, ,


Was born on 22th January of 1941 in Tokyo, Japan. He is one of the most famous anime directors.

Rintaro began working in the animation industry, at the age of 17, as an in-between animator on the 1958 film “Hakujaden” fot Toei Animation, which was is the first color anime feature film. He worked on two more films there, but after that he began to work on Mushi Productions, having there his first job as a Director, being the Episode Director of Astro Boy’s fourth episode in 1963. After leaving the company in 1971, he became a freelancer and co-founded the Madhouse Studio in 1972. He works frequently with the studio, though as a freelance director he is not employed directly by any studio. He directed many popular tv series such as “Lupin VIII” (1982), “Dragon Quest” (1989), “Wolverine” (2010) and “Blade” (2011). His works have won and been nominated for multiple awards, including a nomination for Best Film “Metropolis” at the 2001 Festival de Cine de Sitges. He is also a founding member of the Japanese Animation Creators Association (JAniCA) labor group. In nowadays, Rintaro lectures at Kyoto Seika University.




Osamu Dezaki


, , , ,


Was a Japanese director of anime, born on 18th November of 1943 in Shinagawa, Tokyo. Desaki died from lung cancer on April 17, 2011, at the age of 67.

Dezaki started out as a manga artist in high school. In 1963, he joined studio Mushi Productions and in 1972 joined Maruyama and founded Madhouse Studio. Dezaki was known for his distinct visual style, which makes use of split screen, stark lighting and pastel freeze frames that he called “postcard memories” which many consider to be his most famous trademark. They feature a process whereby the screen fades into a detailed “painting” of the simpler original animation. Many of his techniques became popular and came to be seen as special techniques of Japanese animation.

ace wo nerae

His most famous works were “Astro Boy” working as the Animator and episode Director, from 1963 to 1966 on Mushi Production; “Aim for the Ace! / Ace o Nerae!” working as Director from 1973 to 1974, already on Madhouse Studio and being his first original video animation ; “The Rose Of Versailles” working as Director from the episode 19 till the end, from 1979 to 1980; He made two tv series based on “Moby-Dick” by Herman Melville and based on “The Snow Queen” by Hans Christian Anderson. Called “Hakugei: Legend of the Moby Dick” and “The Snow Queen” respectively, being the Director from 1997 to 1999 and Director and Storyboard Artist from 2005 to 2006 correspondingly.

He made various “Lupin III” television specials working as a Director from 1989 from 1995 and work as Director in lots of movies as well. “Air” (2005) and Clannad” (2007) were his last ones.



Masao Maruyama




He’s a Japanese film producer, animation developer, the co-founder, member and producer of Madhouse Studio.

Maruyama was born in Shiogama, Miyagi Prefecture in 1941. He is 71 years old and a 40-plus year veteran of the animation business.

In 1963, Maruyama graduated in Hosei University and soon after that, he found a job as an animator in Mushi Production. There he met Madhouse’s future staff members and in 1972 he and the other animators, Osamu Dezaki, Rintaro, and Yoshiaki Kawajiri left this studio and created Madhouse studio. Since that moment, Maruyama principally focused on producing and planning Madhouse’s upcoming projects, because as the main producer and studio head, 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.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, he did the 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 this award.

In recent years, thanks his frequent attendance at anime conventions, he has become well known in America among Madhouse’s fans.




Mad House is a Japanese animation studio, one of the leading animation studios in the world, founded in 1972 by ex-animators of Moshi Pro studios, the ones who created Astro Boy. These animators were Masao Maruyama, Osamu Dezaki, Rintaro and Yoshiaki Kawajiri. Their first animation was “Ace o Nerae!” in 1973, a TV series about Hiromi Oka, a high school girl who struggles to become good at tennis. Since then, they have animated really popular western animations such as Ninja Scroll, Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, Trigun and Death Note, in 1993, 2000, 1998 and 2006 correspondingly.

Unlike the other studios founded at this decade, like AIC and J.C. staff, Madhouse stood out for its strength on TV shows and theatrical features. During the 90’s they expanded their staff to include important directors such as Morio Asaka, Masayuki Kojima, and Satoshi Kon.

In 2000’s they had a new expansion to include Mamoru Hosoda, Takeshi Koike and Mitsuo Iso as well other younger television directors.


The studio collaborates with known manga artists like Naoki Urasawa and Clamp.  Urasawa’s Madhouse adaptions were “Yawara!”, “Master Keaton” and “Monster”. They animated a considerable number of Clamp’s manga, “Tokyo Babylon”, two versions of “X”, “Cardcaptor Sakura”, “Chobits”, “CLAMP in Wonderland” and recently the second “Hunter x Hunter” anime.

On Films Industry, Madhouse’s early works were as assistants on “Barefoot Gen” films and “Lensman”, an anime movie based on the space opera series by pulp science fiction legend E.E. “Doc” Smith.

In the 80’s and on the first years of the 90’s, the director Yoshiaki Kawajiri produced a range of action films including “Demon City Shinjuku”, “Wicked City”, and “Ninja Scroll”.

Demon City

In the late 90’s, they animated “Sakura Cardcaptor” films, based on the television series.

In the early 2000’s they made a fantastic collaboration with Tezuka Productions, resulting in “Metropolis”, based on the silent film of the same name and directed by Rintaro and adapted from the manga of Osamu Tezuka. They had made previous collaborations with Tezuka, two feature-length films made for Sanrio, a design Japanese company, starring Tezuka’s unicorn character, Unico.


The director Satoshi Kon produced all of his four films with the studio, “Perfect Blue” (1997), “Millennium Actress” (2001), “Tokyo Godfathers” (2003), and “Paprika” (2006). Kon was making his fifth film the “Dreaming Machine with Madhouse” but it was left incomplete due to his death in 2010.


Madhouse produced “Nasu: Summer in Andalusia” in 2003, which was adapted from the manga “Nasu” of Iou Kuroda, and directed by Studio Ghibli veteran, Kitarō Kōsaka. “Nasu” was the first Japanese animated film ever selected for screening at the renowned Cannes Film Festival. Kōsaka followed up his film with an OVA sequel in 2007.

“The Girl Who Leapt Through Time”, in 2006, marked the beginning of the career in the studio for Mamoru Hosoda.

The most recent productions were Masayuki Kojima’s theatrical debut “Piano no Mori” (2007), Hosoda’s praised “Summer Wars” (2009), Sunao Katabuchi’s “Mai Mai Miracle” (2009), the company’s first Computer Graphics animated film, “Yona Yona Penguin” (2009), Takeshi Koike’s feature film presentation “Redline” (2009), a theatrical version of the “Trigun” series, “Trigun: Badlands Rumble” (2010), and “The Tibetan Dog”, a co-production with China (2011).


Currently, Madhouse is working on the first film of the the “Hunter × Hunter” series, “Hunter × Hunter: Phantom Rouge”, supposed to be released on January 2013.

In total, Madhouse films have won two Japan Academy Prizes, three Grand Prizes in Animation Division at Japan Media Arts Festival, two Gertie Awards, six Mainichi Film Awards (three Ōfuji Noburō Awards, and three Animation Grand Awards), two Tokyo Anime Awards for Animation of the Year, and five Animation Kobe Feature Film Awards.

Madhouse have made several collaborations and the main ones were with Square Enix on the OVA “Last Order: Final Fantasy VII” as well as Capcom for the mini series of “Devil May Cry: The Animated Series”. They collaborated with Studio Ghibli by contributing animation to Hayao Miyazaki’s “My Neighbor Totoro” (1988), “Spirited Away” (2001), and “Howl’s Moving Castle” (2004), as well as Tomomi Mochizuki’s “I Can Hear the Se”a (1993) and Goro Miyazaki’s “Gedo Senki” (2006). Madhouse also collaborated with WaltDisney for the anime “Stitch!” on its first season and second season, “Stitch! Itazura Alien no Daibouken”, between 2008 and 2010. They had a huge collaboration with Marvel Entertainment to create adaptations of “Blade”,” Iron Man”, “Wolverine” and “X-Men”.





Madhouse Studio – Masao Maruyama and Sunao Katabuchi Interview


, ,

AM2 Press Junket interviewed the president of Madhouse Studio, Masao Maruyama, together with writer/director Sunao Katabuchi, best known as the director of Black Lagoon. This a really rich interview to get to know who they liked to work with, what is their process for deciding a project, and particulary what it’s like working on foreign co-productions vs working on a Japanese production, since Madhouse has collaborated many times with Marvel in the last years on anime versions of Iron Man, Wolverine and others.

So will post this so you can understand who this two amazing talented people are and how they work on other perspective without only reading about them.

The Beginning




In the Pixel to Pencil class, the task of writing a research blog about a studio or animator of films or video games was given to us. I was torn between a video game company, called Bethesda and this Japanese anime studio I chose. But I ended up picking the Animation company because I’m on the animation course and the Japanese style of animation was something I always loved since childhood and this company produced some of my favorite animated TV series and films.

The Animation Studio I will write about on the next pages is called Madhouse and is one of the most famous and successful studios in Japan. It has produced well known series such as “Death Note”, “Vampire Hunter D”, “Ninja Scroll”, “Beyblade” and so many others. As for films, they produced two “Sakura Cardcaptor” movies, “Nasu: Summer in Andalusia”, the first Japanese animated film ever selected for screening at the renowned Cannes Film Festival and some of the animation short films, “The Animatrix” (World Record and Program).

I will write about their history, most important animators and their best animated tv series and movies and i will post interviews if I find any.