Evangelion Studio Gainax Files For Bankruptcy

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Gainax, the animation studio that created the Neon Genesis Evangelion franchise and worked on a number of popular and iconic anime series over the last 40 years, has announced that it has filed for bankruptcy.

The announcement was made in a statement on the official Gainax website, which is all that remains on the production studio’s site. The company revealed that it filed a petition for bankruptcy with the Tokyo District Court on May 29, 2024, and that the petition was accepted.

Gainax’s statement says that the financial position of the studio started deteriorating in 2012, after executives at the company started treating it as if it were their personal property, pointing to ill-advised expansions into restaurant management, the establishment of a CGI studio with no business plan, and a “large amount” of unsecured loans taken out.

The large amount of debt accrued by the company caused the company’s board to expel a number of executives, resulting in downsizing and “a loss of the studio’s anime production function.” Issues also arose after a newly appointed CEO in 2019 was arrested for sexually assaulting a minor shortly after his appointment, further putting the future of the company in doubt.

The company ultimately took stock of the situation in 2020, with the support of Khara Inc, a company founded by Evangelion creator Hideaki Anno, and it was discovered that Gainax was in a large amount of debt. Once debt collectors started to close in on the company in May, bankruptcy was found to be the only option left.

In a statement on its website, Khara Inc. says that it was working with companies associated with Gainax to help resolve issues with non-payment to studios, writers, and creators. Khara will now own the Gainax trademarks, which were transferred to the company to prevent “misuse and abuse” of the brand name.

The decision to file for bankruptcy will see the end of over 40 years of anime production by Gainax, although its output has been slim in the last decade or so. Many of the studio’s properties, such as Evangelion and Panty & Stocking, have been transferred to other studios in recent years, with many ending up at Studio Trigger, founded by former Gainax employees.

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