Nippon Animation Co., Ltd.
Native name
Nippon Animēshon
Company typeKabushiki gaisha
IndustryJapanese animation
FoundedApril 1969; 54 years ago (April 1969) (as Zuiyō Eizō)
June 1975; 48 years ago (June 1975) (as Nippon Animation)
FounderKōichi Motohashi
HeadquartersKoganei, Tokyo, Japan
Number of employees
76 (as of March 2022)[1]

Nippon Animation Co., Ltd. (日本アニメーション株式会社, Nippon Animēshon Kabushiki-gaisha) is a Japanese animation studio.[2] The company is headquartered in Tokyo, with chief offices in the Ginza district of Chūō and production facilities in Tama City.

Nippon Animation is known for producing numerous anime series based on works of Western literature such as Anne of Green Gables and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, co-founders of Studio Ghibli, directed several episodes in the World Masterpiece Theater series.


Early History (as Zuiyo Eizo)

What is now Nippon Animation is descended from Zuiyo Eizo (or Zuiyo Enterprise), an animation studio founded in April 1969 by TCJ former manager Shigeto Takahashi.[3] The studio produced several popular series in the early and mid-1970s, including 1974's Heidi, Girl of the Alps, an adaptation of Johanna Spyri's popular children's book Heidi.[4] The Heidi anime was enormously popular in Japan (and later in Europe, and the feature-length edit of the TV series saw a U.S. VHS release in 1985). Zuiyo Eizo soon found itself in financial trouble because of the high production costs of a series (presumably Maya the Bee) it was attempting to sell to the European market.

Modern History (as Nippon Animation)

In 1975, Zuiyo Eizo was split into two entities: Zuiyo, which absorbed the debt and the rights to the Heidi anime, and Nippon Animation, which was essentially Zuiyo Eizo's production staff (including Miyazaki and Takahata). Officially, Nippon Animation Co., Ltd. was established on 3 June 1975 by company president Kōichi Motohashi. The newly rechristened Nippon Animation found success right away with Maya the Bee and A Dog of Flanders (both of which began as Zuiyō Eizō productions), which became the first entry in the World Masterpiece Theater series to be produced under the Nippon Animation name. Hayao Miyazaki left Nippon Animation in 1979 in the middle of the production of Anne of Green Gables to make the Lupin III feature The Castle of Cagliostro.

Body of work

In addition to the World Masterpiece Theater series, Nippon Animation has also produced many other series based on Western works of literature, as well as original works and adaptations of Japanese manga. Especially, until Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair (1992), its peak of productions based on Western works of literature. Many of these are included in the list of the studio's works below.

Of the studio's productions not based on Western literature, the most popular is undoubtedly Chibi Maruko-chan (1990), based on the popular manga by Momoko Sakura. At its peak, this slice-of-life anime about an unusually intelligent elementary-school-aged girl and her family and friends managed an audience rating of nearly 40%, making it one of the highest-rated anime series ever (and the highest-rated anime program in Japanese history at the time).

Works adapted from Western literature

World Masterpiece Theater series

Main article: World Masterpiece Theater

Other TV series

TV specials

Other works

TV series


TV specials

Original video animations

Nippon Animedia

It is a department of Nippon Animation that had a partnership with famous toy company Takara on some anime.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "日本アニメーション株式会社の企業情報 キャリタス就活2024 新卒・既卒学生向け就職活動・採用情報サイト". Retrieved 21 June 2023.
  2. ^ "Nippon Animation Co., Ltd". CELSYS. Archived from the original on 7 March 2019. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  3. ^ Kato, Yoshihiko (2010). 作曲家・渡辺岳夫の肖像 ハイジ、ガンダムの音楽を作った男 (P-Vine Books). Blues Interactions. p. 101.
  4. ^ Clements, Jonathan; McCarthy, Helen (9 February 2015). The Anime Encyclopedia, 3rd Revised Edition: A Century of Japanese Animation. Stone Bridge Press. ISBN 9781611729092. OCLC 904144859. Archived from the original on 2 May 2022. Retrieved 6 March 2019 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ Schilling, Mark (23 January 2015). "Nippon Animation Sets Sail With Top Crew on 'Sinbad'". Archived from the original on 6 March 2019. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  6. ^ Milligan, Mercedes (23 January 2015). "Nippon Animation Announces 'Sinbad'". Archived from the original on 7 March 2019. Retrieved 6 March 2019.