Three Kingdoms' Future Planet Studio Files for Bankruptcy (Updated)
posted on by Egan Loo
The business information firm Tokyo Shoko Research is reporting on Wednesday that the anime production company Future Planet Co. filed for bankruptcy at the Tokyo District Court on August 26, and the bankruptcy procedure was approved on September 29. The company was founded in 1999 and is best known for producing the 2009 joint Japanese-Chinese television adaptation of Romance of Three Kingdoms.
Future Planet incurred 1.026 billion yen (about US$12.34 million) in debt to 160 creditors. At its peak in the fiscal year that ended in March of 2007, it earned about 1 billion yen (US$12 million).
In 2005, it collaborated with CCTV, China's largest TV broadcaster, and CCTV's Beijing Glorious Animation Co. on Romance of Three Kingdoms. After several delays, the anime premiered in Japan under the title Saikyō Bushō-den Sangoku Engi this past April. However, the production costs ran over 200 million yen (US$2.4 million). The company laid off all of its employees and shut down operations on July 31 of this year.
Update: The animeanime.biz website reports that Romance of Three Kingdoms' overall production budget for all 52 episodes, split between the different companies, was 650 million yen (US$7.8 million). The Japanese toy maker Takara Tomy financed 250 million yen (US$3 million). After Romance of Three Kingdoms, Future Planet had planned an adaptation of Water Margin/Suikoden, followed an original joint Japanese-Chinese production. Like Romance of Three Kingdoms, Water Margin is one of China's "Four Great Classical Novels."
this article has been modified since it was originally posted; see change history