Kadokawa has plans to increase the amount of anime it produces to 40 titles a year until 2023.
Those plans were revealed in a financial report (spotted by Crunchyroll) in which the company reported an increase in profits for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021, with sales up 2.6% from the fiscal year that ended March 31, 2020 despite COVID-19. Several “priority measures” were outlined, with the strengthening of Kadokawa’s animation business being one of them.
As part of this priority measure, Kadokawa plans to produce 40 titles a year until 2023, a period that falls within its mid-term plan. The report says that 33 titles were produced during the previous fiscal year, but a report by Animation Business Journal noted that the period already saw Kadokawa investing in 40 titles, including 31 TV anime, five movies, and four OVA/event screenings.
There are plans for more IP titles as well, with another priority measure listing plans to expand from 5,000 IPs a year to 6,000 IPs. The Kaku-Yomu and Maho-no-i-l websites are listed as targeted areas for the discovery of new talent, while ComicWalker is listed as a vehicle for expanding “recognition of new titles.” The report made note of three TV anime adaptations of titles that were published on Kaku-Yomu – HigeHiro, Super Cub, and Full Dive: This Ultimate Next Gen Full Dive RPG Is Even Shittier Than Real life. All three are currently broadcasting as part of the Spring 2021 anime season.
As part of the animation business-strengthening priority measure, Kadokawa is also considering the establishment of a “world-class” 3DCG studio that would be composed of “the world’s best” creators. Kadokawa previously founded the 3DCG studio ENGI in 2018. In 2019, it jointly-acquired 2D animation studio Kinema Citrus with Bushiroad.
Additionally, there are plans to expand license-based revenue and to expand net sales of anime-related games. Moving forward, Kadokawa intends to strengthen collaborations in this area with new partners CyberAgent and Sony Group.
The report noted that there was a year on year revenue growth of 165% from “animation IP game royalties,” with IPs like KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World!, Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World-, and Overlord credited with leading the growth in net sales of anime-related games.
On the video side (which includes live-action titles), titles like Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld, Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World Season 2, and the live-action A Family were highlighted for their net sales contributions in the April 2020 to March 2021 period. Upcoming anime movies like Belle (Ryuu to Sobakasu no Hime), The Deer King (Shika no Ou: Yuna to Yakusoku no Tabi), and the 3DCG The Great Yokai War: Guardians are expected to contribute from April to September 2021.
Although overall video net sales dropped by 8.2％, the report stated that on the animation business side, income “from licensing business with media mix of enduring bestsellers such as ‘Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World-‘” increased, and that overseas business improved by 9%.
On the negative impact of COVID-19 “in yen terms,” the report said, “The negative impact of COVID-19 came from restrictions on seating and the shortened business hours at movie theaters in the video business. COVID-19 adversely affected ticket sales business, caused the cancellation of in-person events in the web service business, caused the live business to shift to online events, and adversely affected product sales. The impact in the periods from April to March was approx. JPY 19 billion in total.”
Sources: Kadokawa Financial Report, Animation Business Journal, Crunchyroll