Toho Acquires Science Saru Animation Studio

Japanese production and distribution company Toho, which has been growing its involvement in animation in recent years, is acquiring Science Saru, the Tokyo-based animation studio that most recently produced the Netflix series Scott Pilgrim Takes Off.

Science Saru logo

Founded in 2013 by director Masaaki Yuasa and producer Eunyoung Choi, the studio produced numerous features directed by Yuasa, including Lu Over the Wall, Ride Your Wave, and Inu-oh, as well as series such as Ping Pong, Space Dandy, and Devilman Crybaby.

Yuasa stepped down as president in 2020, stating that he needed to take a break after seven years of non-stop work. Upon Yuasa’s departure, Choi assumed the role of both president and CEO, as well as sole owner.

Science Saru’s upcoming projects include Naoko Yamada’s feature The Colors Within and the Netflix series Dandadan, both of which are set to launch later this year.

In a statement posted on Science Saru’s website, the company said:

We have greatly agreed on our mutual vision for future business development. By participating in the Toho Group, we aim to further grow our animation production business. We will continue to strive to improve corporate value for our client companies.

We will continue to work even harder in the future.

Science Saru has been criticized by some workers for overworking artists to the point where there were “girls crying in the bathroom, doing all-nighters.” The problem of overworked artists is endemic to the Japanese animation industry.

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