Neon Genesis Evangelion Asuka portada

Evangelion studio “Gainax” officially files for bankruptcy protection

The animation studio “Gainax“, which has brought us anime such as Neon Genesis Evangelion, has officially announced that it is in bankruptcy through its website. This is something that was declared before the Tokyo District Court on May 29 of this year, with the unfortunate news coming just a few months before the company’s 40th anniversary, which was celebrated in December.

The Gainax studio of anime such as Evangelion declares the sad news of its bankruptcy due to its financial situation.

Gainax Studio Animes

This Friday, Gainax studio, released this unfortunate news through a statement where they also explained that it was since 2012 that their financial situation began to worsen due to different circumstances. Among these are the management of a restaurant that did not meet projections, large loans to executives that were not insured, as well as managing the business as if it were a small business and not a large and important company. The company also stated that due to massive debts caused by management, they were removed from the production committee due to non-payment of royalties and was also sued for other situations.

Likewise, it was reported that during its time of worst financial situation, many affiliated companies were established under the name of Gainax, which led the studio to lose the ability to produce anime. These subsequently stated that they had no relationship with the main studio after the company claimed that these companies had relinquished their management responsibilities. Gainax’s statement also claimed that Tomohiro Maki, who had been at the helm of the company since 1992, transferred shares to a person who had “no knowledge of film production” in 2018, a move of which management approved at the time.

In December 2019, Maki was arrested for indecent acts, causing the company to completely lose its ability to operate, still saddled with a large amount of debt. In February 2020, Gainax renewed its management and together with studio Khara conducted a document review where they discovered a large amount of loans from financial institutions, defaults on debts to other animation studios. In addition to the sale and transfer of intellectual property and production materials to other companies and individuals without the authorization of the original permit holders.

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Both Gainax and Khara, in conjunction with other companies and production committees, worked to confirm the rights to the works and properly manage the intellectual property of the materials that had been dispersed. However, Gainax stated that it was unable to resolve the large amounts of debts and was subsequently sued by a class action company in May. For all of the above reasons, the company decided that it could not continue to operate and filed for bankruptcy.

Gainax remarked that they will be notified at a later date as to how they will handle the jobs they had been managing until now, after all the proceedings pertaining to their bankruptcy filing have been completed. Khara has now acquired the Gainax brand and will act as the brand manager, so it also made a statement regarding the acquisition of this animation studio.

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In Khara’s statement, they commented that they had been aware of Gainax’s mismanagement and debts for some time, and that both Gainax’s co-founder and Khara’s president, Hideaki Anno, had expressed their concern and made proposals to improve the company’s management, which were not accepted for a long time. Despite this, Khara continued to accept Gainax management’s proposals and provided them with loans in order to support them.

Khara stated that the situation of the animation studio continued to worsen and that following Maki’s arrest in 2019, Anno requested a collaboration between Kadokawa, King Records and studdio TRIGGER, to prevent damage to the reputation of Evangelion and other works. Representatives from those companies were assigned as board directors at Gainax and worked to try to understand the situation and resolve the issue of unpaid debts to studios, writers and creators from other animation studios. However, by the time this new team understood the situation, Gainax was already in a situation where its debts could not be resolved.

Khara said that to ensure that creators, original authors and writers can continue to manage and produce their works, in the future they are working together with Gainax and each production committee to confirm, organize and transfer rights to either the companies or individuals they consider to be the most suitable. Khara considered supporting Gainax to reduce their debts, but in the end they decided that it would not be possible to make sufficient repayments.

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