GoHands claims that only 1 out of 4 payments were made to the anime studio
In March, the Tokyo Babylon 2021 TV anime was officially cancelled when the production committee found more instances of “copycat plagiarism” after they were first alerted of the issue in late 2020, delaying the anime from its originally scheduled April 2021 start.
On August 3, GoHands filed a lawsuit against King Records, who was heading up the production committee, in the Tokyo District Court for unpaid production costs that total 450 million yen (US$4,111,087) after the production committee cancelled the production on Tokyo Babylon 2021. According to GoHands, one of the payments to the anime studio was made in December last year but has seen no payments for their services since then.
The studio claims that 13 episodes of the series were finished and delivered to the production committee in November, with 314.6 million yen (US$2,874,950) in payments scheduled between December and August for those episodes, though only 33 million yen (US$301,552) had been paid, leaving 281.6 million yen (US$2,573,247) unpaid.
GoHands is also asking for an additional 171.82 million yen (US$1,570,082) for the production of episodes 14 through 21. According to GoHands, there was a verbal agreement between the two companies for those episodes, but nothing had been signed into a contract.
A lawyer for GoHands claimed that the delay in payments was against Subcontract Act and that GoHands is a much smaller company than King Records who is “suffering a very big financial blow” because of the missed payments.
GoHands asserts that when the situation occurred, King Records had asked the studio to correct the animation and the anime studio was in the process of doing so when the contract was unilaterally cancelled in January. According to GoHands, this is when King Records refused to pay the rest of the contracted amount. When contacted by The Asahi Shimbun, King Records said that they “haven’t yet received the notice” so they wouldn’t comment on the issue.
GoHands' lawyer said that it was common in the anime industry for animators to refer to real-life designs for production. He claims that usually there is a person inside the studio that checks to make sure the animation doesn't breach copyright law, but they were away sick and the animation slipped through the cracks.
The lawyer apologized to fans and admitted that the company did make a mistake in this regard, but was working with King Records and the production committee to correct the animation on Tokyo Babylon 2021 before the production committee allegedly cancelled the contract.
Tokyo Babylon 2021 was originally scheduled to air in April 2021 before the production was cancelled, with Shingo Suzuki at GoHand directing the series.
Source: The Asahi Shimbun
Daryl Harding is a Japan Correspondent for Crunchyroll News. He also runs a YouTube channel about Japan stuff called TheDoctorDazza, tweets at @DoctorDazza, and posts photos of his travels on Instagram.