Japanese company GDH will restructure its animation studio Gonzo and cut creative staff from 130 to 30, according to the Nihon Keizai Shimbun newspaper. The five-year plan is to save the company and restore its profitability after a tough financial period caused by bleak DVD sales.
Last year, GDH asked for about 50 of its employees to choose voluntary retirement, but only 36 responded to its severance package of one-month’s pay. Experts point out that with the new cuts, Gonzo will not be able to produce its usual anime slate on its own. In November, GDH announced that it plans to reduce its annual anime output from eight to four projects. Among the greenlit titles announced at the time were The Tower of Druaga: the Sword of Uruk, Slap Up Party -Arad Senki-, Shangri-La, Saki, and Alive – Saishū Shinka teki Shōnen.
Gonzo, which was established in 1992, also produced the Afro Samurai: Resurrection DVD and cable project that premiered on Spike TV in the U.S. and Canada last month. In 2008, Gonzo produced Rosario + Vampire, S.A, Blassreiter, The Tower of Druaga: the Aegis of Uruk, Strike Witches, and Rosario + Vampire Capu2. The studio also produces the TV series, Linebarrels of Iron. For more info, visit www.gonzo.co.jp.
Afro Samurai: Resurrection