It isn’t every day that you see a new anime studio formed, let alone being formed by two existing studios. That’s exactly what’s happening today, though, as anime studios Millepensee and Sanzigen Animation Studio have made a joint announcement revealing partnership in founding the new anime studio IXIXI (pronounced “L-L-L”, for some reason).
Never heard of these studios? They’re both impressive companies on the rise, with a handful of so-so projects and a handful of cult-classic series under their belts. Millepensee produced Wake Up, Girls! New Chapter, as well as the recently aired fantasy cop drama series Cop Craft. They were also responsible for the divisive 3DCG adaptation of Berserk, as well as a few seasons of the downright bizarre and gut-busting short-form comedy anime Teekyu.
The other half of the team behind anime studio IXIXI, Sanzigen Animation Studio, have a few more well-known anime titles in their production history. Almost all of them are also animated in full 3DCG, which the newly formed studio IXIXI is said to focus on. Sanzigen Animation Studio is responsible for the anime adaptation of the massive multimedia music franchise BanG Dream!, as well as recent 3DCG anime action series like Monster Strike the Animation and BBK/BRNK (Bubuki Buranki). They also produced ID-0 and Wooser’s Hand-to-Mouth Life, as well as 3DCG anime films like 009 Re:Cyborg and the Initial D Legend trilogy.
Studio IXIXI is said to focus not only on 3DCG animation, but also on cinematography. In the world of anime, cinematography usually refers to parts of the production pipeline like layout, compositing, and lighting. The studio eventually intends to allow animators to utilize 2D animation tool as well, but in order to start small and grow a talented team before expanding into a larger company, they aim to begin by simply focusing on CG production as they collaborate with Millepensee and Sanzigen Animation Studio on future projects.
Millepensee and Sanzigen Animation Studio founded the new IXIXI anime studio in Nerima, Tokyo on September 20th with 6 million yen or about $55,000 in capital stock. A strong starting capital like that can most likely be contributed to Bushiroad, the massive Japanese entertainment company that recently acquired 8.2% of Sanzigen. Through that deal, Ultra Super Pictures also owns 75.4% of the company, while Matsuura owns 16.4% of it.
Millepensee founder and current president Naoko Shiraishi is set to serve as the representative director for anime studio IXIXI. The rest of the staff are actually other Millepensee employees who wanted to transfer into the field of CG production. As a newly formed independent company, though, IXIXI is hosting job openings for 3DCG operators and animators, as well as people interested in or proficient in 2D cinematography design and digital animation.
The three Ls in the pronunciation of the studio’s name, IXIXI, stand for “lumiere, lux, light.” Initially, the companies wanted to have the phrases “light” and “shadow” incorporated into the name of the new studio. When Sanzigen president and IXIXI board director Hiroaki Matsuura pointed out that “shadow” could be seen as a bad omen, though, he suggested a name that simply incorporated multiple forms of the word “light.”