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Kadokawa Discusses Creating 'World-Class' CG Studio to Help Make 40 Animation Works a Year

posted on by Alex Mateo
Company considers gathering 'world's best creators'; sales, profits reach record highs

Media company Kadokawa Corporation announced on Friday its medium-range management policy and goals until March 2023, as part of its presentation for the fiscal year ending on March 31. One of Kadokawa's six goals is strengthening its animation business.

To achieve this goal, the company aims to strengthen its production system so that it can produce 40 new animation titles a year by 2023, an increase of 20 percent from 33 titles. The Animation Business Journal website qualified that Kadokawa already invested in 40 animation titles in the fiscal year that just ended — 31 television series, five theatrical films, and four original video animation or event animation projects.

To hit its target, Kadokawa is considering establishing a "world-class 3DCG production studio gathering the world's best creators." Kadokawa did not specify that its goal of 40 animation titles includes only anime produced in Japan or targeting Japan.

The other objectives that Kadokawa will implement to strengthen its animation business are expanding license revenue, further expanding sales of anime-related games, and strengthening efforts with its allies CyberAgent and Sony.

Kadokawa's other goals for this fiscal year include expanding IP, accelerating digital technology for business, globally expanding its e-books market, launching large-scale titles in the games business, and aiming to be a leading company in educational technology.

Kadokawa revealed that its net sales for the fiscal year ending March 2021 were 209.947 billion yen (about US$1.9 billion), a 2.6% increase from the previous year, and its operating profit was 13.625 billion yen (about US$125 million), a 68.5% increase. The numbers for net sales and operating profit are both record-high numbers for the company.

Kadokawa Corporation announced last Wednesday that it had acquired the U.S. light novel and manga publishing company J-Novel Club. Kadokawa intends to strengthen its e-book business and drive further expansion of its light novel business in the English market through this acquisition and the reinforcement of J-Novel Club's collaboration with its BookWalker Global online manga and light novel service and GeeXPlus, BookWalker's internet influencer talent agency subsidiary. The company plans to implement J-Novel Club's "Digital First" strategy, releasing more new titles first digitally while complementing and contributing to Yen Press, which Kadokawa also owns jointly with Hachette Book Group.

Kadokawa reorganized its corporate structure last October. The company replaced its previous six departments with 13 different groups, each of which has a "chief officer" executive bearing the title of their respective group. Kadokawa noted that the restructuring would allow the company to achieve a more flat and horizontal corporate structure.

Earlier this year, Kadokawa formed a capital alliance with CyberAgent, Inc. and Sony to strengthen its game and animation businesses. The company's goals are to strengthen the Global Media Mix Strategy to expand Kadokawa's IPs worldwide, and to cooperate with CyberAgent and Sony for "mutual exploitation of each other's business, expertise, and other strengths." Kadokawa will issue CyberAgent and Sony 1,422,475 shares each, which will give each company 1.93% ownership.

Sources: Kadokawa (link 2, link 3), Animation Business Journal (Tadashi Sudo) via Otakomu

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