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?