mangalobe logo

Rumours of bankruptcy of Studio Manglobe, makers of Samurai Champloo, Michiko to Hatchin and recently concluded Gangsta are getting louder than ever.

One of the directors working with the studio, Toshio Kobayashi  also known as Snipes tweeted few entries before he deleted it. He mentions the studio is running out of money which caused his sudden unemployment and unpaid salary. The last project he did for the said studio is anime movie Genocidal Organ or Gyakusatsu Kikan, an adaptation of novel by Keikaku Itou. The movie is set for release on cinemas on 13 November this year.

Latest visual key
Latest visual key of Gangsta

Besides Snipes, scriptwriter Shigeru Morita and animation director Hideto Komori also expressed “concern” via their Twitter. Despite not mentioning Studio Manglobe directly, they are known to be working under the studio – the animation director being a 10 year veteran with Manglobe. He indirectly mentioned certain website going missing and  Manglobe’s site is currently returning Error 403 Forbidden right now.

Shigeru Morita’s sarcastic Tweet thanking Manglobe for going bankrupt – “Thank you very much for going belly up

Whereas Hideto Komori is desperate for another job and looks bewildered with the sudden development at the studio. His Twitter is full of despair and gloom as can be seen here. He is also seeking advice on recovering unpaid salary from the bankrupt company too.

A scene from Hayate no Gotoku
A scene from Hayate no Gotoku

Furthermore, Hiyori Akishino who is doing prop design for Manglobe’s production of Hayate no Gotoku! Can’t Take My Eyes Off You (2012) and Hayate no Gotoku! Cuties (2013) is raising more questions about the studio. She is claiming that her team is treated badly during the making of both series and not paid with the proceeds of English localization.

It is a sad ending as this studio produced some of the most memorable anime series like Samurai Champloo (2004), Ergo Proxy (2006) and Michiko to Hatchin (2008). The studio was founded by ex-Sunrise employees Shinichirou Kobayashi and Takashi Kouchiyama in 2002. Manglobe went quiet for the entire year of 2014 then jumped back into anime production with Gangsta this year.

The studio is entering bankruptcy proceedings now and it has disclosed that the studio has been insolvent for some time, as suspected by some pundits. All animation projects under the company has been continuing until 29 September and now probably will have to reassign to another studio which might cause delays in schedule. The biggest casualty is the Genocidal Organ anime movie. What’s more, the collapse of Studio Manglobe will cause a tsunami in the anime industry as primary contractors for anime project is getting less. This might leads to increasing rarity of production staff and animators that impacting the production schedules severely.

This is where production costs will shoot up and exceed the budget.