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Creator / Nippon Animation

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Nippon Animation, founded in 1975, is an established Japanese studio. President Koichi Motohashi organized Nippon Animation from what had been Zuiyô Eizo ("Zuiyo Video"), the animation studio of Zuiyô Enterprise, which had produced Fables of the Green Forest and Heidi, Girl of the Alps; existing Zuiyô productions Vicky the Viking, A Dog of Flanders (1975), and Maya the Bee transitioned to being Nippon Animation productions in mid-airing. Nippon Animation inherited the World Masterpiece Theater mantle from Zuiyô as well as the tradition of producing anime adaptations of Western literature. Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata frequently worked with the studio during the 1970s, as have other big names such as Yoshiyuki Tomino, Yoshifumi Kondo, Noboru Ishiguro, Kozo Kusuba (who would later work on the 2005 Doraemon anime), and future Super Mario Bros. character designer Yoichi Kotabe.

The studio is internationally renowned for its literary anime, but has also produced many works based on existing manga and original ideas. The studio's greatest success in ratings has come with a work of entirely Japanese origin, Chibi Maruko-chan, one of the highest-rated anime programs in the history of Japanese TV with ratings reaching as high as nearly 40% at its peak.

See also Trans Arts, a studio who worked with the company throughout the '70s and '80s. More credits can be found here.

Besides the above, other projects by Nippon Animation include:


Additional Work

Nippon Animation and their works provide examples of:

  • Creator's Oddball: The 1999 anime adaptation of Hunter × Hunter is a Darker and Edgier series adapted from a shonen manga, a marked difference from their literary adaptations and more lighthearted series. This is also true of the studio's first theatrical feature, Locke the Superman (1984).
    • While known for the literary adaptations from the beginning, Nippon Animation's early years in the late '70s featured more stylistic variety, with the studio trying its hand at shoujo manga adaptations (Haikara-san ga Tooru), sports dramas (Song of Baseball Enthusiasts and the volleyball-themed Attack on Tomorrow), and even the super robot genre (Ginguiser).
  • Genre Anthology: Their World Masterpiece Theater and Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics series adapt classic literature and fairy tales, respectively. Their Animated Classics of Japanese Literature series did the same for well-known domestic literary works.
  • International Coproduction: Nippon Animation did many of these, particularly with Spanish, German and Austrian companies, many of which became more popular in the West than in the country where they were animated.