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Fragtime OVA to Release Production Material Books

posted on by Kim Morrissy
Profits will go to unpaid staff members

The Fragtime OAV anime will release three volumes of production material books on March 31. Profits from the books will go directly towards the subsection of staff members who were not originally paid for the anime's production.

Next-Batter's Circle, the official company name for the anime studio Tear Studio, began legal proceedings to file for bankruptcy earlier this month. According to credit research company Tokyo Shoko Research, the studio in Tokyo's Suginami Ward ceased operations on December 13. The studio has about 43 million yen (about US$393,000) in debt, including about 8 million yen (about US$73,000) to around 50 animators.

In a notice posted on the anime's official website on Friday, the production committee stated that the staff members who did not receive their share of the production fees will have the money restored to them. The production committee hopes that selling the production material books will be able to recoup at least some of the losses. The committee opened an email address for unpaid production members to send inquiries to.

The first volume of the production materials book will be a compilation of key animation frames. The second volume will showcase the storyboards, while the third book will contain miscellaneous materials, including the script read out at the voice recording sessions. The books can be pre-ordered from Pony Canyon's online store.

The OVA will get additional screenings in various theaters in Japan starting from January 10. A short story set after the film drawn by Fragtime manga creator Sato will be distributed as a theater entry bonus at the additional screenings.

The official website for the Fragtime anime issued a notice earlier this month that the anime's production had been unable to contact Tear Studio. Tear Studio had animated the Fragtime project.

The notice stated that the anime's production tried to contact Tear Studio's representative for a status update, after reports about the studio began spreading on the web and on social media the week before, but had been unable to do so. The production would continue trying to contact the studio's representative.

Tear Studio's Twitter account is inaccessible as of December 9, and the studio's official website briefly went down on the same day.

Animator Gen Sato, who had posted on Twitter that he assisted an animation director for Fragtime, noted last Monday that an unspecified animation film studio had deleted its Twitter account and had supposedly not yet paid him for work. In a later reply, Sato added that he was too busy during the year-end production cycle to consult a lawyer, but he was considering a possible class-action lawsuit along with friends who had also reportedly not been paid.

Tear Studio was founded on March 15, 2013, and operates under the official company name of Next-Batter's Circle. Jun Katou is the company's representative director. The studio most recently worked on the Fragtime anime, which opened in Japanese theaters on November 22. The studio also worked on the Lord of Vermilion: The Crimson King anime series, The Royal Tutor anime film, and the Why the Hell are You Here, Teacher!? anime series.

Source: Comic Natalie


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