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11+ Anime Companies And Studios That Went Bankrupt In The Last 4 Decades

kuroneko and kyousuke anime wallpaper
Avatar of Theo J Ellis

Anime companies and studios have it harder than other industries.

The anime industry is a mess and I compare it to the music industry before Itunes came along to save the day.

  • Piracy is sky high
  • Budgets are low
  • Independent studios struggle
  • The average anime costs $1M dollars to produce
  • Some companies have issues with paying employees + staying afloat

And the list goes on.

Some of this comes down to laziness (Japan refusing to innovate and reluctant to change).

Other factors are some businesses don’t understand “business” as well as the art form.

Either way – in the last 5+ years anime companies have gone bankrupt more than ever.

anime studio production process

Pre-production process for anime studios.

Only around half the budget is often given to the anime studio, with the rest going to broadcasters and other contributing companies.

This is bound to play a role in the amount of anime companies going bankrupt and disappearing.

That’s a topic for another day though.

Let’s get into this post.


Anime Companies That Got Shutdown:


1. Tear Studios

tear studios anime

Tear Studios is known for:

  • The Royal Tutor Movie.
  • Fragtime.
  • Nande Koko ni Sensei ga!?
  • Lord of Vermilion: Guren no Ou
  • Why the hell are you here, Teacher!?

Back in late 2019 they disappeared with freelancers money, and other people who were contracted to them and got paid.

Then back in December 2019 they came back (along with their website) and announced they’re shutting down.

The obvious culprit is money related.

This makes Tear Studios one of the most recent anime companies to shut down.

Related: Japanese Anime Studio “Disappears” With Unpaid Artists Money


2. 4Kids Entertainment

4 kids entertainment usa

4 Kids entertainment is known for:

  • Pokemon
  • Yugioh
  • One Piece
  • Shaman King
  • Sailor Moon

And we all know how badly this company managed these anime shows.

You could say 4Kids Entertainment shutdown BECAUSE of their mismanagement of anime licenses and properties.

Their reputation isn’t and wasn’t a good one.

This on top of their business in general put them in trouble, and so they shut down.

Related: 9 Of The Most Successful Anime Companies In The USA


3. Artland Studios

artland studios anime

Artland studios was known for:

  • Gunslinger Girl Season 2
  • Mushishi
  • Katekyō Hitman Reborn!

And other anime shows you may or may not recognize.

The studio went out of business in 2017 after a long run.


4. Studio Lagurus

studio lagurus anime backgrounds

Studio Lagurus went out of business as of today (Feb 28th 2020) when it was announced.

The official date was probably earlier.

They’re unique in the sense that they give anime backgrounds found in so many shows we all watch.

But they’ve officially gone bankrupt and have decided to shut down operations.

They were founded in 2013.


5. Manglobe Studios

manglobe anime studios

Manglobe is a studio known for:

  • Samurai Champloo
  • The World God Only Knows
  • Ergo Proxy
  • Deadman Wonderland

Some of their anime shows were original with unique themes you can’t find anywhere else.

But that by itself didn’t matter as the company eventually shut down in 2015.

Related: All The Best Deadman Wonderland Quotes About Pain And Despair


6. Radix Ace Entertainment

With this anime studio that ran for 11 years – only one anime gained some coverage.

That anime is Haibane Renmei.

Besides this show – the studio struggled hard to make a name for itself.

Related: The Best List Of Haibane Renmei Quotes To Remember


7. Hai Film Maker

Hal film maker logo

Hai Film Maker is known for:

  • Princes Tutu
  • Aria The Animation
  • Skip Beat!
  • The Good Witch of The West

And other anime series.

In Hai Film Maker’s case – they didn’t go bankrupt. They merged with a different company.

Hai Film Maker was originally founded by Toei Animation’s staff.

Related: A Collection Of Powerful Princess Tutu Quotes For Anime Fans


8. Topcraft

Topcraft was founded by Toei Animation yet again.

In its short lifespan, it produced the anime films:

  • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
  • Macross: Do You Remember Love?

Both of which are Studio Ghibli affiliated.

Not long after in the 1980’s they went bankrupt.


9. Group TAC

Group TAC

Group Tac started out in 1968.

They’re known for anime:

  • Those Who Hunt Elves
  • Gilgamesh
  • Black Blood Brothers

Shows none of us will remember (the younger audience).

The main reason this company went bankrupt (2010) is because the founder: Tashiro passed away.

This makes the reasoning for this companies demise unique compared to most.


10. Production IMS

production ims anime studio

Production IMS is a studio known for:

  • Date A Live 2,
  • High School Fleet.
  • Hundred.

And a few other anime.

They started out in 2013 but went bankrupt by 2018 (5 years).


11. Drop

drop studio anime

Studio drop started out in 2004.

Anime they were involved with:

  • Zoids Wild
  • Tetsuko no Tabi

They went bankrupt in 2018 after a lot of struggles. This is despite being part of 100’s of anime projects in their company’s lifespan.


Honorable Mentions:

  • Amo (Studio).
  • Daisuki (streaming service).
  • S’more Entertainment (distributor).
  • Urban Vision (Distributor).
  • Geneon Entertainment (Distributor).

The point of this post is to educate, and shed light on a topic that doesn’t get much coverage.



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