Masao Maruyama (丸山 正雄 Maruyama Masao?, born June 19, 1941) is a Japanese film producer, animation developer, the co-founder, board of directors member, and producer of Studio Madhouse, one of the leading animation production companies in the world. Born in Shiogama, Miyagi Prefecture, he is a 40-plus year veteran of the animation business.
Role within Madhouse
As the main producer and studio head, Maruyama is personally responsible for green-lighting new projects. As a result, projects are often directly pitched to him by outside interests or brought to him by creators within the company. He also has a significant amount of influence in determining the staff of these new projects, particularly in the assignment of directorial duties. In addition, he is frequently involved in the planning phase of major studio productions.
While he is the studio head, Maruyama's expertise remains on the artistic end of the company. Business and financial matters are delegated to company president Jungo Maruta.
His business card identifies him as "Chief Creative Officer".
Maruyama graduated Hosei University in 1963, and soon after, he found work at Mushi Production as an animator. It was here that he met many of Madhouse's future staff members. In October 1972, this core group of artists (who included Osamu Dezaki, Rintaro, and Yoshiaki Kawajiri) left the company and founded Studio Madhouse. Since that time, Maruyama has focused mainly on producing and planning Madhouse's upcoming projects. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, he also did production design on several films. In 2002, Maruyama was awarded the "Special/Lifetime Achievement" Award at the 7th Animation Kobe in recognition and honor of his contributions to the industry. He was the first producer to be given the award.
In recent years, thanks in large part to his frequent attendance at anime conventions, he has become well-known in America among Madhouse's fanbase. Not simply wanting to emulate past successes, Maruyama frequently says at these events that his goal as a producer is to seek out new challenges that will allow the production staff to keep experimenting. This attitude in part has been the reason why he has encouraged the studio to take on projects that may not seem like sure-fire commercial hits. In addition, Maruyama has long been a supporter of bringing new talents into the animation business, and continues to encourage young people to work in anime.
At his numerous convention appearances, he has joked that he hopes he will live long enough to see Madhouse's latest project through to completion.
In 2010, Maruyama served as the executive producer for an anime project based on the TV show Supernatural, entitled Supernatural The Animation, and is the world's first animated project from a Japanese anime studio based on an overseas drama series.
- Masao Maruyama at the Internet Movie Database
- Masao Maruyama at Anime News Network
- Masao Maruyama convention appearances on AnimeCons.com
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