To be honest, I still have no idea why all these studios are based near Suginami…
To continue with the weird but true fact that the base of anime operations in Japan is Suginami, here’s another studio from there. Kabushikigaisha Zero-G hasn’t existed for long – in fact, it’s only been around since June of 2011 and they’ve only got 30 employees (Zero-G 2016), but already it’s made enough anime for me to sit up and take notice. This actually makes a bunch of sense, considering they are essentially the new incarnation of an older studio from the 90s and 2000s called “Zero-G Room”, from which they inherit their founder Hiroshi Negishi as well (Anime News Network 2011). It could possibly even mean the two are one and the same entity, judging by how Zero-G Room and Zero-G’s entries are one and the same on their Anime News Network page (see Anime News Network n.d. below).
They have a range of styles, but they only do adaptions…with one exception, which was already started at a different studio (One Room 2nd Season). That makes me wonder what a fully original anime from them would look like, to be honest…(I do remember Iori from Grand Blue and Subaru from My Roommate is a Cat looking similar, but that might be because they have a lot in common and their designs – while very different in manga form – got vastly reworked for their anime.)
The most recent work for them, as of this post, is the aforementioned My Roommate is a Cat. However, this brings us to the perennial question – how much of the cute fuzziness of this show is based on the title being adapted and by extension the mangaka? How much should be attributed to the studio, director (Deko Akao, who I’m familiar with through Noragami as well) or even the main character designer? In cases like this one – where the manga is not available in the English market via legal means – it suddenly gets harder to say. The studio also has a lot of smaller parts of more well-known anime under their credit, mostly in-between animation and 2nd key animation (Anime News Network n.d.), which also brings up the question of whether single animators can be called “a studio’s work” or not…because Anime News Network never distinguishes between such cases, but sakuga blogs do.
So, what are your thoughts on the questions raised in the final paragraph?
Anime News Network 2011, Saber Marionette’s Negishi Starts Zero-G Anime Studio, accessed 5th April 2019, < https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2011-06-11/saber-marionette-negishi-launches-zero-g-studio >
Anime News Network n.d., Zero-G, < https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/company.php?id=12033 >
Zero-G 2016, Zero-G, accessed 22nd March 2019, < http://zerog2.jp/ >