5 original IPs and an olympic themed animation, CEO Kazuhiro Nishikawa sets the roadmap for Dandelion Animation Studio

Founded in 2007 with a mission statement “A gift for all children around the world”, Dandelion Animation Studio has grown out to be a successful digital animation company that’s also into TV commercials, games, planning, TV contents and character designs which are targeted towards children and family. So far, the studio had been concentrating on outsourcing and providing its animation production and character merchandising services for many huge animation and gaming giants. However, Dandelion Animation Studio, CEO and executive producer, Kazuhiro Nishikawa had bigger plans in mind as he realised the key to the lock of building a strong company and a higher revenue model, laid in original IP creation.
Kazuhiro Nishikawa Dandelion Animation Studio
Kazuhiro Nishikawa
During the Content Tokyo 2016, AnimationXpress met the CG director of the film One Piece The Movie: Dead End Adventure, Kazuhiro Nishikawa to know more about the studio’s IPs and its roadmap. “Dandelion Animation Studio has come a long way ahead since 2007 and has produced many high quality animated TV series and movies. By 2012 and 2013, we thought of finally coming up with our own IPs as we plan to create global content. Till date we have five IPs with us and are currently looking for licensing partners then move on to content creation,” explains Nishikawa. These five IPs include Babytector, Babutector, Lion Kids, Little Wonders and Commander Clark. Commander Clark is an animated series produced by French production company whose license to merchandise and broadcast the series in Japan has been recently acquired by Dandelion Animation Studio. As for Little Wonders, it can be read in its published book form whereas Lion Kids can be seen in its merchandising forms. As the name sounds, Babytector and Babutector are basically two different yet same products, both being a combination of the words ‘baby’ and ‘protector’. Babytector is more of a hard core product that has a diaper suit which helps the babies to fight against the evil. Babutector on the other hand is more of a miniature version of Babytector wherein adults turn into Babutectors to make their kids laugh. That’s not all! Apart from these five IPs, Nishikawa plans to collaborate with animators in different countries to co-produce an animation based on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics women’s cycling race. With an intention to broadcast it by 2018, he’s currently developing the script of the series titled ‘Girls K’. The animated short will showcase female cyclists from across the world representing their respective countries and if possible their journey in the cycle sport. “About two to three people are currently working on the five IPs whereas five personals including the director and writer are handling the Girls K project. It usually takes us two to three years for production of a feature film and about six months to a year for TV series depending on the episodes. Most of our employees will be working on the outsourced projects as that’s our bread and butter and few will be concentrating on the IPs and Girls K.” Dandelion Animation Studio IPs Nishikawa goes on to mention that most of the 3D or CGI work is carried out in the Japan studio whereas their China based studio handles the 2D and other work. Recently, he attended the Hong Kong International Film and TV Market (FILMART) where he was taken by a scoop by the Chinese, Korean and Russian work. “It’s disheartening to see that Japanese lack the knowledge of how to sell their IPs and that the production houses don’t travel to the other parts of the world apart from Japan. They are stuck with the mentality that good quality work will go globally, however, they fail to understand the changing market scenario,” comments Nishikawa. “As opposed to the Japanese studios, other countries create content keeping the global audience in mind which is quite impressive and don’t stick to just their country.” Wrapping the interview, Nishikawa expounds, “And that’s what we want to change. Dandelion Animation Studio wants to create global content which will not be restricted to one country. Rather it will be suitable for audiences across countries, and the whole family – right from pre-school toddlers to adults – can enjoy it together.”