How an Animation Production Studio Survived the Pandemic: The Case of Graphinica, Inc.


  • Nao Hirasawa
  • Ryotaro Mihara


Author Biographies

Nao Hirasawa

is an animation producer and the CEO of Graphinica, Inc. (an animation production studio). He is also a founder of Arch Inc. (an animation planning and producing company) and the managing director of two animation production studios: YAMATOWORKS, INC. and YUMETA CO., LTD. He has developed his career in the Japanese animation sector by working for a number of nationally and internationally renowned production houses, such as Bandai Visual (now known as Bandai Namco Filmworks Inc.), Production I.G, and Ultra Super Pictures. The animation titles he has produced include Ryan’s World: Arctic Adventures Ep1, The Journey (Japan-Saudi Arabia co-production), Phantom in the Twilight (Japan-China co-production), Promare, the Monster Strike anime, Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet, and Lagrange: The Flower of Rin-ne.

Ryotaro Mihara

is a sociocultural anthropologist and an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Economics at Keio University (Yokohama, Japan). He acquired his doctoral degree in 2017 from the University of Oxford (Anthropology) and held the position of Lecturer in International Management at SOAS University of London from 2016 to 2019. His research focuses on the globalization of creative industries, with a special emphasis on Japanese animation (anime). Before entering academia, he extensively developed his professional career in the creative industries sector as one of the founding members and Deputy Director of the Creative Industries Division of Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). He also worked as an overseas cross-cultural business consultant for Japan’s foremost advertising firm and an Indo-Japanese anime start-up venture. His current interest lies in examining how the activities of entrepreneurs (especially their brokerage activities) span the boundaries of the anime business in the Asian region. At present, he is conducting fieldwork on Japan’s international film co-production projects with China, India, and other Asian countries and regions. He may be reached at:


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