Anime Studio Mysteriously Vanished, With Artists Unpaid And Unhappy [Update]

Screenshot: Tear Studio
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Tear Studio churned out shows like this year’s Why the Hell Are You Here, Teacher!? and last year’s Lord of Vermilion: The Crimson King. And Fragtime, a movie the studio animated, is currently in theaters. Tear Studio, however, seems to have suddenly vanished.

Update - December 17 - 5:00 AM EST: AWOL anime maker Tear Studio has resurfaced. Its parent company Next Batter’s Circle has started moving forward with filing for bankruptcy. According to ANN, the studio is $393,000 in debt and owes $73,000 to approximately 50 animators.

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As reported by Get News, the studio’s official Twitter account has been deleted. It’s reportedly been inactive for the past few months.

Screenshot: Twitter

The official site’s contact page is gone.

Screenshot: Tear Studio
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The recruitment page, too.

Screenshot: Tear Studio
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Other parts of the website are now missing.

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A notice was posted on the Fragtime site stating that for the time being, they had been unable to get in contact with Next Batters School, the company that owns Tear Studio. “We will continue to ask Next Batters School representatives for status reports to grasp the situation,” the notice added.

News site IT Media also tried calling Tear Studio but couldn’t get in touch.

Freelance animators had taken to Twitter, stating that they have not received payment from the studio. As Hachima points out, freelance animator Gen Sato tweeted, “I never could’ve thought that a theatrical-release anime company would not only fail to pay but erase itself from Twitter and vanish (weeping tears).”

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Other animators report being stiffed, with one saying an invoice submitted in late October has been paid.

“I have other friends who haven’t been paid,” Sato added. “We should think about a class-action lawsuit.”

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About the author

Brian Ashcraft

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored five books, including most recently, Japanese Whisky: The Ultimate Guide to the World's Most Desirable Spirit.