Liden Films has made this spring thicc thigh season, thanks to The Legendary Hero is Dead. The daikon’s absolute zone is really to blame, though. Liden lacks name recognition but has popular shows, with two fan favorites coming back this year. The studio has produced a surprising number of series in a short time, in fact. What’s their secret? How much talent are they sitting on?
Hiroaki Matsuura, Tadao Iwaki, and Tetsuro Satomi — who already held prominent positions in the anime industry — founded Liden Films in February 2012. Matsuura was head of Studio Sanzigen and Satomi was the president of Burnam Studios. Iwaki, meanwhile, was a producer at Shaft. Ultimately, Satomi became Liden’s Representative Director.
Immediately after forming, Liden joined Ultra Super Pictures. Ultra Super Pictures is a joint holding company comprising studios Trigger, Ordet, Sanzigen (Sanjigen), and Galaxy Graphics. This partnership allows member studios to pool resources. For example, if a studio needs 3DCG work, they call on Sanzigen, which specializes in CG. After 2013, Liden branched off into five other studios. Currently, they have one in Osaka, Kyoto, and Fukuya, and two in Tokyo.
Liden Films’ Best
Liden’s extra studios allow for more in-house production, enabling them to create many memorable series. Their first works were co-productions for Black Rock Shooter, Senyu, and Miss Monochrome. Liden’s first solo series was the little-known Aiura, while the muscular Terra Formars was second. Layton Mystery Tanteisha: Katori no Nazotoki File (Layton Mystery Detective Agency: Katri’s Puzzle Solving Files) was Liden’s first year-long series, at fifty episodes. That’s a rarity for a non-shonen series these days. Liden’s other adaptations include Berserk (2016), Heroic Legend of Arslan, Magical Girl Spec Ops Asuka, Magical Sempai, Otherside Picnic, and Tokyo Revengers. Later this year will see the return of Rurouni Kenshin and Goblin Slayer.
I like a lot of Liden Films’ anime. Hopefully, the new Rurouni Kenshin will become another favorite. I miss that sweet reverse blade action. My favorite series, however, is Magical Sempai. Sorry, Tokyo Revengers, you’re a fine runner up. Magical Sempai is about a magic loving girl and her assistant who tries to help her overcome her performance anxiety when doing tricks. Consequently, her efforts result in sexy magical mishaps — fanservice that makes the series unique. Cute girls doing magic is refreshing and naughty.
Liden Film’s Brightest
Liden Films works with many established directors, like Magical Sempai’s Fumiaki Usui. Seiki Takuno (Sekkō Boys), Shin Itagaki (Berserk), Noriyuki Abe (Heroic Legend of Arslan), and Tetsuya Watanabe (Midnight Occult Civil Servants) are the most prominent. Takuno has directed more shows than anyone. He’s done six series so far, including the Liden Films original, Sekkō Boys. Do you remember 2016’s surprise hit about the plaster heads turned idols? The witch-kissing harem series Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches is his most well-known work for Liden.
The secret to Liden Films’ success is its membership with Ultra Super Pictures. Liden’s teaming with other studios early on allowed them to increase their workload and to work on popular series like the New Initial D movies. The Kyoto and Osaka studios have even started producing work themselves. Liden Films may not have name recognition, but they produce quality work and have a knack for getting the best projects animated.
If you’re looking for something cute and love Tokyo Revengers, then check out this Manjiro figure. If you’re in the mood for magical naughtiness, then give the Yu-Gi-Oh!-themed doujin Overlay Magic Color a try.