Tokyo Babylon 2021 studio GoHands sues King Records for 450 million yen over cancelled anime

Japanese media is reporting that animation studio GoHands has filed a lawsuit in the Tokyo District Court on August 3rd against the entertainment company King Records, a Kodansha-affiliated company, for unpaid work related to the production costs for the now cancelled Tokyo Babylon 2021 TV anime.

According to the complaint, GoHands was contracted by King Records to produce a total of 13 episodes by the end of November of 2020. A total of 314.6 million yen (about US$2.87 million) in production costs were scheduled to be paid in installments between December of last year and August of this year. However, the company claimed that the contract was unilaterally cancelled in January after the first payment. In addition to the remaining 281.6 million yen, GoHands is demanding payment of an additional 171.82 million yen (about US$1.57 million) for episodes 14 through 21, which it had agreed to produce with King Records, although no formal contract had been signed.

The Tokyo Babylon 2021 TV anime had its broadcast cancelled in March of 2021 after it was pointed out on the Internet that the character designs drawn by GoHands and released in advance last November resembled the costumes of a Korean idol group and a doll costume from doll company Volks. The production committee, made up of King Records and other companies, announced in December that there had been some plagiarism.

GoHands claims that King Records had asked them to revise the design even after the incident, and that they had agreed to do so and were proceeding with the work for the broadcast, but King Records‘ policy changed and they refused to pay the rest. According to Japanese newspaper Asahi, when contacted, King Records said, “We have not received the complaint, so we will refrain from commenting on it.”

According to Tomonori Sugo, an attorney representing GoHands, it is widely used in the production of anime to use real designs as references, but the company compares the drawings with those used as references to check whether there are any problems under copyright law. This time, however, the person in charge of this task at GoHands was suddenly absent due to an illness, and the confirmation was not done sufficiently.

Mr. Sugo said, “It is true that there was a mistake, and I apologize to the fans. However, we had just received the request and were working on the correction. We are a much smaller company than King Records, and we are suffering a very big financial blow,” he explained.

Source: Asahi.

This has taken much bigger proportions. Let’s watch and see how this goes…

We also learn for the first time that there were plans to produce another set of 8 episodes for a possible season 2.

May justice prevail.

BREAKING: Tokyo Babylon 2021 TV Anime gets cancelled

The official website for the Tokyo Babylon 2021 TV Anime released a statement today reporting that its production has been cancelled.

After investigations of unauthorized use of materials in characters’ costumes that surfaced late last year, followed by a postponement, the production committee has decided to cancel production altogether with the justification of lack of trust with the current production company.

The statement confirms that there is still a desire to turn Tokyo Babylon into an anime series, with a different production company. CLAMP and the production committee are currently searching for a different production company to take the project on. This tweet from Young Ace magazine says that details will be announced in CLAMP-NET.COM and Kadokawa‘s website in due course.

They apologized to CLAMP and all the Tokyo Babylon readers who were looking forward to this project.

Source: https://tokyobabylon2021.jp

As hard as this may hit some of you who were looking forward to this, I think this was the wisest decision to make. I can completely understand that their trust has been compromised, plus I never thought GoHands was fit for this project to begin with, I am sure many of you agree with me. There is also the fact that CLAMP themselves were not involved on the production and seemingly not very excited for it — at least that’s how it looked like since they acted on their social media as though nothing was happening, which was always really strange to me, considering how Tokyo Babylon is important to them.

Tokyo Babylon has a huge, solid community of devoted fans and it’s a very important work in CLAMP’s catalog. It should be treated with all the respect and decency it deserves.

I hope this will represent an opportunity to deliver a Tokyo Babylon anime series that will do justice to this brilliant CLAMP masterpiece.

Tokyo Babylon 2021 TV Anime postponed

Today the Tokyo Babylon 2021 TV Anime production team has released an official statement announcing that the beginning of broadcast, which was originally scheduled for April 2021, has been postponed.

Here’s a rough translation of the statement:

Important report

We would like to express our sincere gratitude for your continued patronage.

The [Tokyo BABYLON 2021] committee takes the issue of imitation very seriously.
A compliance team was set up within the committee to reflect deeply and take strict measures.
We will continue to work on further legal compliance.

Therefore, we will postpone the broadcast of this work, which is currently scheduled to be broadcast in April 2021.

We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused to CLAMP, everyone who loves the original “Tokyo BABYLON” work, everyone who is looking forward to and supporting the TV anime “Tokyo BABYLON 2021”, and everyone involved.

We pledge to deliver entertainment that fans can enjoy with peace of mind, and the production committee will work together to produce it.

We will seriously and sincerely make works that everyone truly loves, so thank you for your cooperation.

All of TOKYO BABYLON 2021 PROJECT

The decision comes after incident of using unauthorized materials for Subaru Sumeragi’s ceremonial robes and Hokuto Sumeragi’s pink outfit. Back then, the two previously released PVs were removed from YouTube, as well as all visuals have been removed from the official website and all Tokyo Babylon 2021 social networks. Since then, the team has been reworking on these.

The production team did not announce the new air date at this moment.

Source: Tokyo Babylon 2021.

However unfortunate, I feel this is the right decision to make in order to have an adaptation that feels right at least in that regard. It is somewhat expected that this would happen, considering that a lot of the work had been done already (the voice actors were already dubbing the scenes). It makes me wonder if there were other cases, other than the two ones reported, that they identified.

Tokyo Babylon 2021 team addresses unauthorized use of materials allegations and takes actions

Today the Tokyo Babylon 2021 TV Anime production team has released an official statement addressing received allegations of unauthorized use of materials in characters’ costumes

The statement, which was posted on the Tokyo Babylon 2021 official website, chronicles the events since the first allegations were reported by fans, the investigation that was carried out within the production staff, acknowledging the mistake and down to an apology to CLAMP, Tokyo Babylon readers, the cast, staff and everyone who has been supportive of Tokyo Babylon 2021. The statement assures that the production team is committed to prevent this from happening again.

Unauthorized materials had been used for Subaru Sumeragi’s ceremonial robes and Hokuto Sumeragi’s pink outfit.

As immediate actions that were taken, the two previously released PVs have been removed from YouTube, as well as all visuals have been removed from the official website and all Tokyo Babylon 2021 social networks. The team will likely rework these and release them again in the future.

Source: Tokyo Babylon 2021.

This was an unfortunate event but at least the flaw has been humbly acknowledged, they are working on fixing the mistake and committed to prevent it from happening again. I hope this time they will base the designs on CLAMP’s source materials, which we all love so much.

Tokyo Babylon 2021: Main Cast, Staff, Air Date and new PV announced

New Key Visual
© CLAMP・ST/TOKYO BABYLON 2021 PROJECT

Earlier today a press conference was held in Japan to introduce the main cast and staff for the upcoming Tokyo Babylon 2021 TV Anime.

MAIN CAST

Subaru Sumeragi: Shouta Aoi
Hokuto Sumerari: Nana Mizuki
Seishirou Sakurazuka: Yuuichirou Umehara

STAFF

Original work: Tokyo Babylon (CLAMP)
Direction: Shingo Suzuki / Susumu Kudo
Series Composition: Jun Kumagai
Character Design: Makoto Furuta
Chief Animation Direction: Makoto Furuta / Keiji Tani
Main Animation: Takayuki Uchida / Hiroshi Okubo
Mecha/Prop Design: Hiroshi Okubo
Edition: Chinami Watanabe
Sound Direction: Fumiyuki Go
Music: Noriyuki Asakura
Music Production: King Records
Animation: GoHands

Opening Theme: Shouta Aoi (Subaru’s voice actor)
Ending Theme: Nana Mizuki (Hokuto’s voice actress)

Dubbing has already started and broadcast will premiere in April 2021.

New character designs for the main trio have been revealed:

Addionally, a new, longer PV has been announced:

More information: tokyobabylon2021.jp

//

I really enjoyed the cast choice, specially Subaru and Seishirou. It’s worth noting that none of the staff members have previously worked in a CLAMP anime adaptation. I am also under the impression that all of them are male, but that needs to be confirmed.

Unfortunately, CLAMP themselves are not involved in the staff. I was also surprised by the fact that CLAMP did not leave any comments to the staff and cast, as they usually do. In fact, CLAMP have been really silent regarding this anime adaptation so far, which is a bit odd considering how dear to their heart Tokyo Babylon is.

I liked the new PV better than the first one, even though it seems to be a bit too much action-oriented than what Tokyo Babylon asks for. The music sounds good. I also liked slightly more the new character designs that have been revealed today, however Seishirou remains being the one that I like the least.

Tokyo BABYLON TV Anime announced for 2021

A week ago a mysterious countdown began on King Amusement Creative‘s YouTube channel and shared on CLAMP-FANS twitter and instagram accounts, which fans quickly deciphered to be related to Tokyo BABYLON. King Amusement Creative is a music label and anime distributor that is associated to Kodansha.

After much speculation, the countdown reached its end today to announce a brand new TV Anime adaptation for one of CLAMP’s earliest and most beloved works, Tokyo BABYLON.

Tokyo BABYLON 2021 TV Anime key visual
© CLAMP・ST/TOKYO BABYLON 2021 PROJECT

Here is the first PV that premiered after the countdown:

There is already an official website as well as twitter and instagram accounts.

Tokyo BABYLON 2021 seems to be the official title of this adaptation. The story will be updated to be set in modern 2021 Tokyo and according to the official website, a total of 11 episodes are planned.

The animation production will be in charge of GoHands, which are known for working on the Mardock Scramble series.

Nothing else is known at this point regarding the staff and cast, as well as air date. I’m particularly interested in whether CLAMP will be more involved in this project in providing scripts or something else.

I’m very thrilled for the Tokyo BABYLON readers right now, who have waited a really long time for a complete anime adaptation. I don’t know if this is exactly what they expected, but I hope this project will treat the original work with all the respect it deserves.

I am very fond of Tokyo BABYLON‘s aesthetics, which I think it’s one of its strongest qualities and what makes Tokyo BABYLON so special. I am a little concerned to know that this adaptation will not follow those aesthetics in favor of a contemporary, 2021 anime aesthetics (which I am personally not very fond of).

As usual, I’m hoping for the best and that this adaptation will bring a new generation of readers to this fabulous work by CLAMP!

Stay tuned for more news as they come!