Anime studio Millepensee and SANZIGEN Animation Studio announced on Monday that they have partnered to form the new anime studio lXlXl (pronounced "L-L-L"). The new studio's focus is 3D CG and cinematography. The companies established the new studio in Nerima, Tokyo on September 20 with 6 million yen (about US$55,000) in capital stock. Millepensee founder and president Naoko Shiraishi is serving as the new studio's representative director.
(Depending on each studio and each particular project's techniques and workflow, cinematography or "photography" in the modern animation industry can include the traditional filmmaking roles of layout, cinematography, compositing, and lighting.)
The three Ls in the new studio's name stand for "lumiere, lux, light." The companies had initially discussed including "light" and "shadow" in the name due to its focus on 3D. However, Sanzigen's president and lXlXl's board director Hiroaki Matsuura noted that "shadow" could be seen as a bad omen, so he suggested a name that means "light, light, light."
Although it is an independent company, its initial staff members were Millepensee staff members who wanted to transfer into a CG production company. lXlXl's website also lists job openings for 3D CG operators and animators, as well as people interested in 2D cinematography design and digital animation.
lXlXl aims to allow animators to use either 2D and 3D animation tools when needed, as needed. However, to get to that goal, training is needed, so the studio is starting off as a CG production company in collaboration with Millepensee and Sanzigen.
Millepensee has produced such anime titles as Wake Up, Girls! New Chapter, Cop Craft, the recent Berserk television series, and seasons of Teekyū. Sanzigen's anime production credits include BanG Dream!, 009 Re:Cyborg, BBK/BRNK, ID-0, Monster Strike the Animation, Wooser's Hand-to-Mouth Life, and the Initial D Legend trilogy.
Entertainment company Bushiroad acquired 8.2% of Sanzigen on December 20. Under the new deal, Ultra Super Pictures owns 75.4% of Sanzigen, the Matsuura owns 16.4%, and Bushiroad owns 8.2%.
Sources: lXlXl, Sanzigen, Millepensee's blog via Yaraon!