There are very few animation studios outside the Tokyo area, e.g. P.A. Works is based in Nanto, Toyama and Kyoto Animation in Uji, Kyoto Prefecture. A large majority of animation studios is in Tokyo.

What are the animation studios outside the Tokyo area and why the majority is concentrated in Tokyo?

1 Answer 1


What animation studios are located outside the Tokyo area?

Japanese Wikipedia's article on アニメ制作会社 (Animation studios) says:



92%[1] of studios are located in Tokyo Metropolis. In particular, most of them cluster around larger studios. Few are found in rural areas.

Looking through the list given further down on the Wikipedia page, we find that the following studios are not located in Tokyo Metropolis (東京都):

Studios included in the "foreign" and "inactive/bankrupt/etc" sections of the Wikipedia article at the time of writing are not included in the above list. Note also that I generated this list semi-programmatically - I guarantee that every entry on the list above is a non-Tokyo studio, but it is possible there are some other non-Tokyo studios I missed. The report cited for the 92% figure on Wikipedia identifies 14 non-Tokyo studios at the time of its writing (2010), so the 18 I have listed above probably cover those studios fairly well.

Why is the majority concentrated in Tokyo?

The report cited in the Wikipedia article does not, unfortunately, speculate as to why there are so many studios in Tokyo. I would imagine that it is mostly a simple matter of Tokyo being the economic center of Japan, but this is mere speculation on my part, and I have no sources to support this.

Aside: the report mentions a trend of studios moving into more-rural areas as a result of advances in technology, making digital animation and data exchange simpler.

  • 3
    Since animators and studios usually outsource work, it's probably a lot easier when both the studio and the outsourcer are near each other. It's easier to transport deliverables or mock-ups when the destination is close-by as opposed to different cities.
    – Jon Lin
    Aug 12, 2013 at 21:14
  • Thank you for your reply, both the answer and the comment highlight the need to keep the distribution chain short and then the Tokyo choice, and the last sentence of the answer is interesting, i.e. P.A. Works is one of the recent studio that made this choice.
    – chirale
    Aug 13, 2013 at 16:25

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