The goal of MAPPA (Attack on Titan, Jujutsu Kaisen) is to match the quality of Kyoto Animation (KyoAni) and ufotable causes anime fans to demand better working conditions for the studio’s animators.
Kyoto Animation (Clannad, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya) and ufotable (Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Fate/Stay Night) are among the most prestigious animation studios in Japan, continuously producing high-quality works attracts a large number of fans. As detailed on Japanese entertainment site Natalie, MAPPA representative director Manabu Otsuka recently outlined a competitive strategy for his studio: “It will be difficult to catch up with Kyoto Animation and ufotable within a period of time. time is short…so I thought about how I could catch up.” can join the race with top studios in the shortest time possible by producing a lot and gaining experience while maintaining top quality.” Otsuka explains how this decision was influenced by the release of In This Corner of the World in 2016, which received high praise for the studio but low financial returns.
Although Otsuka was grateful for giving MAPPA a prestigious title, he also felt that, to properly compete with its contemporaries, MAPPA would have to take on more projects while pouring capital into other resources to generate profits. “The amount of money that went into the studio when we signed on to do production work was simply very small,” Otsuka explains. “When I say low, I mean the amount of money poured into the studio is very small compared to the business scale of the entire production… our income is very small, if we don’t improve this, we feel that we wouldn’t be able to survive as a company and thrive. So from 2016 onwards, we will continue to produce anime while focusing on production conditions that will bring in more money for the studio.”
An anime-focused X (Twitter) account called Manga Mogura RE shared Otsuka’s statement with their followers, who were quick to point out that KyoAni typically only produces one or two anime series per year. Speaking to Otsuka, SeoeuN (or @seouena) stated: “you won’t catch up with KyoAni or ufotable if you continue to treat your employees poorly with a tight schedule. We just need a few anime with a healthy production process, not overlapping with other anime.” This argument was echoed by many others in the thread, including Akasmik, who also drew attention to MAPPA’s past pay controversies, saying “Kyo Ani treats employees well.” members with salaried positions.”
Overall, the vast majority of commentators seem to reject MAPPA’s seemingly blasphemous attitude toward anime production, feeling that it is unreasonable to expect animators to produce quality work. high every year, especially when there are no suitable working conditions. Emka (@Deformed Monkey) argued that it is “crazy” to expect its employees to meet KyoAni’s standards when they are constantly mistreated by their employers. Other observers, like @BeyondH54335672, assert that reaching KyoAni’s level is “impossible” because their work has a unique quality and style that other studios cannot imitate. .
So far, MAPPA seems to be having trouble appeasing its audience. Last month, fans of Jujutsu Kaisen on X heavily criticized Season 2, Episode 14 for its poor animation. Hokuto Sadamoto, an animation staff member who worked on this episode, issued a sincere apology to the series’ fanbase after news of his involvement leaked online. However, many viewers blamed MAPPA itself rather than the animation team. Sadamoto claimed that he had only two weeks to create 250 animation clips for the episode—a huge amount of work for an animator. This anecdote is consistent with previous allegations from members of Attack on Titan’s animation team, who similarly claimed that MAPPA imposed “unhealthy” working conditions on employees.
Source: Natalie, X (formerly Twitter)