Mappa’s CEO, Manabu Otsuka, revealed in his recent interview with Toyo Keizai about their company’s goal to rebrand the anime industry by abolishing the existing bad norms.
One of the reasons why bad practices remain is that anime cannot make money due to production companies needing more profit.
MAPPA’s CEO Explains Struggles of Anime Studios
Maruyama Animation Produce Project Association (MAPPA) is a Japanese animation studio established on June 14, 2011. It is considered one of the fastest-growing production companies in the anime industry.
The studio has produced many well-known anime series, including Hajime no Ippo, Attack on Titan Final Season, Vinland Saga Season 2, and one of the most popular anime in 2020, Jujutsu Kaisen.
Mappa’s CEO, Otsuka, said that While production companies are generally subcontractors in the anime industry, TV stations and advertising companies are considered investors. This put production companies and creators in a “non-profiting” position.
Regardless of the risks and despite being a young company, MAPPA decided to jump the gun by investing 100% in the anime production of the popular manga “Chainsaw Man.”
“Anime production committees and other companies that own merchandise and distribution rights earn considerable profits, [and] production companies are the least profitable in the industry.”
“We have been focusing on making about 6 to 8 films a year, regardless of whether they are series or theatrical works. The production capacity and branding that we have cultivated in this way gave us the opportunity to work on anime adaptations of famous originals, which led to this 100% investment,”MAPPA President, Manabu Otsuka
However, while other production companies struggle to secure funds because of being “subcontractors,” MAPPA made this investment possible by turning the money they earned from the production of other anime into investments.
In his interview, the president stated that he does not intend to accomplish everything with 100% investment in the future, but the essential thing is to develop works on an equal footing (with other investors) through investment.
Mappa’s CEO on Chainsaw Man Blu-ray/DVDs Low Sales
Meanwhile, we previously published an article pointing out that Chainsaw Man had considerably lower physical copies sold on Amazon Japan than the other popular series of that season.
Bocchi the Rock!, Futoku no Guild, and The Eminence in Shadow had higher sales than Chainsaw Man. One reason was that Japanese fans didn’t like the direction of the anime, even creating a petition to remake Chainsaw Man with a different director.
Mappa’s CEO revealed that although Chainsaw Man was a financial success, he is unsatisfied with the amount of Blu-ray/DVD sales. He further said that Jujutsu Kaisen which he worked on recently, had more impact than Chainsaw Man.
Also Read: Jujutsu Kaisen Manga Translator Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison
Breaking Anime Industry’s Bad Customs
While answering to the question of why anime studios have given up on improving the profitability and production of the anime, Otsuka said that The issues of wages and production environment are not being forced on us by other companies; there are aspects that studios have created themselves.
He has been in this industry for almost 20 years, and there are still bad habits of affirming the status quo like ‘anime can’t make money’ or ‘anime is just like this’.
While that is one way of working, MAPPA, founded in 2011, don’t want to stifle its own potential. It’s good to have big dreams. We don’t want to despair over our situation and do nothing.
MAPPA Taking Risks
Every year, many companies join the anime production industry. Thus, the most important thing is creating a relevant and sufficient supply to meet the strong demand of anime production that keeps growing every year.
Nevertheless, President Otsuka believes that their company has yet to surpass the status of a medium-sized company despite the brand power of their works. He reiterated their difference from major companies, saying:
There is a big difference between major companies in the same entertainment world. Unless they understand the value of what they’re making and don’t develop a sense of how to increase that value and sell it themselves, production companies will end up being much smaller.
Despite all the achievements that MAPPA have attained, we are yet to find out if investing 100% in the production of an anime will eradicate the bad practices in the industry.
Source: Yahoo News