Anime & Manga News

Bankruptcy of Animation Studio Manglobe Rumored [Update 10/1]

by arsonal
Sep 30, 2015 8:36 AM | 254 Comments
Rumors are circulating pointing to the bankruptcy of animation studio Manglobe. They originated from a series of tweets by animation director Snipes (also known as Toshio Kobayashi), some of which have since been deleted.

The tweets by Snipes mentioned the studio's bankruptcy, resulting in his sudden unemployment and unpaid salary. He had been working on Manglobe's upcoming film Gyakusatsu Kikan, an adaptation of the novel by Keikaku Itou. That film is scheduled for release on November 13, 2015.

Scriptwriter Shigeru Morita and animation director Hideto Komori also wrote tweets expressing concern. While neither mentioned Manglobe specifically, Komori has worked at the studio for more than 10 years as an animator and indicated that a certain website has gone inactive. Manglobe's official website currently returns a 403 Forbidden error.

Manglobe was founded in 2002 by former Sunrise producers Shinichirou Kobayashi and Takashi Kouchiyama. In its early years, the studio became known for its original works, such as Samurai Champloo (2004), Ergo Proxy (2006), and Michiko to Hatchin (2008).

With the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008, Manglobe ceased production of original anime. In 2009, it followed the rising trend of light novel adaptations and produced Seiken no Blacksmith. It continued animating adaptations and did not produce another original anime until Samurai Flamenco in 2013.

Further tweets by Hiyori Akishino, who worked as a prop designer for Manglobe's adaptation of Hayate no Gotoku! Can't Take My Eyes Off You (2012) and Hayate no Gotoku! Cuties (2013), raised concerns about the studio's work. Akishino claims that her team was treated poorly during the production of both series and was not compensated with the proceeds from the English localization.

After a quiet 2014, the studio published job openings for the positions of production desk and production assistant in March 2015. Manglobe's most recent TV anime work, Gangsta., ended broadcast last week.

Source: Kai-You, Hachima Kikou, Yaraon


Update October 1
Anime! Anime! Biz has confirmed that Manglobe entered bankruptcy proceedings on September 29. The report indicates that the studio had been insolvent for some time, and it had considered options such as debt consolidation before deciding to file for bankruptcy in court.

Animation work had been continuing up until the studio filed for bankruptcy, including production on Gyakusatsu Kikan. No specific plans were announced, but reassigning work on the film to another company will likely result in an adjustment of schedules.

The report also predicts that Manglobe's bankruptcy will likely cause a stir in the anime industry. Although the number of works produced domestically continues to increase, it has become more difficult to find a primary contractor for animation production. Production staff and animators are becoming limited, and production schedules often collapse. There have been instances where actual production costs exceeded the original budget.

Teikoku Databank reports that Manglobe's revenue for calendar year 2013 was 1,017 million yen. However, that figure fell by more than one-half to 460 million yen in 2014 as a result of competition within the industry. Cash flow has remained tight this year, and business was not predicted to improve. The studio is estimated to have a debt of 350 million yen.

Source: Anime! Anime! Biz, Teikoku Databank

20 of 254 Comments Recent Comments

The World Manglobe Only Knows.

Oct 10, 2015 9:46 PM by ezaya

Feniksrises said:
ios said:


hey any amount of money is better than nothing


True but it won't do much. Better import a Japanese box set every year from a studio you really support, but that is just my advice.


It's true that it won't help much, but it's better than nothing. Plenty of people just watch on kissanime or download and wouldn't even care about paying at all. Got asked before why I even bother to sub when I could watch it for free. Well, I'm sure a true fan would want to buy and support the anime studio as much as they can. However, the cost of DVDs/Blu-rays are crazy expensive (at least to me and probably to a lot others), so sub on crunchyroll is an alternative. Even buying DVD/Blu-ray from Funimation etc, seems to not be enought for the like you people who complains that people don't support enough. Also, I wanna point out that most people who import would import series that are already popular than suuport the underrated series. Admitt it, it's all down to the japanese audience to decided, not us.

Oct 9, 2015 6:09 AM by Mimiko

Hongu said:
They have not produced anything of more than average quality or relevance in years.
.


That's your opinion. Saraiya Goyou (House of Five Leaves). One of the most criminally underrated masterpieces of recent years. I'm surprised people know ergo proxy and MtH but have not seen Saraiya Goyou. Its easily Manglobe's top 5.

Oct 7, 2015 2:13 AM by koreye

damn...the studio responsible for some of my most favorite anime (Samurai Champloo, House of Five Leaves) and other very memorable works (Mitchiko to Hatchin, Ergo Proxy). Three of these (Five leaves, Ergo proxy and MtH) are among the most criminally overlooked works that I've been thinking of revisiting lately.

Damn.

Thats just sad.

Oct 7, 2015 2:09 AM by koreye

Red_Tuesday said:
(The following are all assumptions based on how western video game industry is)

>Publishers not taking chances on anime originals


When a lot of them don't sell, and it's easier to make a cheap buck of an existing franchise, can you blame them?

>Writers bypass the anime industry entirely and spit out LNs instead, and just wait by the phone for the inevitable production committee to make an offer to adapt their doodles after they sell a million copies


You still need writers for those scripts, so something about this doesn't add up.

>Studios bust deadlines because of lack of writing, series compo and storyboard staff - even for said LN adaptations


Also, incompetent, meddling, or lazy directors, writers or animators who can't stick to deadlines, and maybe even outside sources.

>Studios start going bankrupt due to fines from the publishers and networks.


I'm not sure if they even get fined at all. Pretty sure the network doesn't really give a shit; they've already been paid and could easily put in something else in that timeslot if they so choose.

Publishers, in all entertainment, are an evil that must be purged. The Japanese will soon discover the concept of indie publishing and more anime will become ONA releases.


As long as indie works aren't profitable (yet) to become the norm (if they even get proper funding at all), expect this to take a while. The production committee system is seriously flawed, but right now, it's the only thing that has been proven to work – to a certain degree, anyway.

It's like making music: producing your albums yourself is fine and all, and will definitely ensure you reap almost all of the benefits from it, but you're paying all of it out of your own pocket first, and you may never reach the professional standard you get when signed through a label, simply because hiring a good producer and studio to record your album in is too damn costly. Also, who's to say it will even catch on at all? If it doesn't sell, that's a lot of money you can never recover again.

Oct 6, 2015 11:09 AM by AO968

Red_Tuesday said:
(The following are all assumptions based on how western video game industry is)

>Publishers not taking chances on anime originals

>Writers bypass the anime industry entirely and spit out LNs instead, and just wait by the phone for the inevitable production committee to make an offer to adapt their doodles after they sell a million copies

>Studios bust deadlines because of lack of writing, series compo and storyboard staff - even for said LN adaptations

>Studios start going bankrupt due to fines from the publishers and networks.



Publishers, in all entertainment, are an evil that must be purged. The Japanese will soon discover the concept of indie publishing and more anime will become ONA releases.



ona suck mostly


and overall Japanese indie game devs are more personal than there western counter parts hell im even personal friends with a few

how many wsetern indie game can like go for a beer or anything with the maker of there fave indie game


anime wil never be like this cuase anime industy outside of very few studios are not good places

Oct 6, 2015 2:54 AM by DateYutaka

(The following are all assumptions based on how western video game industry is)

>Publishers not taking chances on anime originals

>Writers bypass the anime industry entirely and spit out LNs instead, and just wait by the phone for the inevitable production committee to make an offer to adapt their doodles after they sell a million copies

>Studios bust deadlines because of lack of writing, series compo and storyboard staff - even for said LN adaptations

>Studios start going bankrupt due to fines from the publishers and networks.



Publishers, in all entertainment, are an evil that must be purged. The Japanese will soon discover the concept of indie publishing and more anime will become ONA releases.

Oct 6, 2015 2:50 AM by Red_Tuesday

Competition is too much. These are hard times to survive in this kind of business.

Oct 5, 2015 5:26 PM by Han-yuu

If anime disappears after some time. Streamers will be the angriest amongst everyone -_-

Oct 5, 2015 7:08 AM by Orionite_

ezaya said:
Ciro_Telles said:
End like main characters in Gangsta... Fall to SH*T...


Gonzo, Madhouse, Gainax, Ghibli and now Manglobe...

What's next? I think Ufotable ( The "new Gonzo", with super expansive productions ) will go to bankrupt!

"Anime is a mistake" when moe, fan-service and remakes is more lucrative than art...

But I believe in Manglobe survive, like Gonzo and Madhouse.


So even Madhouse WAS at bankruptcy state? Kinda surprised.


fixed it.

Oct 5, 2015 1:24 AM by Shinigami1992

Ciro_Telles said:
End like main characters in Gangsta... Fall to SH*T...


Gonzo, Madhouse, Gainax, Ghibli and now Manglobe...

What's next? I think Ufotable ( The "new Gonzo", with super expansive productions ) will go to bankrupt!

"Anime is a mistake" when moe, fan-service and remakes is more lucrative than art...

But I believe in Manglobe survive, like Gonzo and Madhouse.


So even Madhouse is at bankruptcy state? Kinda surprised.

Oct 4, 2015 11:06 PM by ezaya

Concurrency is indispensable. But this is just a good example what happens when concurrency becomes uncontrollable. When they inflate the bubble like that, such consequences are guaranteed. The crisis is what will fallow next and nobody can stop it now. It's unavoidable. And this case is only a first sign. The system is flawed and now basically everything is falling apart.

The only one I would blame is government, which didn't make necessary reforms while it could.
And that's not users fault.

Oct 4, 2015 7:11 AM by Yohimo_asakura

really sad news to hear despite the great shows they've made
if there is a next..i hope it's disney...jk

Oct 4, 2015 3:29 AM by rageiX

Feniksrises said:

True but it won't do much. Better import a Japanese box set every year from a studio you really support, but that is just my advice.

Every studio should open a patreon account :P

Oct 3, 2015 9:49 AM by ichii_1

Omg this is really shit, i really liked some of their shows like Samurai champloo.

If only i can support them in any way but i can't buy any shit.

Oct 3, 2015 9:31 AM by Riniee

ios said:
Feniksrises said:


Yeah people who think they "save anime" with a Crunchyroll sub are slightly deluded.


hey any amount of money is better than nothing


True but it won't do much. Better import a Japanese box set every year from a studio you really support, but that is just my advice.

Oct 3, 2015 4:30 AM by Feniksrises

Feniksrises said:
EvenJellyOn said:

Most of the viewers of Kissanime could do zero to nothing to save this studio. Paying funi or crunchy a bit a month mostly will just go to big name titles like AOT.


Yeah people who think they "save anime" with a Crunchyroll sub are slightly deluded.


hey any amount of money is better than nothing

Oct 3, 2015 4:20 AM by j0x

EvenJellyOn said:
Mapeek said:
With the amount of people streaming and downloading, I won't be surprised if we hear of another studio's demise.

Sustain the industry people.

Now if you'll excuse me, Kissanime is waiting.

Most of the viewers of Kissanime could do zero to nothing to save this studio. Paying funi or crunchy a bit a month mostly will just go to big name titles like AOT.


Yeah people who think they "save anime" with a Crunchyroll sub are slightly deluded.

Oct 3, 2015 4:18 AM by Feniksrises

Man, this is really sad... Hopefully Gansta bluray sales will bring in more $$ but with an ending like that, I'm not sure how many fans would be willing to support it...

Oct 3, 2015 3:58 AM by Yuki_Ookami

black1blade said:
Ufotable has made some of the best selling shows ever as far as BDs go.


And yet last few shows they did undersold and now they cant even finish God Eater, so never say never.

Oct 3, 2015 1:32 AM by Fai