooperated with the studio, and creditors for choosing bankruptcy after failing to achieve goals.

Anno’s Khara also issued a statement, available both in Japanese and English, on its website. The statement confirms that Gainax is working on the transfer of intellectual rights so that creators can continue to work. The statement also reveals that Anno asked KADOKAWA, King Records, and Trigger to cooperate and prevent “reputational damage to the Evangelion series and other related works” and assisted with the management revamp by having representatives from each company serve as directors. The goal was to at the very least, resolve unpaid payments to studios and creators, but to also prevent the loss of IP and other internal documentation.

Studio Khara revealed that the Gainax trademark is in safe hands:
Finally, we are very sad that an animation studio with a history of nearly 40 years has come to an end like this. As for the GAINAX trademark and title, as stated in the release from GAINAX, we have acquired and are managing it ourselves.

In addition, the Khara statement highlights that Gainax is a separate legal entity from similarly-named companies such as “Gaina Co., Ltd. (Studio Gaina)” and “Fukushima Gaina” (both of which were formerly known as “Fukushima Gainax”), “Gainax International,” “GAINAX Kyoto,” “Yonago Gainax,” “Gainax Niigata Co., Ltd.” and “GAINAX WEST.” There are no trademark license agreements between the company and the above companies. 

Studio Gainax

Originally founded on December 24, 1984, Gainax soon became one of the best-known anime studios of all time. Their first hit was the iconic Neon Genesis Evangelion TV anime that spawned an entire franchise of movies, games, and other related works. Gainax is also known for FLCL, Gurren Lagann, Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, and many more titles but their biggest contributions are the creative minds given to the anime industry.

The company spawned three “successors”: the abovementioned Khara, Studio Trigger, and Gaina (now a subsidiary of Kinoshita Group). Gainax’s last animated titles were the Wish Upon the Pleiades TV anime and Masamune Datenicle web anime (co-produced with Gaina). The studio canceled the planned three-part adaptation of late Leiji Matsumoto’s Zero Century, initially announced at the Japan Expo in 2017.

Source: Gainax – Bankruptcy Announcement, Studio Khara

You may also like

The comments are temporarily unavailable for maintenance.