President of Ufotable Anime Studio Steps Down Following Tax Scandal

The old saying is that there are two things certain in this life: death and taxes. Unfortunately, the latter has come a calling for the fan favorite anime studio Ufotable. The Japanese government recently revealed that the studio owes around $3.65 USD million in unpaid taxes, causing the President of the studio, Hiraku Kondo, to step down. What may this mean for the animation house?

The anime studio has been responsible for some of well known anime series and movies, such as the Fate/Stay series, the Fate/Zero series, Tales of Symphonia, and the Junji Ito film adaptation of Gyo. The studio has also worked on several video game cut scenes for popular games such as the God Eater series, the "Tales" series, and Code Vein to name a few.

Fate-Stay-Night

(Photo: Ufotable Studio)

Unfortunately, the troubles don't end with just the purported tax evasion, the Japanese government is also stating that the company misappropriated funds that were collected as part of a charity campaign to assist victims of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake. Based on this, the Tokyo Regional Taxation Bureau had also conducted a search of the offices in March of this year. What this means for the future of the animation studio is yet to be seen, but hopefully, for fans of the anime series and video games that Ufotable has had a hand in, the company can make amends and continue putting out the series that fans have grown to follow.

Ufotable was originally founded in 2000 by staff coming from the TMS Entertainment company, specifically its subsidiary Telecom Animation Film. The company has around 90 staff and touts their ability to do most of their work on anime series "in-house" rather than contracting out freelancers, as many other studios in Japan will do frequently.

If you are not familiar with the Fate/Stay Night franchise from Ufotable, then you should know the series came out back in January 2004 as a video game. The story was then adapted into a manga series in Shonen Ace magazine starting in February 2016. Studio Deen then brought the story to life in an acclaimed anime series in 2010, and the franchise also pushed out a slew of spin-off light novels and video games in the past years.

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