MAPPA Studio's CEO on the Pull of Popularity vs Prestige

MAPPA President Manabu Otsuka recently broke down the plans the studio has for the future when it comes to quality vs. quantity.

Studio MAPPA has released some of the biggest anime projects of 2023. On November 4th, the studio will end its time with Attack on Titan, releasing the final episode of the black anime series to the world. In a recent interview, current president of the studio, Manabu Otsuka, discussed MAPPA's approach when it came to how it would pick the anime stories that it was looking to bring to life. 

To start the interview, Otsuka discussed his mindset when he was originally chosen to be MAPPA's second president, as the studio opened up its doors in 2011 thanks to one project making being passed on by legendary studio Madhouse, "As I started to understand various numbers related to studio management, my interest became 'How can a company that makes animation survive as a company and grow?' So, in 2016, Maruyama asked me if I would like to become president. When I accepted the job, the first thing I thought about was surviving and continuing to create.''

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(Photo: MAPPA)

MAPPA's Future in Anime

MAPPA's President then touched upon how one of their earliest works, In This Corner of The World, had received some serious accolades, but Manabu recognized that the studio would also need far-reaching appeal to increase its business, "It was great that we were able to release a hit work, but the money that went into the studio when we were contracting out simple production work was very small. When I say that it was low, I mean, the amount of money that went into the studio was very small compared to the business scale of the work as a whole. Our income is small. If we don't improve this, we feel that it will be impossible for us to survive as a company and grow strongly. So from 2016 onwards, we will continue to produce anime while focusing on production conditions that will bring in more money to the studio. Aiming to maintain the environment, around 2018 we started businesses other than anime production, such as rights and events." 

This year alone saw the release of not just Attack on Titan, but also the second seasons of Jujutsu Kaisen, Vinland Saga, and the premiere of Hell's Paradise. With 2024 seeing plenty of projects already confirmed for MAPPA, it will be interesting to see what other properties that the studio will take on in the future. 

Via Comic Natalie