Naruto, Bleach Were Nearly Cancelled in 2011, Admits Pierrot President

Pierrot nearly had to cancel its top two anime series in 2011 after the

These days, it is hard to imagine a world whether Naruto or Bleach fell off. The two shonen series stand as some of anime's biggest, and they are thriving to this day. As far as anime is concerned, the two titles were overseen closely by Pierrot for years, and now a new report reveals the shows were nearly cancelled.

The confession comes from Natalie as the publication spoke with Pierrot president Michiyuki Honma. It was there the anime executive unpacked plenty of info about his career, and he admitted Naruto Shippuden faced cancelation in 2011 with Bleach because of the earthquake and tsunami that rocked Japan.

"Once the Great East Japan Earthquake hit, I felt a great sense of crisis. At the time, we were producing more than four projects a week including Naruto Shippuden and Bleach. But soon, the productions fell into disarray as several stations stopped airing regular broadcasts. Our income became unstable. This continued for two months, and we almost couldn't pay our workers' salaries. We found ourselves in a situation where we had no option but to dissolve the company," Honma shared.

However, the entire team at Pierrot was saved. While stations in Japan were focused on recovery efforts, the anime studio behind Naruto was given assistance by fellow production companies. "We were supported by our allies in the industry, and the bank provided us with a loan. Plus, there was other income being earned outside of production," the president shared.

Shows like Naruto Shippuden had a major fanbase tied to them, but even the biggest shows struggle in the face of disaster. The 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami stands as one of Earth's greatest disasters. The event killed nearly 20,000 people and injured 6,000 others. The cost of damages from the disaster measured well over $200 billion USD, so the scope of the tragedy is impossible to ignore. Somehow, Pierrot was able to survive the crisis the event brought, and the studio has since implemented safeguards to protect itself from another catastrophic loss of income.

What do you think about this Pierrot confession? Let us know what you think over on Twitter and Instagram. You can also hit me up @MeganPetersCB to share your take!