Manabu Otsuka Explains Why MAPPA Decided To Invest 100% In Chainsaw Man Anime

Manabu Otsuka

Chainsaw Man anime is peculiar and groundbreaking in many ways. One of the major reasons for the anime turning out to be pioneer in the industry is because it is completely produced by its animation production studio, MAPPA, without the backing of the production committee.

This has led to Chainsaw Man receiving a lot of praise, and will indeed turn out to be a trendsetter when it comes to other anime produced in the future.

In a recent interview, MAPPA CEO Manabu Otsuka explained why the studio decided to go all in with Chainsaw Man.

Manabu Otsuka

MAPPA started out as a studio which was only focused on working on the animation part, rather than focusing on the business aspect. However, as time went by, they were concerned that they would miss out on getting paid well for the hits that they create unless they begin investing in these titles.

The studio started investing little by little, until Otsuka came to the conclusion that MAPPA should be investing as much as they can on a good title. That’s how they decided to invest 100% in Chainsaw Man.

“Looking back on MAPPA’s history, our starting point was 0%, just to produce animation. We became concerned that if we didn’t invest a little, we wouldn’t get paid for too many hits, so we started investing 5% to 10%. Recently, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s better to put as much money as possible into a good title, and ” Chainsaw Man” is the first time I’ve invested 100% in a project,” Otsuka said in the interview.

While investing 100% in a title was a huge gamble, he took the decision after talking with Makoto Kimura, MAPPA’s executive director.

Otsuka was of the opinion that its essential to take risks for growth.

The CEO also added that there was room for growth when it came to Japanese studios’ business side of things. While the country led in terms of number of anime titles that were produced, the same cannot be said for the business side of things.

While studios toil away animating a series, other aspects like merchandising, distribution and events are handled by other companies, which then reap profits out of it.

“Of course, the lack of capital at the initial stage makes this kind of situation more likely, but it is not the only reason. So I think it will be very important to have a business mindset from now on,” Otsuka added.

He pointed out how American production companies had a balance when it came to their creative and business aspects, helping them achieve global success. This was unlike Japanese animation studios, that were averse to taking risks.

This was one of the reasons how production committees came into existense.

“The difference between Japanese and American production companies is that American companies are able to materialize global business development right from the start. In other words, the returns when they succeed are extraordinary. Of course, Pixar and Disney are where they are today because they have won the big battles and achieved success. Looking at Japan in light of this, there is a strong tendency to be risk-averse from the start, such as with the production committee system,” the CEO said.

Otsuka felt that Japanese studios should strive to open up their business by their own efforts. He added that Chainsaw Man was a great opportunity for them to grow.

Otsuka ended the interview by saying that anime is becoming less of a sub-culture across the globe, thanks to hits like Demon Slayer.

Source: Real Sound

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