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 is a Japanesemarker animation studio. The company is headquartered in Tokyomarker, with chief offices in the Ginzamarker district of Chūō and production facilities in Tama City.


Nippon Animation is famous for producing numerous anime series based on works of literature such as Anne of Green Gables and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, co-founders of the famous Studio Ghibli, directed several episodes in the World Masterpiece Theater series.

Company history

What is now Nippon Animation is descended from Zuiyo Eizo (Zuiyo Enterprises), an animation studio that produced several popular series in the early and mid-1970s, including 1974's Heidi, Girl of the Alps, an adaptation of Johanna Spyri's popular children's book Heidi. The Heidi anime was enormously popular in Japan (and later in Europe as well, and the feature-length edit of the TV series also saw a U.S. VHS release in 1985), but Zuiyo Eizo soon found itself in financial trouble because of the high production costs of a series it was attempting to sell to the European market. In 1975, Zuiyo Eizo was split into two entities: Zuiyo (not Zuiyo Eizo), which absorbed the debt and the rights to the Heidi anime, and Nippon Animation, which was essentially Zuiyo Eizo's production staff (including Miyazaki and Takahata). Officially, Nippon Animation Co., Ltd. was established in June 1975 by company president Koichi Motohashi. The newly rechristened Nippon Animation found success right away with Maya the Bee and A Dog of Flanders, which became the first entry in the World Masterpiece Theater series to be produced under the Nippon Animation name (the series had previously existed during the Zuiyo Eizo era). Hayao Miyazaki left Nippon Animation in 1979 in the middle of the production of Anne of Green Gables to make the Lupin III feature The Castle of Cagliostro.

Body of work

In addition to the World Masterpiece Theater series, Nippon Animation has also produced many other series based on Western works of literature, as well as original works and adaptations of Japanese manga. Many of these are included in the list of the studio's works below.

Of the studio's productions not based on Western literature, the most popular is undoubtedly Chibi Maruko-chan (1990), based on the popular manga by Momoko Sakura. At its peak, this slice-of-life anime about an unusually intelligent elementary-school-aged girl and her family and friends managed an audience rating of nearly 40%, making it one of the highest-rated anime series ever (and the highest-rated anime program in Japanese history at the time).

Works adapted from Western literature

World Masterpiece Theater series

Other TV series



TV specials

  • Anne's Diary: The Story of Anne Frank (Anne no Nikki: Anne Frank Monogatari) - 1979
  • Manxmouse (Tondemo Nezumi Daikatsuyaku) - 1979
  • Back to the Forest (Nodoka Mori no Dobutsu Daisakusen, English titles: Peter of Placid Forest, Back to the Forest) - 1980
  • The Story of Fifteen Boys (Hitomi no Naka no Shonen Jugo Shonen Hyoryuki, Two Years' Vacation) - 1987


Other works

TV series



TV specials, movies and OAVs

  • King Fang (Oyuki Yama no Yuusha Haou) - TV special, 1978
  • Our Hit and Run - TV special, 1979
  • Maegami Taro - TV special, 1979
  • Locke the Superman (Chojin Rokku) - movie, 1984; OAV sequels, 1989, 1991 and 2000
  • Future Boy Conan (Mirai Shonen Conan Tokubetsu Hen-Kyodaiki Gigant no Fukkatsu) (movie) - 1984
  • Sango-shō Densetsu: Aoi Umi no Elfie - TV special, 1986; seemingly inspired heavily by Hayao Miyazaki's Nausicaa
  • Chibi Maruko-chan (movie) - 1990
  • Tottoi (The Secret of the Seal) - 1992, movie
  • Bow (movie) - 1993
  • Mahojin Guru Guru (movie) - 1996
  • Hunter x Hunter (OAV) - 2002
  • Miyori no Mori - TV movie, 2007


External links




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