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Anime Production Firm Group TAC Files for Bankruptcy (Updated)

posted on by Egan Loo
Firm of Night on the Galactic Railroad/Touch's Gisaburô Sugii is 650 million yen in debt

The financial research firm Teikoku Databank has reported on Friday that the anime production company Group TAC (Manga Nihon Mukashi Banashi, Night on the Galactic Railroad, Touch) filed for bankruptcy at the Tokyo District Court on August 31. The bankruptcy filing lists about 585 million yen (about US$6.95 million) in debts as of the end of the August 2009 fiscal year.

The Tokyo-based company has nine employees and was headed by Atsumi Tashiro until Tashiro's death in July. It reported 10 million yen (US$120,000) in capital.

The company was founded in March of 1968. In addition to Manga Nihon Mukashi Banashi, Night on the Galactic Railroad, and Touch, the studio produced the Arashi no Yoru ni feature film, which was nominated for Animation of the Year in the Japanese Academy Awards in 2007. At that high point in the company's history, it reported 1.53 billion yen (US$18.2 million) in revenues for the fiscal year ending in August of 2007.

However, with the decline of television anime, sponsors scaled back, and Group TAC's revenues fell to 596 million yen (US$7.07 million) in the August 2009 fiscal year. The company attempted to continue operations despite the decrease in new contracts and staff members. However, after Tashiro's death, the difficulties in staying in business proved insurmountable.

As recently as Tokyo International Anime Fair 2008, Group TAC was promoting its remake of The Life of Guskou Budori (Guskou Budori no Denki, pictured at right) fable by Kenji Miyazawa. Miyazawa was also the author of the original Night on the Galactic Railroad novel. Sugii, the director of Galactic Railroad and Touch, would have overseen the project, and Sadayuki Murai (Kino's Journey, Millennium Actress, Steamboy) was scripting.

Update: More background information added.

Update 2: Teikoku Databank has updated its article on Friday afternoon to report that the filing was accepted and the bankruptcy procedure is underway. The period for reporting debts ends on October 6, and a meeting on the status of the bankruptcy will be held on June 20. Teikoku Databank also updated its reported total debt to "about 650 million yen (about US$7.7 million) to about 167 creditors."

follow-up of Labor Group: Anime Firm Filed for Bankruptcy This Week
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