Neon Genesis Evangelion Anime Studio Gainax Declares Bankruptcy

After decades of financial struggles, Gainax, the renowned Japanese anime studio responsible for the iconic series Neon Genesis Evangelion, has officially declared bankruptcy. The news came after years of financial mismanagement and controversies.

The announcement of Gainax’s bankruptcy was made on June 7, 2024, following the acceptance of their application for bankruptcy by the Tokyo District Court, which had been filed on May 29, 2024. As a result, the studio is now defunct, with the Gainax trademark now under the ownership of fellow anime creator Studio Khara.

Gainax gained fame for creating Evangelion, a groundbreaking sci-fi series that revolves around a post-apocalyptic Tokyo and the young mech-pilots tasked with its salvation. However, the studio was also behind other popular series such as Gurren Lagann and Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt.

The downfall of Gainax can be traced back to the mismanagement by former executives who treated the studio as their personal property since around 2012, as stated in a notice on Gainax’s website. Financial and managerial issues have plagued the studio throughout its history, with several high-profile incidents over the years.

One of the earliest signs of trouble was in 1992, when a sequel to their successful release, Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise, was scrapped due to production challenges. However, Gainax saw a glimmer of hope in 1995 with the release of Evangelion, which became an instant hit. Despite its success, Gainax was involved in tax fraud, leading to the arrest and imprisonment of the company’s president and tax accountant for concealing over ¥1.56 billion.

Legal troubles continued to mount for Gainax, including lawsuits from various entities, such as Studio Khara in 2016, over a ¥100 million loan repayment. In 2019, representative director Tomohiro Maki was arrested for alleged indecent acts against a voice actress, resulting in a prison sentence the following year.

The bankruptcy of Gainax marks the end of an era for the renowned anime studio, leaving fans and industry insiders reflecting on its tumultuous history and influential contributions to the world of anime.