MAPPA CEO Manabu Otsuka has revealed that the production structures of certain anime series are crucial to the survival of the company. Otsuka specifically mentioned Chainsaw Man and Campfire Cooking in Another World with My Absurd Skill as examples of this necessary direction for MAPPA.
He explained that despite the success of one of their most popular anime series, Yuri!!! on Ice, the profits gained from it were relatively insignificant. Although the show was considered a big hit, the money the studio earned from it was not substantial. Otsuka acknowledged the responsibility they had to increase their capabilities and make the most of their limited opportunities.
To address these concerns, MAPPA has taken on various new ventures. They launched the YouTube event MAPPA STAGE and created JuJu Talk, a Jujutsu Kaisen-themed series. Otsuka also credited the acquisition of producer Makoto Kimura and the rise of foreign anime distributor platforms for providing more opportunities for the company.
The news of Yuri!!! on Ice’s lackluster profitability displeased many fans, who took to social media to express their disappointment. Since its debut in 2016, MAPPA has become a well-known name in the anime community due to successful adaptations of popular series like Kakegurui, Terror in Resonance, and Dorehedoro. However, despite these achievements, the studio faced financial difficulties for many years.
MAPPA, like other studios, entered into production committees with other stakeholders to produce anime series like Yuri!!! on Ice. However, the structure of these agreements meant that while MAPPA incurred less debt, the majority of the financial success of the anime went to other parties. This led to MAPPA effectively being subcontractors who produced anime for little-to-no profit.
In order to change this situation, Otsuka highlighted the decision to fully finance Chainsaw Man as an example. By taking on the financial burden, MAPPA can reap most of the profit from the series. Otsuka’s comments about the financial viability of Yuri!!! on Ice raised concerns among fans, especially regarding the indefinitely delayed Yuri!!! On Ice the Movie: Ice Adolescence, which has been promised since 2019.
Some fans criticized Otsuka’s reasoning, referring to previous statements by MAPPA co-founder Masao Maruyama about preserving creativity and avoiding becoming too focused on profit. However, others acknowledged that the financial struggles faced by MAPPA in 2016 may have limited their options.
Overall, Otsuka’s remarks indicate the challenges faced by anime studios like MAPPA to ensure their financial sustainability while also balancing creativity and the demands of the industry. Future decisions and ventures will determine whether MAPPA can overcome these challenges and continue to produce successful anime series.