KYOTO, Japan — The year has not started well for “powerhouse” studios Kyoto Animation and P.A. Works. Last year both studios produced widely successful shows in Hibike! Euphonium and Shirobako, respectively, but 2 months into their currently airing shows of Musaigen No Phantom World and Haruta to Chika wa Seishun Suru have not yielded much appreciation from their fans.
This is hardly a new occurrence, as both studios have a history of being very hit-or-miss with their productions. It wasn’t until this weekend, when a production assistant at KyoAni leaked to Anime Maru that the two studios have actually been in a competition for some time now to see who can disappoint their fans more. We’ve decided not to release any more information about the source in order to protect the worker’s identity, but they had this to say:
This all started when things started falling into patterns that we couldn’t ignore anymore… People didn’t like the ending of Kyoukai no Kanata or Chuunibyou Season 2, from us, and then P.A. Works goes and releases stuff like Tari Tari and Red Data Girl. It became a running joke for the people between the two studios who know each other to place bets on who would disappoint the fans more, but then the joke caught wind towards the higher-ups both here and there… and before we know it things have gotten out of hand. It’s become a matter of company strategy: how many crappy shows can we spit out before we have to put actual effort into high school yuri bait to make our fans think we’re ‘back’?
Our informant also had some things to say about P.A. Works’ strategy.
They’re trying to take this competition to a new level by making disappointing anime that mimic our successes, as if to provoke us. We received a bunch of fans by adapting Jun Maeda visual novels, so they released Charlotte. We make a successful high school band show to build false hope in our fans, and they make HaruChika. Truly, they are formidable opponents.
Now that the truth is out, it’s unsure how fans will perceive the two studios from now on. P.A. Works denied any allegations to the competition, but we noted some audible discomfort from the secretary we spoke to over the phone when we inquired.
Moving into the future, it seems as though KyoAni plans to play the game safe by producing a second season of the aforementioned Hibike! Euphonium, while fans are uneasy about the upcoming original production from P.A. Works: Kuromukuro.