Gonzo Anime Studio Returns to Profitability This Year
posted on by Egan Loo
The anime studio Gonzo revealed on Monday that it earned 74 million yen (about US$900,000) in operating profit or 28 million yen (US$340,000) in ordinary profit during the first half of the fiscal year ending in March 2011. The first half ran from March to September of 2010.
Gonzo's reported net profit did drop from 82 million yen (US$1 million) in the same period last year to 47 million yen (US$570,000). However, Gonzo was only able to report a net profit in that period last year because 339 million yen (US$4.12 million) in debt was forgiven, so the actual profit was greater this year.
Gonzo told ANN during March's Tokyo International Anime Fair (TAF) that it was developing a potential Spring 2011 project that would take advantage of the new stereoscopic 3D televisions now entering the marketplace. Gonzo then confirmed in September that Range Murata (Blue Submarine No. 6, Last Exile, Solty Rei, Shangri-La) worked on character designs for a new anime scheduled to air next year. Gonzo announced in August that it was recruiting new animation staff members.
Gonzo is working with the Malaysian animation studio Funcel and Malaysia's National Film Development Corporation to produce an adventure animation series called Satria - The Warriors of the 7 Elements for Fall 2012. Hiroyuki Kitakubo (Blood: The Last Vampire) is involved, although he states that he is only an advisor. Gonzo is also looking to work on a collaborative project with a major Chinese media firm.
Gonzo was established in 1992 when anime producer Shouji Murahama left Gainax to start his own company. Gonzo merged with Shinichiro Ishikawa's Digimation company in 2000 and a new parent company was formed, GDH (Gonzo Digimation Holdings). The Nihon Keizai Shimbun paper reported last year that GDH was restructuring its anime production operations after GDH asked 20% of its workforce to "voluntarily retire" in 2008. GDH has since absorbed Gonzo and adopted the Gonzo name for itself.