After much speculation, we are finally saying goodbye to anime studio, Production IMS. They filed for bankruptcy with the Tokyo District Court on September 21, and the court then moved the proceedings on on October 3. During the hearings, it was found that they are approximately 250 million yen in debt. And with the bankruptcy, the studio has now officially closed their doors.
They attributed the studio’s bankruptcy to rising production costs and the increase of payment for subcontractors. Stagnant sales and deteriorating cash flow are also huge factors as to why they lost a lot of money. They did try reconstructing and closed their Hikarigaoka Studio in Tokyo back in December 2017. However, it appears that this still wasn’t enough.
The closing of the studio has threatened the production of one of their upcoming projects, which is of course the High School Fleet (Haifuri) film. With the bankruptcy, no studio has yet come forward to take the project, and the studio itself hasn’t announced anything. The anime’s official website is still online, sparking hope for fans, as the studio’s own website closes.
The studio is best known for producing several anime, most notable Date A Live II and High School Fleet/Haifuri. They also produced Inari Kon Kon, Active Raid, and The Testament of Sister New Devil. Their most recent anime was the drinking anime Takunomi.
Despite getting larger and larger, anime is still a very risky business. Its current business model, which mostly relies on Blu-ray and DVD sales rather than TV broadcasts, has been quite disastrous for many animation studios. Simply put, if nobody buys your Blu-rays and DVD releases, then your anime is a failure. Previously, renowned animation studio, Manglobe, filed for bankruptcy as well. This just shows how tough it is to make it into the animation industry in Japan.
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Source: Tokyo Shoko Reserach