12/1/2009: Studio X Part II
Written by Cindy Yamauchi   

Blog GraphicThe young animator who used to work for A-san forwarded me a link to Studio X's blog, which is maintained by A-san. The content was mostly about work and how incompetent Shaft (the studio known for Zetsubo Sensei and Bake Monogatari) and Madhouse were as production studios. Studio X had been working on the key animation for one of the Yu-Gi-Oh series (I've lost track of what it's called now) but moved on to working on Zetsubo Sensei. A-san complained endlessly in his blog that everything Shaft does is slow and bureaucratic, just like Madhouse, making comments like,  "Oh, how long must I wait for my layouts to be returned? This situation reminds me of the time I worked on a Madhouse project." He repeated this often enough to give anyone an impression that he had worked on projects for Madhouse frequently. I heard that Studio X had worked on Aquarian Age back in 2002, but that was the only time. The producers still speak of Studio X with such bitterness that it almost makes you think it happened yesterday. It sounds like the feeling is mutual, for A-san kept on criticizing Madhouse through his blog (though he was working on Shaft's project at the time) until his blog site suddenly shut down.

Many of us complain about work, our clients, our family, etc., on our blogs, but many times we keep it anonymous for obvious reasons. A-san went ahead and used real business names and disclosed production information that is normally considered confidential. The day after the site closed down, the young animator told me that Shaft had sent a complaint to A-san to prevent him from further insulting the company. I was told that A-san found the complaint to be unjust and resumed his blog few weeks later, but this time he's writing about how he started Studio X. He just finished his story on how he ended up receiving a threatening letter from a former employee he had fired (they sort of deserved each other from what I read).

A friend who worked with Studio X on one project a couple years ago was extremely upset at them for their lack of skill and work ethics, but he calmed down when he heard how the employees were mistreated by this tyrant. I was recently told by the young animator that one of the revisions my friend had made, along with his long message attentioned to the artist, was framed and now hanging on the the studio's wall. I'm not sure if my friend likes that idea, but I suppose whatever he had written there had left a deep impression on the artists. Though I no longer feel too sorry for them, I pray that someday they'd have that courage to stand up for their rights.