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NEWS: Tokyo Babylon 2021 Studio GoHands Sues King Records for 450 Million Yen Over Canceled Anime


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Beltane70



Joined: 07 May 2007
Posts: 3006
PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2021 12:27 pm Reply with quote
omiya wrote:
Quick query on the citation of the newspaper: wouldn't one state "Asahi Shimbun" rather than just "Asahi"?


You can probably get away with calling it just "Asahi" since "Shimbun" means newspaper and it was written in the article as "King Records told the newspaper Asahi", making it kind of redundant to say the "newspaper Asahi newspaper".
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That's Big!



Joined: 23 Jan 2021
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Location: Japan
PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2021 12:38 pm Reply with quote
I'm guessing it'll come down to what their contract says and if cancelling nulls any kind of payment or wages. They should probably be paid for their work, even if it got pulled due to outside reasons.
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GracieLizzy



Joined: 26 Sep 2006
Posts: 506
Location: Sunderland, England, UK
PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2021 12:44 pm Reply with quote
Soulwarfare wrote:
GoHands is a terrible animation studio anyway. Their anime looks so ugly and the plot is absolutely terrible.


One of the reasons I am disappointed we'll never see this now is I was kind of hoping it would be some sort of glorious mess of animation combined with CLAMP melodrama, which could have been fun in a "so bad it'd good" sort of way.
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Shay Guy



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2021 5:06 pm Reply with quote
Abraham Omosun wrote:
450 million yen for a 2 cour anime. Wonder if it is relatively high or low.


The feature on licensing costs for earlier this week said this:

Tempest wrote:
$250,000 per episode roughly covers the full Japanese production budget for many series, although higher budget anime sometimes cost as much as $500,000 an episode to produce.


$2.87 million for the first 13 episodes comes out to around $220,000 each, so it's on the low end, or at most average. $1.57 million for the next 8 is even less, around $196,000 each -- maybe because they weren't finished, or maybe GoHands wants to show they're not being too unreasonable.
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DRosencraft



Joined: 27 Apr 2010
Posts: 470
PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2021 6:01 pm Reply with quote
Greed1914 wrote:
MagicPolly wrote:

I don't understand why they're suing for payment for episodes 14-21 when those weren't finished and they weren't under contract for them. Maybe it's a situation where you just sue for as much ass you can and the judge decides what you actually get, I'm not sure how these things work


Sometimes you can successfully collect on something like that under the idea that if the other side didn't break the contract, you would have had those future payments....


Pretty much nailed it. The legal argument here is that normally if you've finished one season, and know that there is a back-to-back or split cour situation, it is unusual for two different studios to complete the work. As such, GoHands anticipated that they would also get the contract for that sooner or later, and did not pursue other work that would have taken up time on their schedule dedicated tow that now unfulfilled second cour. It's a tough legal argument to make, but they do get made regularly in contract cases.
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#FreeHealthcare



Joined: 05 Aug 2021
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2021 7:07 pm Reply with quote
Greed1914 wrote:
MagicPolly wrote:

I don't understand why they're suing for payment for episodes 14-21 when those weren't finished and they weren't under contract for them. Maybe it's a situation where you just sue for as much ass you can and the judge decides what you actually get, I'm not sure how these things work


Sometimes you can successfully collect on something like that under the idea that if the other side didn't break the contract, you would have had those future payments. Personally, I've always thought that was pretty presumptuous, and I doubt it will work here. The general rule with anime tends to be that you don't assume that a deal is happening until it has happened. The production could have gone smoothly and aired as planned, and King still could have decided it didn't want more episodes, so I'd be pretty surprised if GoHands got anything for that part.

The original article mentioned that it's just they haven't signed an official contract yet but King had already agreed to the production of the remaining episodes and GH already started working on those. In Japan, verbal agreement is pretty common. As long as they have proofs for this, I doubt King can get away with this.
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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2021 7:45 pm Reply with quote
Wonder if the quality of the first cour was just so atrocious that King tried to walk back on it all.
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DRosencraft



Joined: 27 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2021 9:44 pm Reply with quote
#FreeHealthcare wrote:
Greed1914 wrote:
MagicPolly wrote:

I don't understand why they're suing for payment for episodes 14-21 when those weren't finished and they weren't under contract for them. Maybe it's a situation where you just sue for as much ass you can and the judge decides what you actually get, I'm not sure how these things work


Sometimes you can successfully collect on something like that under the idea that if the other side didn't break the contract, you would have had those future payments. Personally, I've always thought that was pretty presumptuous, and I doubt it will work here. The general rule with anime tends to be that you don't assume that a deal is happening until it has happened. The production could have gone smoothly and aired as planned, and King still could have decided it didn't want more episodes, so I'd be pretty surprised if GoHands got anything for that part.

The original article mentioned that it's just they haven't signed an official contract yet but King had already agreed to the production of the remaining episodes and GH already started working on those. In Japan, verbal agreement is pretty common. As long as they have proofs for this, I doubt King can get away with this.


No. 1 issue people run into in contract cases - contracts do not have to be in writing the majority of the time. If two parties agree on something, and it reasonably could have been put in writing at some point, it's a valid contract. Proof is usually the hard part, as you get into the he said/she said back and forward. But as noted, it would be very unusual for a known 2-cour series to have different studios for cours 1 and 2. By no means easy, but GoHands likely has a strong case here.
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TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2021 10:18 pm Reply with quote
merr wrote:
Ermat_46 wrote:
Work was done on the initial 13 episodes, and people still need to be paid for that. A character designer in GoHands overlooking the plagiarism in designs does not mean that the work of the in-betweeners, production desk, etc. shouldn't be paid for their work.

The studio is responsible for paying those staff, not the production committee. The animators were likely all paid at the time their work was being completed. The studio is suing to recover losses, which includes money spent on production, i.e., wages.


Concur with the bolded statement.

As to Go Hands lawsuit, they are not entirely in the right. King Records does have a valid complaint against it. King Records can rightly say that the plagiarism by Go Hands basically devalued the anime (before it was even broadcast) and created negative controversy against King Records and Go Hands. Because of the plagiarism by Go Hands, Go Hands did 'not' have a completed anime to give to King Records.

I think King Records should win. No one is talking about the costs that King Records would have to absorb because of the production delays. Not to mention the available broadcast slots. I think King Records hoped to save it, but in the end, decided to cut their losses.

Go Hands only have themselves to blame. Yeah, they weren't planning on committing a crime, but they didn't catch what their employee or contractee was doing. Quality Control and supervision. But even then, I am not going to judge Go Hands negatively. Even then looking at it, would the QA people even know that plagiarism was happening. I sure wouldn't.

Despite all that, though, the responsibility is totally with Go Hands.
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DRosencraft



Joined: 27 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2021 10:42 pm Reply with quote
TarsTarkas wrote:
merr wrote:
Ermat_46 wrote:
Work was done on the initial 13 episodes, and people still need to be paid for that. A character designer in GoHands overlooking the plagiarism in designs does not mean that the work of the in-betweeners, production desk, etc. shouldn't be paid for their work.

The studio is responsible for paying those staff, not the production committee. The animators were likely all paid at the time their work was being completed. The studio is suing to recover losses, which includes money spent on production, i.e., wages.


...the responsibility is totally with Go Hands.


You may have a point about culpability, and King will likely make this argument in court. However, contract law (and I'm assuming Japan's contract law is substantially similar to the US) all but requires King to give GoHands the chance to remedy any perceived defects, i.e, the plagiarism issues. As long as GH can make a reasonable argument that they could have fixed whatever issues had come up, especially for that 2nd cour, then King more or less is obligated to complete the contract. King can argue that GoHand's reward in the case be diminished by their own costs (loss of value of the anime, etc.) but breach of contract is fairly strict and straight forward. King can diminish the amount GH is seeking, but on substance GH will have a decent case.
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TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2021 11:33 pm Reply with quote
I see what you are saying. It will be a complex issue for the judge.

I do not know just how bad the backlash was against the anime and Go Hands. Nor do I know just how much money it would cost King Records to absorb the costs. But if the anime would bomb in Japan because of the plagiarism issue, the costs to King Records could be higher than what Go Hands could cover.

Still think that King Records has the high ground.
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DRosencraft



Joined: 27 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2021 12:07 am Reply with quote
TarsTarkas wrote:
I see what you are saying. It will be a complex issue for the judge.

I do not know just how bad the backlash was against the anime and Go Hands. Nor do I know just how much money it would cost King Records to absorb the costs. But if the anime would bomb in Japan because of the plagiarism issue, the costs to King Records could be higher than what Go Hands could cover.

Still think that King Records has the high ground.


Yeah, these cases absolutely suck. The phase 1 portion of the case - was there a breach/who breached first - is super quick and easy most of the time.

The damages part is where the bulk of the case goes, and that takes a long time to hash out. As I said, GH will likely have an easy enough time proving that King breached the contract. But their path in proving their own damages, and then trying to rebut King's claims going the other way, that's where these cases usually get ugly and tedious. You basically have two sides arguing over a future that never happened. And if this is a jury trial instead of a bench trial... nothing but headaches.
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CountZeroOR



Joined: 01 Nov 2005
Posts: 67
Location: Oregon
PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2021 1:52 am Reply with quote
Well, considering the first 13 episodes were done, I guess I understand why GoHands keeps getting work - like Rob Liefeld, they get things turned in on time. It looks like garbage (and in this case it's plagiarized), but it was done, which, had it aired, would have meant the network would not have had to worry about materials either cutting it close or arriving late.
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Nate148



Joined: 24 May 2012
Posts: 261
PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2021 3:07 am Reply with quote
When GoHands stole stuff they broke whatever contract they had.
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chex mix



Joined: 28 Mar 2015
Posts: 386
PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2021 7:39 am Reply with quote
Anyone who was excited enough to watch this despite GoHands being involved would have watched it despite the plagiarism. That said, I hope we get the show from another studio once this legal mess is sorted out. I’m a huge CLAMP fan and even I wasn’t sure I’d be down to watch it with GoHands involved. I have hardcore motion sickness after all.
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