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A-1 Pictures | Anime Academy


Hello everyone! Welcome back to class, you’re watching anime
academy summer school, This semester we’re gonna be talking about the studios that bring
your favorite anime to life. I’m Victoria Holden, and today’s class is on A-1 Pictures! Most anime studios are born when a group of
creators splits off an existing company because they have dreams of their own, although sometimes
we also see it happen with passionate young artists coming out of nowhere. But when it comes to A-1, things were much
different. Sony wanted to get a foothold in the anime
market, so in 1995 they established the subsidiary company that would eventually come to be known
as Aniplex. And after a decade of involvement behind the
scenes, Aniplex decided to take another step forward; rather than keep on relying on other
studios which might be busy or prioritize other companies, they founded their own: A-1
Pictures, born 12 years ago in 2005. And yes, they’re on the younger side amongst the
major anime production companies! They first intended to focus on family-oriented
titles, as seen on their debut Zenmai Zamurai, a co-production with studio Noside that aired
in NHK’s educational channel in Spring of 2006. That same spirit was also present in one of
their first big titles: Fairy Tail, another co-production with studio Satelight in this
case. But it’s their first independent project
that marked the studio’s path; Big Windup! was the first of many late-night TV hits that
A-1 Pictures have produced over the years. Sword Art Online, Black Butler, Anohana, Your
Lie in April, Magi, Erased, there’s no end to the shows they’ve captured the hearts
of teenagers and young adults with. They are entrusted with the adaptations of
big titles, and when it comes to original work, they put the Aniplex hype machine to
good use and get everyone excited before we even know what the show is like. Those peculiar origins aren’t just trivia,
but rather the reason A-1 Pictures has evolved the way it has. Studios developing their own unique style
is a wonderful thing, but since freelancing and rotating staff are so prevalent, most
companies never get to that point. And so A-1, a studio founded by the producer
side rather than creators, takes it to the opposite extreme: rather than a standard group
of artists attached to a company, the studio is a big freelancing house where right about
anything is possible. To give some context about how different their
way of operating is, consider that nowadays they have two studios in Asagaya and Koenji…but
when their first show aired, none of them were operative for a long time! So instead of focusing building an in-house
crew, acclaimed creators from all over the industry keep on showing up for new projects,
as Aniplex uses their connections to assemble teams that will keep on producing hits. Right now, their biggest upcoming title is
a collaboration with studio Trigger that will even include Your Name’s character designer
Masayoshi Tanaka. These things are only possible on a special
environment like the one they’ve built. And of course, after being in the business
for a few years, even this freelance house has created a set of recurring acquaintances. That includes creators as fascinating as their
ex-Gainax contingent, who are split on projects like the team behind The Idolmaster led by
Gurren Lagann’s designer Atsushi Nishigori, as well as Shouko Nakamura’s crew who recently
produced the beautiful BL film Doukyuusei. From the New World’s director Masashi Ishihama,
Sword Art Online and Erased’s Tomohiko Ito, and the ex-KyoAni artists who served as the
backbone of Cinderella Girls are amongst the fascinating creators who have built a solid
link with the studio. They may not focus on employing talented artists
as much as regular studios, but there’s no shortage of talent in their contact list. There’s no denying that A-1 is a unique
studio, an anime manufacturing beast that currently employs over 150 people with the
sole idea of producing one hit after the other. A-1 Pictures is Aniplex’s initiative to
make the impossible possible. And if you think that’s an exaggeration,
please remember that an american musician with an idea, alongside a western streaming
service willing to help, where capable of making their dream a reality in the form of
Shelter. What’s your favorite A-1 Pictures anime? Let us know in the comment section below or
tweet your answers to us @crunchyroll with the #animeacademy and let us know what studio
you’d be interested in learning about next! Thank you so much for watching, if you liked
the video please give it a thumbs up and subscribe to the channel to get notified whenever we
upload a new episode, don’t forget to share this video to help spread the anime love,
and we’ll see you next class.

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