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Japan’s GDH Builds Toon Fund

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Japan’s GDH Builds Toon Fund

Japanese animation studio GDH (formerly Gonzo Digimation Holding) has linked up with the Japan office of Goldman Sachs to raise approximately $43 million to fund content creation, according to Daily Variety. The fund will cover TV, direct-to-video features, theatrical films, online games and other productions targeted at international audiences.

GDH will initially issue share warrants to local Goldman Sachs affiliate Jupiter Investment. Goldman Sachs will then have the option of investing in a contents fund set up by GDH and subsidiary GDH Capital. Through GDH Capital, the company will adopt an investment structure more akin to those employed by U.S. production companies than Japanese animation houses, which typically finance productions through committees.

GDH recently teamed with major shareholder Fuji TV to produce the CG-animated feature Brave Story, based on a best-selling fantasy novel by Miyuki Miyabe, which is slated for release through Warner Bros. Japan this July. In addition, GDH is producing an animated series based on the Witchblade comic books published by Top Cow Prods. in the U.S. This version will be tailored to Japanese audiences and will feature and Asian heroine wielding an ancient weapon to battle evil forces in Tokyo. The series is scheduled to begin airing in Japan on April 6.

GDH’s live-action division, Gonzo Revolution, is set to produce Long Armed Monkeys, the company’s first non-animated effort. The sci-fi buddy actioner is being produced in partnership with Hakuhodo DY Media Partners and Media Factory for release in 2007.

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