This recent news that has been released may not sound super serious to some of the viewers out there, but hearing about this is incredibly unnerving to me. So trust me when I say that this news is devastating to the industry and relevant to everybody in the community.
If you couldn’t tell by the title of this article, the Japanese animation studio called Manglobe filed for bankruptcy last Tuesday, September 29th. Manglobe may not be a household name for a lot of you and I can’t necessarily blame you. Manglobe is a studio that I consider to be super underrated in most respects. Quietly, they have produced some high quality anime. Some of their more notable works are Samurai Shamploo, Ergo Proxy, Deadman Wonderland, Hayate the Combat Butler, The World God Only Knows series, and the newly released series, Gangsta. Now, I recognize that Manglobe is not a pillar of animation nor is it as monolithic as studios such as Madhouse, Bones, Production I.G., or Kyoto Animation. But realize that a medium-sized animation studio like Manglobe filing for bankruptcy is no small matter and it poses some serious questions about what lies in the future for the anime industry and for the anime community as a whole.
The way I view it is that it is an indicator of a fact that has been looming over our heads for several years now; this is a fact that I usually try to repress and try to refuse to acknowledge is happening. This fact is that the anime industry is indeed dying. I know it’s a hard pill to swallow, but the truth of the matter is that the anime industry is on a decline and anime is becoming a dying breed. Now why is this happening you may ask. Well, a YouTuber by the name of The Anime Man covers it well in one of his newest videos. It’s not necessarily that anime is losing popularity or that there is a decrease in anime fans. It’s that people, including fans, are simply not buying anime. With the emergence of streaming sites, notably illegal streaming sites, and the ability to illegally download anime, people just don’t see a need to buy anime anymore. We here at AI are huge culprits of this and it hadn’t really hit home until I heard this news. So even though us fans still enjoy watching anime, we are not physically indicating that we support it anymore and studios are taking a huge hit from it in terms of profit. That’s exactly what happened with Manglobe. Even though they produced relevant and quality series, they constantly lost money and eventually went under. We saw this a few years back when the licensing companies Geneon Universal and Bandai Visual Entertainment had their respective mergers.
So what does this mean for the future of anime? Well, nobody truly knows. But what we do know is that if we want the industry to prevail in the long run, we really need to start showing more support. I know DVDs and blue-ray sets can be expensive. But us fans have the responsibility to help keep our favorite visual medium alive. If you can, buy more anime. I sure will. As of right now, it’s all we can do. We should do our very best to make sure no other studios, like Manglobe, go down.
As of this video, Manglobe states that it will finish all projects formally started/announced before it filed bankruptcy. You can go to Anime News Network for more details.