MADHOUSE Ltd. (株式会社 マッドハウス Kabushiki-gaisha Maddohausu?) is a Japanese animation studio, founded in 1972 by ex–Mushi Pro animators including Masao Maruyama, Osamu Dezaki, Rintaro, and Yoshiaki Kawajiri. It has created and helped to produce many well known shows, starting with TV anime series Ace o Nerae! in 1973, and including western favourites Ninja Scroll, Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, Trigun and Di Gi Charat. Madhouse produced animation in the OVA format in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but unlike other studios founded at this time such as AIC and J.C.Staff, their strength was primarily in TV shows and theatrical features. Expanding from the initial Mushi Pro staff, Madhouse recruited such important directors as Morio Asaka, Masayuki Kojima, and Satoshi Kon during the 1990s. Their staff roster expanded in the 2000s to include Mamoru Hosoda and Mitsuo Iso, as well as many younger television directors. The studio was also responsible for the first Beyblade anime series as well as the Dragon Drive anime.
The studio often collaborates with known mangaka, including Naoki Urasawa and Clamp. Madhouse produced adaptations of Urasawa's Yawara!, Master Keaton and Monster, with Masayuki Kojima helming the later two. The company has animated a number of CLAMP's titles, including Tokyo Babylon, two versions of X, Cardcaptor Sakura, Chobits, CLAMP in Wonderland, and recently Kobato.
The studio employs approximately 80 full-time employees, with employment levels varying depending on the number of productions currently underway. Additionally, the company owns controlling interest in the Korean subsidiary studio DR Movie, which employs approximately 350 staff.
Madhouse's early theatrical work included assistance on the Barefoot Gen films, and Lensman, an anime movie based on the space opera series by pulp science fiction legend E.E. "Doc" Smith. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, director Yoshiaki Kawajiri produced a string of action films including Demon City Shinjuku, Wicked City, and Ninja Scroll. In the late 1990s, the studio aimed at a younger female audience with Morio Asaka's two Cardcaptor Sakura films, based on the popular television series. In the early 2000s, an ambitious collaboration with Tezuka Productions resulted in Metropolis, directed by Rintaro and adapted from the manga by Osamu Tezuka. Earlier Tezuka productions included two feature-length films made for Sanrio starring Tezuka's unicorn character Unico. Staff director Satoshi Kon produced all four of his films with the studio: Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress, Tokyo Godfathers, and Paprika, as well as his TV series Paranoia Agent. In 2003, Madhouse produced Nasu: Summer in Andalusia, which was adapted from the seinen manga Nasu by Iou Kuroda and directed by Studio Ghibli veteran Kitarō Kōsaka. And in 2006, director Mamoru Hosoda began his career with the studio by directing The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. Recent productions included Masayuki Kojima's theatrical debut Piano no Mori (2007), the company's first CG animated film, Yona Yona Penguin (2009), and Trigun: Badlands Rumble (2010). Upcoming films include Tibetan Dog, a planned co-production with China.
Collectively, Madhouse films have won a total of two Japan Academy Prizes, two Gertie Awards, six Mainichi Film Awards (three Ōfuji Noburō Awards, and three Animation Grand Awards), two Tokyo Anime Awards for Animation of the Year, and five Animation Kobe Feature Film Awards.
Madhouse worked with Square Enix on the OVA Last Order: Final Fantasy VII as well as Capcom for the mini series of Devil May Cry: The Animated Series. They also collaborated with Studio Ghibli by contributing animation to Hayao Miyazaki's My Neighbor Totoro (1988), Spirited Away (2001), and Howl's Moving Castle (2004), as well as Tomomi Mochizuki's I Can Hear the Sea (1993) and Goro Miyazaki's Gedo Senki (2006). They also animated the intro cutscene to PlayStation game Wild Arms. They will be working with Marvel Animation to create adaptations of Blade, Iron Man, Wolverine and X-Men due for release in 2010. 2010 saw the publication of Devil, a manga intended specifically for the American market; the property is a collaboration with Dark Horse Comics, and is written and drawn by Torajiro Kishi. They also provide animation for the Adult Swim adaptation of The Boondocks.
- (Russian) Ivanov, Boris (2001). Vvedenie v iaponskuiu animatsiiu (2 ed.). Moscow: Фонд развития кинематографии; РОФ «Эйзенштейновский центр исследований кинокультуры». p. 335. ISBN 5901631013.
- "DR Movie Business Overview". DR Movie. Retrieved 2009-06-11.
- "SDCC: Marvel Animation Panel; X-Men and Blade animes also announced.". Japanator.com. 2009-07-25. Retrieved 2009-08-10.
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