Anime Director Yutaka Yamamoto Files For Bankruptcy

4 years ago 0 Comments

Anime director Yutaka Yamamoto posted a document on his blog on Monday that reveals that he filed for bankruptcy on March 4.

Yamamoto explained in the document that the bankruptcy filing is related to his Ultra Super Pictures holding firm. The joint holding company was established in 2011 for the anime studios Sanzigen, Ordet, and Trigger. Yamamoto stated in the document that he is filing for bankruptcy because it is currently difficult for him to pay back the more than 100 million yen (about US$900,000) Ultra Super Pictures owes to creditors. The document stated that Yamamoto himself has "mostly" no debt aside from a car loan and his personal credit cards, and that the greater part of his debt is regarding the amount Ultra Super Pictures owes to its creditors.

Yamamoto stated in the document that his and Twilight Studio's Hakubo (Twilight) anime film is unrelated to these bankruptcy proceedings (as Twilight Studio is a different company from Ultra Super Pictures and the bankruptcy is for Yamamoto himself), and the proceedings will not affect the funds for the film. Additionally, Yamamoto stated that none of the funds for the various crowdfunding campaigns for Hakubo have ben used to pay Ultra Super Pictures' creditors.

The film is still planned to screen in May. Twilight Studio had announced in January that the anime will open in Japan at Porepore Cinemas Iwaki Onahama in Fukushima prefecture on May 24, then screen elsewhere in Fukushima before getting a larger countrywide release.

Yamamoto launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for the anime in February. The project is seeking to raise 5 million yen (US$44,998) by March 31 in order to create English subtitles and expand the anime's theatrical premiere in Fukushima. As of press time the campaign has raised 1,028,509 yen (about US$9,256) of the 5 million yen goal.

The anime previously had a Japanese Campfire crowdfunding campaign to fund the initial project. The project met its goal of 15 million yen (about US$137,000) in April 2017. The anime was previously slated for 2018 before being delayed to 2019.

Yamamoto is planning the anime as the last of his self-described "Tōhoku trilogy" set in Japan's Tōhoku region in the northeast. Hakubo in particular follows youths living in "the now and present" in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture after the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011. (The previous two Tōhoku projects, blossom and Wake Up, Girls!, were set in the town of Otsuchi, Iwate Prefecture and Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, respectively.)

<!–Yamamoto announced on Twitter in May 2016 that he was taking an indefinite leave to recuperate after “far too unreasonable circumstances piling up” caused him to be in poor health. Yamamoto founded his studio Ordet in 2008 after leaving Kyoto Animation in 2007. The studio worked on Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens with A-1 Pictures, with Yamamoto as director. He has also directed the Fractale series, and directed and supervised the Wake Up, Girls! idol series and films.
Before leaving Kyoto Animation, Yamamoto most notably served as the series production director on the first season of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya anime. He is also credited as an assistant director for Munto 2: Beyond the Walls of Time. He also directed and storyboarded episodes of Air, Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid, and Kanon. His last work with Kyoto Animation was directing the first four episodes of Lucky Star.–>

Sources: Yutaka Yamamoto's blog, Mizonokuchi Law Firm via Hachima Kikō

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