If you’ve been following this blog lately, you may have noticed that the anime industry creating lots of jobs in Japan. Major studios like Sunrise are offering scholarships and guaranteed employment to good artists. But there’s another thing you may have noticed.
All of those anime jobs are in Tokyo.
While it’s great to see more people finding jobs in anime, it would be nice if the industry could “share the wealth.” At least, that’s what famed director and renowned strange person Hideaki Anno thought. So, with the help of Dwango and the city of Fukuoka, he made a change.
The new “Project Studio Q” is hoping to bring animation and CG jobs to areas outside of Tokyo — specifically, Fukuoka on the island of Kyushu. The project is the result of a three-company collaboration. Hideaki Anno comes in via Studio Khara, which he runs with his wife Moyoco Anno. Dwango Co., Ltd. is a subsidiary of Kadokawa and owns popular video site Nico Nico. And partnering with them is Fukuoka’s Aso College Group, which is already working to train people to enter the work force.
Why Fukuoka? Well, for one thing, it’s southern Japan’s largest city, and close to China and Korea. For another, it has a thriving otaku scene. So fans who live in the area can finally live their dream without having to completely relocate onto a different island!
Quick. Quality. Q-shu.
Fukuoka is located on the island of Kyushu — that big southern island that makes up the bottom of Japan. This location is part of the reason for the choice of name: the “Q” (kyu) is short for “Kyushu,” the area that the company hopes to revitalize and bring into the industry.
But Studio Q also wants to be known for reliable, talented employees. The “Q” is also for Quick and Quality, two elements they’re hoping to offer to the fields of animation and CG.
The new studio’s opening was first announced on Nico Nico, with Anno in tow. As for where they’ll go from here? It’s likely we’ll see a lot of Khara and Kadokawa product getting animation done at Studio Q. And if all goes well, Fukuoka may become another booming location for anime jobs.
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