Anime News: Gainax Studio filed for bankruptcy. Extra comments from Khara Inc.

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End of a legend

Today, 7th June 2024, Tokyo District Court has accepted Studio Gainax’s petition for corporate bankruptcy – filed on May 29, 2012. Gainax was established in 1984 and have been involved in the production of many iconic animes and games such as Neon Genesis Evangelion, Gunbuster, Gurren Lagann, Nadia – Secrets of Blue Water and many more.

However, in 2012, the company’s management and executives have been abusing their power to operate the company as their own private property, investing in failed endeavours such as restaurants, graphics companies and providing unsecured loans to executives. The disastrous financial decision have led to a massive debt that the company have no ability no resolve.

With the dire situation, Director Hideaki Anno – who has separated from Gainax since 2007 and formed his own studio Khara Inc – along with other ex-Gainax employees in Trigger Studio, in cooperation with Kadokawa and King Records, have been working to revamp Gainax’s management team and trying to salvage the studio so as not to damage the reputation of their works. However, many high-ranking executives who still remained had borrowed too much money from financial instituions and in May 2024, a debt collection company has filed a lawsuit against Gainax. And they have no choice but to shut it down. Their last statement thank everyone for their support for the past 40 years.

In light of this announcement, Khara Inc also shared their perspective. Hideaki Anno – founder of Khara – have been a shareholder of Gainax since 2007, and have been working tirelessly with many others to salvage Gainax. Khara Inc even shouldered some debt from Gainax, but with the extravagant amount of money involved, full repayment was impossible. They have been working with our partners to revamp Gainax’s management team, understand the internal situation at GAINAX, resolve outstanding payments to studios, artists, and creators in the animation industry, and prevent the dissipation of intellectual property and other materials.

Director Anno and Khara expressed their gratitude to the new board of directors who helped in the liquidation and transfer of intellectual property process. And they expressed their regret that a studio with such a rich history like Gainax have met such an end.

In addition, the term “GAINAX Corporation” includes GAINAX Corporation (Studio GAINAX) and Fukushima GAINAX (formerly Fukushima GAINAX), GAINAX International, GAINAX Kyoto, Yonago GAINAX, GAINAX Niigata, Inc. GAINAX Niigata”, ‘GAINAX WEST’, etc., are different legal entities from the same company, and there is no trademark license agreement between them and above-mentioned similar companies.

Studio Gainax was known for the revolutionary Neon Genesis Evangelion, as well as many other beloved animes such as Gunbuster, Diebuster, FLCL, Gurren Lagann and much more. However, even during the production of Evangelion, they have run into financial trouble with the budget. But Evangelion had been a massive success, and the financial asset it brought have made the management team complacent. Many talents couldn’t handle the recklessness of the executives and have left – including Hideaki Anno and Hiroyuki Imaishi who formed Khara Inc and Trigger Studio respectively.

Gainax even borrowed money from Anno/Khara for a total of 100 million yen. Anno had accepted the loan in exchange for the rights to handling the merchandise and royalties of Evangelion to Khara. You can check the details here. Furthermore, Gainax president Takeshi Sawamura was arrest in for tax fraud in 1999, and its representative Tomohiro Maki was arrested for sexual assault in 2019.

Reference link:
– Gainax’s statement:
– Khara’s statement: