Tear Studio, The animation studio behind Fragtime, Why the Hell are You Here, Teacher!?, and The Royal Tutor, has suddenly disappeared. The situation came into public view after artist Gen Sato, who worked freelance for the studio, took to Twitter to say that the studio isn’t picking up his calls, he cannot contact them at all, and their website and Twitter page have disappeared. Worst of all is that he hasn’t been paid yet.

Sato tried contacting the studio via their official website, but it only gave him this “friendly” 404 error message:

Other news sites within Japan tried contacting the studio when Sato broke the news. Unfortunately, none have been able to contact them at all. Even the distributors of their latest anime, Fragtime, aren’t able to contact Next Batters School, the company that owns Tear Studio. The anime, which is currently screening in Japanese theaters, announced via their official website that they are currently contacting the parent company and will continue to try to contact their representatives to know what is happening. Here’s their announcement:

Since last week, there has been a lot of talk on the Internet and social media about Tear Studio, the studio that produced the theatrical OVA anime Fragtime.

We have a need to understand the situation, and for some time we have been attempting to secure a statement from Next Batters Circle’s representatives, but we remain unable to make contact with them.

In order to achieve an accurate grasp of the situation, we will be continuing to attempt to contact Next Batters Circle’s representatives in order to request a statement.

Studios that produce the anime don’t necessarily own the anime that they make. Sometimes, it’s the distributor or the production committee that owns the anime’s rights. In this case, for Frag Time, it’s the Frag Time Production Committee. Unfortunately, as their website revealed, even they could not contact the studio.

In the meantime, several freelance animators who have worked for the studio have revealed that they haven’t been paid yet as well. However, some have reported being paid already, probably before the studio suddenly vanished. Those unpaid animators, including Sato, are considering to file a class-action against the studio.

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sources: IT MediaTear Studio official websiteFragtime official website via Sora News 24

 

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