Evangelion anime studio Gainax announces bankruptcy

The studio that produced Evangelion and other classic anime has filed for bankruptcy in Tokyo District Court.
Neon Genesis Evangelion | Multi-Audio Clip: Get in the Robot, Shinji | Netflix Anime
Neon Genesis Evangelion | Multi-Audio Clip: Get in the Robot, Shinji | Netflix Anime / Netflix Anime

As reported by The Japan Times, Gainax has filed for bankruptcy in Tokyo District Court. The studio had previously been struggling with significant debt. While the initial filing took place on May 29, Gainax, the studio that produced Neon Genesis Evangelion, Gurren Lagann, and FLCL, did not make a public announcement until June 7. Gainax's statement was posted on the company website, though it is only available in Japanese.

Founded in 1984 by a team including Hideaki Anno, director of the Evangelion series and its film adaptations as well as 2016's live-action Shin Godzilla, Gainax's first anime series was Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, which debuted in 1990. The studio's most popular series, Neon Genesis Evangelion, debuted in 1995. Anno left Gainax in 2007 to found a new studio, Khara. As Gainax's financial situation worsened, the studio began selling off its intellectual properties, and the trademarks associated with the name Gainax itself are now owned by Khara.

In light of the public announcement of Gainax's bankruptcy, Khara released a statement of its own, which is available in English on the company website. Most notably, Khara is confirming its ownership of the Gainax brand's trademarks and offering assurances that ongoing work by Gainax-affiliated production teams will not be disrupted by the transition in ownership.

Gainax has had a major influence on the anime industry

Although Gainax functionally no longer exists, the studio's influence and legacy will continue to be felt. Despite its struggles in recent years, Gainax created one of the most important and influential anime of all time with Evangelion. As an anime series, Evangelion has been consistently popular since the mid-'90s and is considered essential viewing for all anime fans.

Netflix acquired the rights to Evangelion in 2018 and began streaming the series and the movies The End of Evangelion and Evangelion: Death (True)2 in 2019. Notably, the Netflix release includes a new translation of the English script and a new voice cast.

The official trailer for the Netflix release of Evangelion can be watched here:

Several successor studios to Gainax, consisting of industry veterans who got their start with Gainax, are continuing the legacy and producing series that have become iconic in their own right. In addition to Khara under Anno's leadership, Studio Trigger was founded by other former Gainax employees. Trigger has found particular success with Netflix Original anime, most notably the award-winning instant classic Cyberpunk: Edgerunners.

Although Gainax's 40-year history has come to an end, its influence will continue to be felt in the generation of creators it inspired. The Gainax legacy will live in its classic series that will no doubt continue to be popular for years to come.

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