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Creator / GONZO

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Or "How to run a successful company into the ground."

GONZO was established in 1992 when producer Shouji Murahama left Studio Gainax to found his own company. The name likely refers to 'Gonzo Journalism' (as opposed to the Muppet), in which a subjective point of view is used to convey a message.

GONZO is known for its progressive style, using detailed backgrounds, uneven animation and large amounts of CG, as well as a preference for adventure stories. Although their plots and pacing can suffer due to an emphasis on Rule of Cool, their characters often compensate for this. They often have difficulty ending a series, and their adaptations of existing manga are somewhat infamous.

Their unrestrained flamboyancy eventually took its toll, as a string of unpopular/unsuccessful adaptations forced them to sack 75% of their staff. Already in such dire financial straits, their death as a company seemed all but assured by late 2009, having lost the rights to produce the second season of their last hope, the Cash Cow Franchise Strike Witches. This caused many of GONZO's Studio No. 5 staff members, led by Tomonori Shibata, to leave the company and found their own production company Studio Gokumi. At the same time, they sold off their CGI division (Digimation) to editing company Q-Tec, who renamed it Graphinica.

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However, since then, they have recovered to a state where they can make new anime, and is wisely not producing more than one series per season (which may have contributed to their financial troubles). Among the series that were created after the restructuring: Nyanpire: The Animation, the Sequel Series Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing, Blade & Soul, Bayonetta: Bloody Fate, Dog & Scissors, A Town Where You Live, Sore ga Seiyuu!, and Ao No Kanata Four Rhythm, among others.

Gonzo owns GK Entertainment, a South Korean animation studio which has worked on most of Gonzo's shows.

Compare with DR Movie, Toon City, Rough Draft Studios, Production I.G and Digital eMation for their CGI blending. Don't confuse with Gonzo the Great. Or with Raoul Duke's Samoan attorney.


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Works include:

Main studio

Sub-contracted


Tropes associated with GONZO:

  • Adaptational Curves: They tend to up the curves in whatever fanservice anime they do.
  • Animation Bump: Despite the studio's reputation for Off-Model moments, it has just as many higher quality moments. Afro Samurai is just one example.
    • It's noted that many of their works have good animation in their first couple of episodes, before the Off-Model kicks in.
  • Butt-Monkey: Of animation studios, rivaling that of Studio DEEN at times. Though at least Studio Deen managed to make some finacial success however.
  • Conspicuous CG: Many, many of their shows use it.
    • Reversed when they worked on Transformers: Robots In Disguise, with the 2D animation being the conspicuous part.
  • Fanservice: Burst Angel, Rosario + Vampire, Strike Witches and others. They're mainly infamous for this.
  • Limited Animation: The intros for Super Street Fighter IV; the characters barely move, making it more like a motion comic than animation. The endings aren't much better.
  • No Export for You: Since January 2017, GONZO no longer licenses titles distributed by themselves to any country in Latin America whatsoever due to unknown reasons and titles like Akiba's Trip, 18if, Space Battleship Tiramisu and Kakuriyo won't be available to that region.note  The fact that GONZO has a distribution deal with Funimation doesn't help their case.
    • Subverted on titles not distributed by them, such as Calamity of a Zombie Girl as it was distributed outside Japan by Shochiku, Hinomaru Zumou which is distributed outside Japan by Pony Canyon and Conception which is distributed by GAGA Corporation.
  • Off-Model: More than you would believe. It's one of many, many reasons GONZO had such a bad time in the late Turn of the Millennium years.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When Gonzo almost went bankrupt, most of the staff from Studio No. 5 left and founded Studio Gokumi.
  • Start My Own: Showji Murahama formed GONZO after he left Studio Gainax in 1992.

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