Japanese publishing giant Kadokawa, maker of popular anime titles such as Sword Art Online, Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation and Suzume, has announced that it will launch an in-house anime studio.
Kadokawa made the announcement in Animation Business Magazine, saying that the company will emphasize animation in future business expansion, including establishing a “new 100% owned studio” and “ invest more than ever in production.” The company also recognized the lack of studios and human resources in the anime industry and said it would work to merge with other companies and create deeper alliances.
What does Kadokawa’s new studio mean for future anime titles?
Kadokawa’s central goal is to secure all intellectual property rights of its upcoming media brands to maximize profits. The company currently invests in more than 40 anime titles, including My Happy Wedding and Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai, but only five of them are produced entirely within the Kadokawa system. The company aims to increase this number to 20.
In addition to the new studio, Kadokawa has outlined a number of goals to increase the IP value of its upcoming titles. One notable goal is the plan to increase the length of new anime series both in terms of episodes per season and number of seasons. This will be a welcome change for fans of one-season wonders like Ouran Host Club, Yona of the Dawn and (pending) Yuri!! On Ice, which hasn’t been closed yet, has a lot of untapped potential.
Kadokawa also announced that they will implement an aggressive strategy to expand international distribution. To have an in-house studio, this could mean that at least some of these upcoming anime will cater to Western audiences. This could mean there are differences in animation style, marketing, character design, and other aspects of the series.
Kadokawa has long held a position in manga, anime and video game production, among other ventures, but they are gradually making moves to gain a stronger position in the anime industry. , especially the acquisition of Anime News Network in 2022. Building an in-house studio was not unforeseen but is still a big venture for the company. However, Kadokawa has proven successful in several of his production projects and holds some impressive titles. It remains to be seen whether the company’s new studio will be successful, but it could certainly have a big impact on the popularity of anime titles in the future.
Source: Animation Business Magazine