Take a moment to remember the Samurai who smells of Sunflowers, because the animation studio responsible for Samurai Champloo is filing for bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy has hit one popular animation studio. They happen to be the studio responsible for increasingly popular anime series like Samurai Champloo. Manglobe, the animation studio responsible for hits like Samurai Champloo and Gangsta, has started the paperwork for bankruptcy.
AnimeAnime.biz reports that Manglobe has started the process for filing bankruptcy this week. Manglobe was formed on February 7, 2002 by producers Shinichirō Kobayashi and Takashi Kochiyama. Manglobe started its production catalogue with the hit anime Samurai Champloo. On September 30, 2015, the studio filed for bankruptcy and removed its website. Speculation began on Tuesday as reports of bankruptcy filings were announced. Reports came while the company remained in a stale state of “insolvency.” It did not have many large projects in production. However, the unfortunate news is reported to have caught many fans and creators off guard. One contractor for the company tweeted his surprise as the news was announced.
Samurai Champloo is set in an alternate reality of Edo-Japan within a hip-hop setting. According to Manglobe’s description of the series:
“Mugen’s a buck wild warrior: violent, thoughtless and womanizing. Jin is a vagrant ronin: mysterious, traditional, well-mannered and very strong. These two fiercely independent warriors couldn’t be more different from one another, yet their paths cross when Fuu, a ditzy waitress, saves them from being executed when they are arrested after a violent swordfight. Fuu convinces the two vagrant young men to help her find a mysterious samurai “who smells of sunflowers.” And their journey begins.”
The visual effects and animation industry seems to be a tough business to thrive in. The constant demand for compelling content and sales can, apparently, drive a company thin. There is a mood of uncertainty for animation studios who operate in a world where content is easily accessible. Streaming services like Netflix and Hulu can only do much to drive content to the fans. Things get tricky, when views and popularity do not meet equate to financial goals. Finances can put production studios or companies in a tough bind. Animation studios, like Manglobe, are not the only ones who see bankruptcy as viable option. In fact, bankruptcy is becoming a more common occurrence within the industry. It was not long ago that the visual effects company, Rhythm & Hues, was in rough water not long after working on the movie, Life of Pi. Check out the visuals effects in the trailer below.
It is a tough job, but somebody has to do it. Hopefully, things work out for the best with our creative friends at Manglobe. What is your favorite Manglobe anime? Let us know in the comments below.
Tony is an actor, gamer, nerd defender, and dragon zapper. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing for TV, Film, Animation & Games.