Sadly, the galactic heroes of legend were unable to save this studio.
Earlier today, corporate credit research company Teikoku Databank reported that Studio Artland Inc. closed its doors. The studio ceased all operations as of June 30, and brought on a lawyer to handle post-operation affairs.
Teikoku Databank lists Artland’s debt at 298 million yen ($2,619,482.58 USD) as of the end of December 2016. According to Teikoku Databank, Artland’s annual income (as of 2013) was roughly 260 million yen ($2,285,433.80 USD). By December 2016, though, revenues had fallen sharply, and the studio recorded just 21 million yen ($184,390.08 USD) in earnings. The company noted that, though Artland’s output continued to remain popular, outsourcing costs made up nearly 90% of production costs, and debt continued to accumulate.
According to news source TSR, Artland hasn’t yet filed for bankruptcy, though they are deemed insolvent. The studio is looking at ways to settle its debts without filing bankruptcy. If it’s able to do so, then Artland will be able to resume operations, though the feasibility of such an outcome is unknown.
Artland was founded in 1978 by late anime director Noboru Ishiguro (Legend of the Galactic Heroes: My Conquest is the Sea of Stars, Megazone 23). The series quickly earned a name for itself as it co-produced genre-defining hits like The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, Megazone 23, and The Legend of the Galactic Heroes. More recently, Artland produced anime adaptations of Mushi-shi (2005), Senran Kagura (2013), and Seven Mortal Sins (2017, not the good one – that’s Seven Deadly Sins by A-1 Pictures).
Artland was purchased in 2006 by Marvelous, who made the studio into a fully owned subsidiary. In 2010, Marvelous split Artland into two arms: a rights-holding company and the actual anime studio. In 2016, Emon Animation Company announced that they would invest in Artland, in hopes that they could strengthen their animation production capacity. Emon purchased a majority stake in Artland (51%), and planned to restructure the organization.
Emon Animation is the Japanese subsidiary of Shanghai-based Haoliners.