MAPPA CEO Reveals Chainsaw Man Anime Didn’t Have Same Level Of Impact As Jujutsu Kaisen

In a recent interview with Tokyo Keizai, MAPPA CEO Manabu Otsuka had much to talk about Chainsaw Man anime in terms of its initial response to the level of impact compared to other anime produced by MAPPA.

Manabu Otsuka

Chainsaw Man was the first anime MAPPA produced fully with their own funds with zero production committee involved.

This included handling intricate rights procedures, licensing, and merchandise planning, which was usually done by the production companies. They saw this as an opportunity for growth.

Handling intricate rights procedures, licensing, and merchandise planning, which were traditionally handled by the production committees, has been a valuable learning experience for us. While larger production companies may already have such experience, for us, it has been a significant opportunity for growth.

Manabu Otsuka revealed in the interview that prior to adapting Chainsaw Man, they have never received a high level of attention before releasing any other works. So naturally, the expected outcome from this was also high, putting a lot of pressure on the team, leading them to deliver their best performance.

Up until now, we had never received this level of attention before releasing our works to the world. As a relatively young company, we struggled with how to handle that pressure and deliver our best performance.

Although, Chainsaw Man anime was successful in terms of financial outcomes, in terms of creating a similar or rather a higher impact as Jujutsu Kaisen anime was not as satisfactory.

In terms of finances, we can definitely say it has been a complete success. However, when it comes to achieving the same level of impact as our recent work ‘Jujutsu Kaisen,’ we cannot say we are fully satisfied yet.

Talking about DVD/Blu-ray packages, he went on to reveal that while they hoped to reach a wider audience when it came to those who were willing to pay for physical packages, they are still actively exploring approaches to appeal to target audiences who would be willing to pay for the anime.

Some works sell a significant number of (DVD/Blu-ray) packages, while others gain a large viewership through streaming. However, when it comes to reaching the customer segment willing to pay for physical packages, I must honestly admit that we had hoped to reach an even broader audience.

We are in the process of actively exploring how to approach and appeal to the target audience who are willing to financially support ‘Chainsaw Man.’ Within the unique artistic nature of the work, we are continually searching for effective strategies to engage and connect with this specific demographic.

When asked on how MAPPA decided to fully fund the anime, this is what he had to say:

MAPPA has been dedicating its efforts to producing approximately 6 to 8 works per year, regardless of whether they are series or theatrical projects. Through this commitment, we have built up our production capacity and branding, which has allowed us to obtain opportunities to work on anime adaptations of well-known original works. This ultimately led to our decision of 100% self-financing in the current project.

Chainsaw Man is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Tatsuki Fujimoto. Its first arc was serialized in Shueisha’s shonen manga magazine Weekly Shonen Jump from December 2018 to December 2020; its second arc began serialization in Shueisha’s Shonen Jump+ online magazine in July 2022.

Its chapters have been collected in 14 tankobon volumes as of April 2023.

An anime television series adaptation produced by MAPPA was broadcast from October to December 2022.

Source: Toyo Keizai