12 Days of Anime: Day 3 – Understanding that studio thing

Each season when looking at people discussing upcoming new shows, people will frequently mention the studios and production staff who are in charge of the show. While I’ve thought that on an intellectual level this is perhaps interesting to others, I’m not primarily interested in how things look when it comes to my anime and haven’t previously been super interested in the nuts and bolts behind how shows are put together. I watch anime for its unique storytelling and different humour, and the studios putting shows together have barely registered on my radar. Until now.

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Long Riders (that great show about cute girls riding bikes which probably has little to offer you unless you’re interested in bikes, the bikes are great) has suffered from multiple delays, to the point where the last 2 episodes are going to be released in February separately. Because I’ve been quite diligent about following up on Long Riders news, I did some reading and found out that Studio Actas who has been making Long Riders also brought us Girls Und Panzer, which had its last two episodes come out on DVD only, and Regalia: The Three Sacred Stars, which had its first few episodes air in Summer 2016 but the rest of the show got delayed to Fall 2016. From this experience, I have learnt that Actas shows may not be released to plan, and that I could perhaps have predicted Long Riders’ delays from knowing about the studio. I’m also a little more interested in how an anime is put together now and what may happen to hold it up. I don’t know that this is ever going to become an overriding passion, but I’d like to find out a little more in response to this moment.

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2 thoughts on “12 Days of Anime: Day 3 – Understanding that studio thing

  1. Interesting observation you have here. It looks like there is a trend, but I think the animation studio isn’t the only one involved in the delays.

    The studio is definitely the one putting the anime together. They put together the storyboards, animate the show, and record the voice overs. Doing all this takes a lot of time and effort, and there is every chance that delays will be introduced by the animation studio if they get behind.
    But generally these studios, especially ones like that have been in operation a long time, can deliver reliably if they have everything they need to get their show made.

    Getting the studio all the resources to do that work, work out the schedules, generate interest in the show, and actually get it distributed afterwards is the job of a production company. Deciding to put episodes only one DVD instead of airing on TV is definitely the production company’s call. I usually don’t look at production studios, the same way you don’t normally look at animation studios, but just on a hunch I decided to look into this. Sure enough, all three of the shows you mentioned above were produced by Lantis.

    Of course, not all work produced by Lantis gets delayed, nor does all all the anime created by Actas. Without an inside source it’s hard to tell exactly where the decision is made to delay a series or pinpoint where someone slipped up in the cases you mentioned, but my inclination is more towards the producer on this one.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for the thoughtful and informative comment!

      Like I said, I’m pretty clueless about all these things at this point, so this is interesting food for thought. I’ve been trying to find some good resources, and I’m also thinking of watching Shirobako at some point as I know people speak of it as a reasonable (although idealised) introduction to the way that anime gets made.

      I have learnt something new about production companies today!

      Liked by 2 people

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