|Type||Animation film studio|
|Industry||Media and Entertainment|
|Founded||April 1969 (as Zuiyō Eizō)|
June 1975 (as Nippon Animation)
|Headquarters||Koganei, Tokyo, Japan|
|Products||Animated feature films (Anime)|
Number of employees
Nippon Animation (日本アニメーション, Nippon Animēshon) is a Japanese animation studio. 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.
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. 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. 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.
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.
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).
Main article: World Masterpiece Theater
It is a department of Nippon Animation that had a partnership with famous toy company Takara on some anime.