Gonzo Guts Anime Production Over Losses, Output to Halve

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Major anime producer GDH, under whose umbrella pantsu anime specialist Gonzo falls, is vowing to completely “streamline” its operations, currently making enormous losses, and restructure its anime production as part of the process.

Huge pay cuts for its bungling bosses, “transfers” of staff and sales of facilities, and a drastic change in focus are promised: “casual” anime is to be a major production focus for the eviscerated company.

Most notably of all, they plan to halve the number of titles produced by their group each year, from 8 to 4, though they appear to be planning to maintain output at 8 by outsourcing production.

The announcement comes by way of their investor relations department, with the report mincing no words even in its title: “A Notification of Decisive Restructuring and the Provision of a Growth Strategy”.

These measures are prompted by two quarters of losses and insolvency, with the plan coming in with a bailout from investment funds.

Naturally, external factors are blamed for the wretched performance of the company: poor market conditions and lacklustre DVD sales are cited. The 50% pay cut for the CEO, and lesser cuts for the entire board, tells a different story, however.

The report doesn’t just focus on the company’s anime operations, but since their obscure online gaming ventures are of no interest to us, let us consider only their anime operations: in the “Full-scale streamlining of our Anime Business” section, they lay out a plan whereby their production efforts will be consolidated into a single division (cureently they are spread over a number of studios), and the rest outsourced.

Of course, all this hacking and slashing is dressed up in terms of adopting a unified strategy for global expansion and so on, but I think you get the picture.

Though they say that keeping their core customers and simultaneously expanding into casual anime is a priority, if overall output is to remain the same or reduce we must interpret this as a reduction in their by implication “non-casual” current output.

You will of course recall that Gonzo are responsible for such recent pantsu anime as Strike Witches, Rosario + Vampire, Kurogane no Linebarrel, etc., as well as a slew of prior titles… Possibly non-casual targets for cutbacks?

Via Moonphase. You can read the report here.


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    35 Comments
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    Comment by kenjiharima
    03:04 12/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    No wonder they took off the censors in the MX Station on Rosario+Vampire. Glad they're doing something good for a change.

    Comment by ……….
    04:16 12/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    They better be a SW season 2 or they're done for.
    Loli flying pantsu rules the sky!!
    Censoring is fine, cuz I wanna get the DVD as well

    Comment by lord x
    00:42 12/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    need more shows like Speed Grapher and Tower of Druaga, fewer shows like Rosario + Vampire imo

    Comment by Anime
    14:36 11/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    I think the online streaming business will get affected.

    Comment by FuktLogik
    12:37 12/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    GONZO should never be forgiven after what they did to Hellsing and Gantz, their products deserve to rot in the anime bargain bin.

    Avatar of h8GWB
    Comment by H8gwb
    16:44 31/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    That pic was made in WIN, China.

    Sad news, still, especially with the recent problems with Geneon (Gonzo's sometimes partner, rite?). But selfishly, good news for me; there's way to many series out there for me too keep up with anyway.

    What the hell, Japan? You can't make money on undubbed anime in a country where you charge $60 for two episodes on DVD? What COULD you be doing wrong?

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:21 17/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    gonzo have some good anime series but my favorite is strike witches. for god sakes, i dont care if its another studio or gonzo i just want a good second season of strike witches (with more yuri) :D

    those who want the same please keep commenting about this in the articles of strike witches.

    thanks

    Comment by maozz
    21:33 30/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hope the problem will be solved soon =)

    Comment by Leomb
    03:39 07/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    I really liked this news!!!

    I hope you post keep posting more like this! I'm really do interested in the economy of these enterprises!

    Thanks!

    Comment by Kaishe
    16:57 29/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    So does this mean I get no more serious animes from GONZO? Besides wtf is "casual anime" in the first place?

    I still get my Strike Witches S2 rite?

    Comment by Tyrenol
    14:18 12/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Wow. Just wow.

    Not everybody can strike GOLD like KyotoAnimu, you know.

    Comment by Joe Average
    22:24 12/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    I love that pic. It matches this topic so well and she looks so awesome.

    Anyway, too bad for Gonzo, but hooray for casual anime. Even if it's not what the stuff we otaku go for, in the long run, it'll help Gonzo make money and that is what's needed for more shows like Strike Witches in the future.

    Comment by I draw the line at 0 men
    10:25 11/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    ...I still get my Strike Witches season 2 right?

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:16 11/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    >casual anime

    :/

    Avatar of drastikhate
    Comment by Dee
    10:33 11/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    They better

    Comment by Lord Byegone
    10:45 11/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Strike Witches temporada 2 o Muerte ( xD )

    Comment by Fluse
    Avatar of drastikhate
    Comment by Dee
    10:20 11/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    The anime industry is suffering and you're happy!? WTH

    Comment by Haesslich
    10:27 11/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Less Rosario + Pantsu would be a good thing. If they're going with more 'casual' anime, that may mean less of the ecchi material... but also could mean that we're going to see more Crayon Shin-chan style shows as well.

    Comment by Yuun
    19:43 11/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    I disagree that Gonzo produce bad story anime. I like Gonzo animation, for instance, Romeo x Juliet, Kiddy Grade, and Kaleido Star. Both this series comes with real nice story. Although i believe Gonzo could have done better in recent anime though...

    Comment by Tanku
    16:42 11/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    They shot themselves in the face by purposely over doing the damn flying bear heads and bats so some of this is obviously their damn fault.

    Comment by Fluse
    10:58 11/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Gonzo is not "The Anime Industry". If they had done a better job with their storylines and character development they would not have problems now. GAINAX has shown how to melt decent and tasteful Ecchiness with story and characters. Die, Buster! ^^

    Avatar of drastikhate
    Comment by Dee
    11:11 11/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    God forbid. I didnt like animes like Windy Tales or Crayon Shin-chan or the like.
    But i dont recall any crayon shin chan-like anime from Gonzo. Although i wouldnt mind animes like Special A

    I guess it's good that there would be less annoying fanservice though but they could produce more like Full Metal Panic!, Afro Samurai, Trinity Blood, Bakuretsu Tenshi, Black Cat, Last Exile, all those Epic animes!

    Comment by Crystal Falls
    11:01 11/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    The first sentence is confusing the facts: Gonzo is a subsidiary of GDH, not the other way around.

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact
    11:38 11/11/2008 # ! Impenetrable

    Thanks, I wrote the opening sentence the wrong way round... Corrected.

    Comment by Endz
    12:48 11/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    So... Is the Online Streaming business they have affecting their sales/losses at all?

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact
    13:16 11/11/2008 # ! Transparent

    They mention global expansion and online business a lot so I suspect they consider it a priority.

    Avatar of Bokusatsu Tenshi
    Comment by XSportSeeker
    11:51 11/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    All good things comes to an end...
    Hope my second season of Strike Witches comes out unharmed though... it would be really sad to have a second season with the "shit quality syndrome".

    But I can't avoid to smirk a little at some titles that were abusing of censoring strategies to sell more DVDs.

    Comment by Saouri
    11:16 11/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    They will work for 2009 in the sequel of Tower of Druaga and other 3 new productions: Arad Senki, Shangri-La and Alive.

    Also, Afro Samurai Resurrection will debut in january...

    I sad, because i like a lot of Gonzo anime (and i'm not talking about pantsu anime), but maybe this is the price for diversificate too much the business.

    Comment by Quen
    12:53 11/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Thanks, was trying to remember the list of 4 shows already announced by Gonzo for 2009.

    Wonder what this means for a Strike Witches sequel, which seems to be a no-brainer considering its popularity. Would Strike Witches be considered a more casual anime? It certainly had a lot of light heartedness throughout its run, and was a show populated mostly by cute girls.

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    I doubt Strike Witches is in danger, but I think by "casual" they are probably thinking more of Nodame Cantabile casual...

    Comment by Saouri
    05:38 12/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Nodame Cantabile?
    But i wasn't animated by Gonzo.
    Or it was just an example about "casual" concept?

    Comment by Bill
    16:10 11/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    In TV industry terms, "casual" (as opposed to "mainstream") usually refers to shows that don't require viewers to follow religiously. Basically, sitcoms and episodic action shows (without substantial character development or heavily serialized arcs over a season) might qualify.

    The perceived benefit to a studio is that they're under less pressure to hook viewers from the start. If word of mouth response is good, anyone with a passing interest can hop in instantly without worry of becoming lost. Additionally, viewers who miss a few episodes can easily pick it up again.

    There's also a certain measure of security because even if the beginning sucks (fumbled character/plot setup, despite decent episodic or mini-arc potential), they have more shots at gaining/regaining viewers if the show picks up quick enough.

    Now I don't know if this is what Gonzo means - it's the anime market rather than TV - but we'll see.

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    I believe it would be casual - at the very least, it's hugely popular so they'd need to take that into account.

    Avatar of TransistorGlamor
    Comment by ToastCrust
    11:37 11/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Gonzo would be insane to cut Strike Witches.

    It's blatantly their most successful product at the moment. Rather, they could probably cut down in their "serious" anime (as opposed to casual) like Linebarrel (granted, this may very well explain Linebarrel's shift towards ecchiness, whereas before it seemed to be going towards a plot direction).

    I interpret "casual" though, meaning shows with less plot emphasis. Stuff that's easier to pick up and watch, or where the plot isn't exactly indispensable.

    But yeah, cutting Strike Witches would be insane and just a blatantly bad business move. Not to mention, with the upcoming games, it would seem to be quite the opposite. In the Gonzo chain, Strike Witches may very well see a promotion in terms of attention given by the company. We can only hope.




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