GAINAX finally declares bankruptcy

GAINAX, one of the most influential anime studios in history, has declared bankruptcy after nearly 40 years of work.

Founded on Christmas Eve 1984, a statement (in Japanese only) released by the company revealed that on 29th May 2024 they had filed a petition for bankruptcy with the Tokyo District Court, with the company’s trademark being transferred to Studio Khara, a rival company created by GAINAX founder Hideaki Anno.

GAINAX is noted for creating some of most famous and critically acclaimed anime ever, debuting with the 1987 film Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise. The company also produced Appleseed, Otaku no Video, Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water and FLCL; but they will no doubt be most fondly remembered for their three classic series in the mecha genre: Gunbuster, Neon Genesis Evangelion and Gurren Lagann.

However, the company has suffered for many years. In 2016, the company was successfully sued by Anno and Khara over unpaid royalties. In 2019, the company’s representative director Tomohiro Maki was arrested over indecent acts involving an aspiring voice actress. The following year, he was found guilty of his crimes and sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison.

Several of the company’s original founders had gone on to make their own anime studios and projects. Anno and Kahra created the Evangelion “Rebuild” series of films. Another former employee, Hiroyuki Imaishi, set up Studio Trigger, which has since gone on to create Kill la Kill, Little Witch Academia and Promare.

Ian Wolf

Ian works as an anime and manga critic for Anime UK News, and was also the manga critic for MyM Magazine. His debut book, CLAMPdown, about the manga collective CLAMP, is available now. Outside of anime, he is data specialist for the British Comedy Guide, is QI's most pedantic viewer, has written questions for both The Wall and Richard Osman's House of Games, and has been a contestant on Mastermind.

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