Tenryu Animation

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Tenryu Animation
Industry Animation studio
Founded January 24, 1954; 69 years ago (1954-01-24)
Headquarters San Francisco City, San Francisco, Sierra
Tenryu Animation (Japanese: 天龍アニメーション), abbreviated TenAn, is a Japanese-Sierran animation studio and light novel publisher. It is the one of the oldest animation studios in Sierra. It is the second-largest Sierran anime studio in terms of staff and the third-most prolific in terms of series, and the fourth-largest Sierran film studio based outside Hollywood and the Southwest Corridor.

History[edit | edit source]

Tenryu Animation was founded on January 24, 1954 by Yuki Fuyukawa, a Naha-based animator. She and a number of other animators had been members of an animator's guild, one of the first of its kind in Asia. The anime industry had existed in Japan prior to that, although it was mostly limited to wartime propaganda works during Great War I. However, following Ryukyu's occupation by the Kingdom of Sierra after Great War II, the government encouraged creative expression to thrive to boost public morale in the war's aftermath. Tenryu Animation released their first animated film, the Tale of the Ishibiya. It became their first successful animated film, and is credited with giving the Sierran anime industry the push it needed to start rising. Since then, the studio has continued to make anime films that have been successful in Ryukyu, Sierra, Japan, Anglo-America, and elsewhere.

Tenryu Animation first dabbled in foreign releases with their 1983 film Song of the Sky, a film set in the 1960s about a pilot in the Ryukyuan Air Force in a fictitious World War III scenario where Japan is invaded by China. The film was meant to convey a warning about the possible destruction that modern warfare can bring, and to highlight the reality that all people (regardless of their side) suffer as casualties of war. The rights to release the film was given to Sierran-based Pacifica Pictures for a release in Anglo-America. However, after the company heavily edited Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind Tenryu considered scrapping the deal and revoking the rights to the film for Pacifica Pictures. The Sierran studio however assured Tenryu that they would be happy with the outcome of the film.

Against the expectations of Tenryu Animation, the original theme of the film was completely abandoned, with the Chinese being altered to aggressive villains of indeterminate origin. The Anglo-American VHS cover featured characters that were not present in the film. A total of 34 minutes and 53 seconds was cut from the film in the Anglo-American release, and over 50 lines of dialogue was altered significantly in the translation.

The animators at Tenryu were appalled that their work would be treated in such a way and Tenryu Animation then practically halted all licensing to foreign studios. It upheld a no-tolerance policy towards licensing its work until 2001 when Tenryu Animation president Zabuza Hashimoto announced that the studio would re-enter the Anglo-American market by establishing a North American-based division in San Francisco City. This decision allowed the studio to gain wider recognition as an animation studio. In 2011, following a massive corporate restructuring, the company moved its official headquarters to San Francisco City in order to cater the larger Anglo-American audience. It also established a subsidiary in Tokyo and began outsourcing some of its work to countries such as China, Korea, and South Vietnam.

Notable works[edit | edit source]

Kotonoha Karma[edit | edit source]

Kotonoha Karma (Japanese: 言の葉カルマ, English: Word Karma) is an anime series that revolves around Isamu Nakamori (中森 勇) and Rina Tachibana (橘 莉奈). Isamu is known in his high school for not being the best student. He is regularly late for school, sometimes even leaves in the middle of the day, and sometimes even skips classes entirely. Because of this he is always in trouble with Rina, head of the student-run disciplinary committee at the school.

It is only on one day when Rina has finally had enough of it and chases Isamu, only to find that him fighting against a monstrous creature using a creature of his own. Barely escaping safely after being protected by Isamu, Isamu explains that his family is one of very few that has some spiritual powers and that they had been fighting against these dark creatures, known as Jagi (邪鬼), every since before the founding of the Kingdom of Shoku. Rina is then presented with a surprising fact: her family must be one with the same spiritual powers since she can see the Jagi. Isamu presents her with two options: either Isamu will use his spiritual powers to change Rina's memory of the incident, or Rina will join the fight against the Jagi and Isamu and his family will train her in her powers.

Rina chose the latter.

Resurrection of the Devil[edit | edit source]

File:Resurrection of the Devil Opening
TV-length opening ends at 1:28.

Resurrection of the Devil (Japanese: 悪魔の復活, Akuma no Fukkatsu) was Tenryu's first work to be produced predominantly outside of Ryukyu, having been produced mainly in Sierra at its San Francisco City headquarters. Within Ryukyu, its release was noted with some controversy, as it has been one of the darkest animes to have been released by Tenryu to date. The first two episodes included gory scenes and disturbing imagery, which generated publicity among Ryukyuan viewers. However, while it did stir up some minor controversy, the anime itself received critical acclaim for its themes and exploration of horror. In Sierra, its airing was restricted to late night time slots on Tokki's adult-oriented channel, Edge TV and was similarly received well.

The story revolves around Shizuka Kusamoto (草本 静香) and her friends. Shizuka is new to her group of friends but even so quickly finds herself as an integral part of the group. Then, a number of eerie incidents begins to befall her friends, almost always ending in one or more of them being injured (sometimes seriously). When one of them finally dies they notice someone in the distance, and while Shizuka doesn't know who it is the rest of her friends go into a panic claiming that what they are going through is a "curse".

The person who confronted them turns out to be Hibiki Ueno (上野 響), who apparently died a gruesome death several years earlier. Hibiki, who is now a Onryo (怨霊), a type of Rei born from a vengeful human spirit. Though Shizuka had little to do with Hibiki's death, her association with her friends makes her a target of Hibiki's wrath too. Hibiki pledges to force the group to repeat the same three weeks over and over, for the rest of eternity.

To stop this, Shizuka needs to uncover the truth behind Hibiki's death, and the dark secrets that her friends have been hiding from her and continue to hide from her.

See also[edit | edit source]