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Fragtime Anime's Tear Studio Plans to File for Bankruptcy

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Studio is 43 million yen in debt, including 8 million yen to 50 animators

Credit research company Tokyo Shoko Research (TSR) reported on Monday that Next-Batter's Circle, the official company name for the anime studio Tear Studio, has begun legal proceedings to file for bankruptcy, and plans to formally file for bankruptcy within this month. According to TSR, 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.

The official website for the Fragtime anime issued a notice last week 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 last Monday, 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: Tokyo Shoko Research

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