Gonzo makes inroads into Okinawa to make it an international hub of animation

February 23, 2012 Masaaki Umeda of the Ryukyu Shimpo

Japanese computer animation company Gonzo K.K., president Tetsuo Karasawa, will establish an Okinawa-based affiliate to operate in Ginowan from this April. They will create and edit computer graphics in the digital animation studio complex. From this summer, a Japan-China joint project will be produced in the studio. The company hopes to make Okinawa an international hub of animation contents and to expand the business operation worldwide in the future.

Gonzo K.K. was founded in 2000, has 43 employees and capital of 3360 million yen. The company’s sales figures by March 2011 were 930 million yen. It not only creates animation but also computer graphics for live action films, and its most well known works are the TV cartoon Last Exile and the animation film Brave Story based on Miyuki Miyabe’s novel of the same title.

The studio is expected to generate jobs for about ten people. They are planning to construct and introduce a new integrated system using just one computer, which will be more efficient than apportioning tasks to a number of different staff.

Trends in the contents industry suggest that cooperation from governmental agencies is a key factor for a company to become a worldwide success and Gonzo K.K. decided to expand their business to Okinawa on the expectation that there would be such support from governmental agencies.

Vice president of Gonzo K.K. Shinichiro Ishikawa said, “In future I would like to attract many international projects to Okinawa and to look beyond animation to create a multidisciplinary media industry here.”

(English translation by T&CT, Shinako Oyakawa and Mark Ealey)

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