MAPPA: Meeting with the legendary Japanese studio The Siver Times

It was in 2011 that MAPPA was born. Created by Masao Maruyama, founder of the Madhouse studio, this new animation studio will quickly grow.

We no longer present them. In recent years, the studio MAPPA is one of the most beloved studios by Japanese animation fans. Behind the fourth season of The attack of the Titansbut also the adaptation of Jujutsu Kaisentheir next release, chain saw manlooks epic.

Manabu Otsuka, CEO of the studio, and Makoto Kimura, producer, were present at several highly anticipated summer events, including JapanExpo and Crunchyroll Expo. Two occasions for Melty to meet them and talk with them about their work and the life of the studio.

MAPPA: An extraordinary studio

The studio MAPPA could be considered the studio’s little brother mad house. Indeed, in 2011, when he had just retired from the studio he had founded in 1972 alongside former employees of Mushi ProductionMasao Maruyama founds his new studio which he calls MAPPA – for Maruyama HASnation Produce Pproject HASassociation.

Shortly after its creation, in 2012, the studio will release the anime Kids on the Slope, adaptation of the manga of the same name. Since then, more than 10 years later, MAPPA has managed to find a place among the biggest studios and continues its ascent. We owe many anime to the studio like Jujutsu Kaisen, dance dance dancer or soon chain saw man. However, a mystery remains: what is the strategy of MAPPA to stand out ?

Projects that primarily appeal to the team

The rise of MAPPA is surprising. This did not prevent them, recently, from finding themselves in turmoil following accusations of ill-treatment of their employees. However, the studio remains particularly popular with fans. This, according to Manabu Otsuka, allows the teams to give their all for each project and to always seek to innovate.

Very recently, the studio has also taken over from Wit Studio of two particularly beloved franchises: The attack of the Titansafter three seasons, and Vinland Saga, after the first season. Something to ask questions for the fans. Yet the studio simply explains it.

Indeed, regarding The attack of the Titans, Wit Studio did not wish to continue the project, the latter requiring far too many resources and being very restrictive. For Vinland Sagathe team simply left the original studio in favor of MAPPA. It was therefore more logical, the team wishing to keep and continue the project, than MAPPA takes over production supervision.

That said, Otsuka takes pleasure in explaining the studio’s objective, when he decides to adapt a license, it is both to please the fans, but also the teams. And when the studio finds itself in charge of a project, the team is then only made up of franchise experts. For Otsuka, if you want to work on an anime, you must have read the manga and be a fan of it, so that you can both have fun, but also please the readers.

Moreover, the studio does not hesitate to use all the tools at its disposal. The example of the CGI, present in the last season of The attack of the Titans, is certainly the most revealing. But when Otsuka is asked if the studio plans to produce a project entirely in CGI, the answer is clear. ” CGI is a great tool for bringing characters or a universe to life. However, it is not the most important tool. We do not exclude this hypothesis, it all depends on the project and what tools will be most suitable for its production“.

CGI is a great tool for bringing characters or a world to life. However, it is not the most important tool. We do not exclude this hypothesis, it all depends on the project and what tools will be most suitable for its production.

Manabu Otsuka – CEO of MAPPA

Chainsaw Man: The next nugget from the MAPPA studio

Shortly, MAPPA is highly anticipated on the anime adaptation of chain saw manmanga created by Tatsuki Fujimoto and available in France from Editions Kaze. For the occasion, a world premiere is even scheduled for September 19 in Japan. Date on which, remember, the biggest announcement of the series should take place. But what is really the production of this series?

First of all, during the panel that took place in Crunchyroll Expo, Manabuo Otsuka explained that the studio worked closely with Tatsuki Fujimoto. In effect, the mangaka was very involved in the production of the anime, right down to the choice of actors. Nevertheless, if one believes the editor of Tatsuki Fujimoto, the studio team was much more invested in the project than Fujimoto and himself.

But when it comes to bringing a manga as popular as chain saw man, it is not just the animation aspect that is taken into account. Indeed, the choice of actors is also important. These are the actors who will bring credit to the series, to the characters. And for this project, many actors and actresses came to audition. Nevertheless, the director of the series, Ryū Nakayama, knew precisely what he was looking for and so he bet everything on the match between actor and character.

But beyond the production, it’s the manga chain saw man who has been talked about the most. Indeed, on several occasions, the studio has clearly explained that the series would not suffer from any censorship. Which is surprising in itself, but Makoto Kimura simply explains it. The project Chainsaw Man was not run by a committee, as can be the other projects. This absence of a committee allowed for greater freedom of action and independence.

Still, bringing the show’s characters to life hasn’t been easy. Indeed, for the moment, we do not know everything that awaits them, of their future. It was a real challenge for MAPPA. The goal is to be as close to the origin story as possible and produce something that appeals to fans..

Regarding the continuation of chain saw man, Otsuka has no information yet, although he really wants to continue adapting the series. In an interview with our colleagues fromIGN Francehe also confided his desire to adapt all the works of Fujimoto, being himself a big fan of the mangaka.

Finally, Otsuka explains himself that the studio does not aim to adapt only popular series. The CEO just wants to work on projects that appeal to its teams and allow them to work with passion. Thus, without any guarantee of success, they continually challenge themselves in order to always offer the best of themselves, as we have seen with dance dance dancer this spring.