Ode to Anime Studios – Lerche/Studio Hibari

This is a bit of a complicated scenario, so I ended up putting the two studios together…I don’t think I’ll be running one of these posts next month as a result.

As I was thinking about what to write about this month, two problems came up regarding this studio:

  • What should I think the major works of Lerche are? Their works are every genre from mystery (Rampo Kitan) to slightly ecchi LN adaption (Classroom of the Elite).
  • How do you pronounce “Lerche”, anyway?

As it turns out, “Lerche” is pronounced la-ru-ke. Lerche means “lark” in German, in the same way “Hibari” means the same thing in Japanese (well, “skylark”…but close enough) and “Larx” is a riff on the bird in English. Unlike other studios, where they’re their own kabushikigaisha, Hibari is the main kabushikigaisha while Lerche is an offshoot of that specialising in anime and Larx specialises in 3DCGI, even though Hibari used to create works and adaptions of its own and still does (Studio Hibari 2019), so there’s going to be a lot of inability to figure out which is Lerche and which is Hibari, hence the double feature.

Lerche was created in 2011 and Larx in 2006 after some consolidation within the Hibari umbrella (Studio Hibari 2019), with Studio Hibari having been created in the July of 1979 (Anime News Network n.d.). Notably, Lerche seems to rely heavily on certain directors, notably Seiji Kishi, to keep entire works afloat, and they do a lot of adaptions (e.g. Scum’s Wish) and spinoff works (e.g. Koro Sensei Quest) with no real rhyme or reason in regards to the original publishers of those adaptions/spinoffs (Lerche n.d.). There don’t seem to be any crossovers in directorial talent between Lerche and Studio Hibari, just from doing a quick check of some of the Hibari works. Lerche, Hibari and Larx are, quite obviously, represented with birds, although Lerche has its own green-haired anime girl, Laruko, as a mascot on top of having the bird (Lerche 2014).

My favourite of Lerche’s – or rather, the one show that sticks out to me as being a work by this particular studio above all others – is undoubtedly Rampo Kitan, and interestingly enough this one probably owes more to the studio and director than some of my previous choices for this section simply due to how loose it plays with the source material. Rampo Kitan’s a bit rough around the edges, but certainly had some very interesting concepts. On the other hand, I’ve heard of a few shows/OVAs from Studio Hibari but I’ve only ever watched an episode of the soccer-based Cleanliness Boy! Aoyama-kun before bailing on it.

I think I got a bit lazy this time, hence the brevity. Currently, I’m just thinking about Ufotable due to the tax evasion scandal that’s been going on as of late plus the Kimetsu no Yaiba collab…which is probably why I’m not really giving a flip about either of the studios I’m writing about here, even though two studios should be giving me more information than just one. So, what’s your favourite work with the main studio being Lerche? Or are you more a fan of Studio Hibari?


References

Anime News Network n.d., Studio Hibari, viewed 15th May 2019, https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/company.php?id=176 

Lerche 2014, Akeshimashite Omedetougozaimasu! [Happy New Year!], viewed 15th May 2019, http://www.lerche.jp/archives/2424 [In Japanese.]

‘Lerche (studio)’, Wikipedia, wiki article, viewed 15th May 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lerche_(studio)

Lerche n.d., works, viewed 15th May 2019, http://www.lerche.jp/archives/category/works

Studio Hibari 2019, HISTORY, viewed 15th May 2019, https://www.st-hibari.co.jp/company/history/?lang=en

 

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