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Creator / GONZO

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

GONZO was established on February 11, 1992, when producer Shouji Murahama left Studio Gainax to found his own studio along with animators Mahiro Maeda and Shinji Higuchi, and screenwriter Hiroshi Yamaguchi. 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 flamboyance 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 Strike Witches to AIC. This caused many of GONZO's Studio No. 5 staff members, led by producer Tomonori Shibata, to found Studio Gokumi. At the same time, they sold off their CGI division (Digimation) to editing company Q-Tec, who renamed it Graphinica.

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, Seiyu's Life!, and Aokana: Four Rhythm Across the Blue, 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.

Works include:

Main studio


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.
  • Fanservice: Burst Angel, Rosario + Vampire, Strike Witches and others. They're mainly infamous for this.
  • Limited Animation: The studio gained a bad reputation for animation shortcuts just as much as their CGI in the mid-late 2000s.
    • 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: It was the case from 2017 to 2021. After Funimation began its expansion into Latin America, the GONZO series gradually became available in the countries where Funimation currently operates.
  • Start My Own: Showji Murahama formed GONZO after he left Studio Gainax in 1992.