MADHOUSE Inc. (株式会社 マッドハウス Kabushiki-gaisha Maddohausu?) is a Japanese animation studio, founded in 1972 by ex–Mushi Pro animators, including Masao Maruyama, Osamu Dezaki, Rintaro, and Yoshiaki Kawajiri.
Madhouse has created and helped to produce many well known shows, starting with TV anime series Ace o Nerae! in 1973, and including western favourites Ninja Scroll, Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, Trigun, Di Gi Charat and Death Note. Unlike other studios founded at this time such as AIC and J.C.Staff, their strength was and is primarily in TV shows and theatrical features. Expanding from the initial Mushi Pro staff, Madhouse recruited such important directors as Morio Asaka, Masayuki Kojima, and Satoshi Kon during the 1990s. Their staff roster expanded in the 2000s to include Mamoru Hosoda, Takeshi Koike, and Mitsuo Iso, as well as many younger television directors. The studio was also responsible for the first Beyblade anime series as well as the Dragon Drive anime.
The studio often collaborates with known manga artists, including Naoki Urasawa and Clamp. Madhouse produced adaptations of Urasawa's Yawara!, Master Keaton and Monster, with Masayuki Kojima helming the later two. The company has animated a number of CLAMP's titles, including Tokyo Babylon, two versions of X, Cardcaptor Sakura, Chobits, CLAMP in Wonderland, and most recently the second Hunter x Hunter anime.
In January 2012, Madhouse announced their acquisition of the animation rights to the Peanuts comic strip.
The studio employs approximately 70 employees, with employment levels varying depending on the number of productions currently underway. Additionally, the company has invested in the Korean animation studio DR Movie.
Madhouse's early theatrical work included assistance on the Barefoot Gen films, and Lensman, an anime movie based on the space opera series by pulp science fiction legend E.E. "Doc" Smith. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, director Yoshiaki Kawajiri produced a string of action films including Demon City Shinjuku, Wicked City, and Ninja Scroll. In the late 1990s, the studio aimed at a younger female audience with Morio Asaka's two Cardcaptor Sakura films, based on the popular television series. In the early 2000s, an ambitious collaboration with Tezuka Productions resulted in Metropolis, directed by Rintaro and adapted from the manga by Osamu Tezuka. Earlier collaborations with Tezuka productions included two feature-length films made for Sanrio starring Tezuka's unicorn character Unico.
Director Satoshi Kon produced all four of his films with the studio: Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress, Tokyo Godfathers, and Paprika, as well as his TV series Paranoia Agent. Kon was also making his fifth film the Dreaming Machine with Madhouse, although it was left incomplete at his death in 2010.
In 2003, Madhouse produced Nasu: Summer in Andalusia, which was adapted from the seinen manga Nasu by Iou Kuroda and directed by Studio Ghibli veteran Kitarō Kōsaka. Nasu was the first Japanese animated film ever selected for screening at the renowned Cannes Film Festival. Kōsaka followed up his film with an OVA sequel in 2007.
In 2006, director Mamoru Hosoda began his career with the studio by directing The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. Recent productions included Masayuki Kojima's theatrical debut Piano no Mori (2007), Hosoda's acclaimed Summer Wars (2009), Sunao Katabuchi's Mai Mai Miracle (2009), the company's first CG animated film, Yona Yona Penguin (2009), Takeshi Koike's feature film debut Redline (2009), a theatrical version of the Trigun series, Trigun: Badlands Rumble (2010), and The Tibetan Dog, a co-production with China (2011).
The first film in the Hunter × Hunter franchise, Hunter × Hunter: Phantom Rouge premiered January 12, 2013. Madhouse co-produced Wolf Children (2012) with Mamoru Hosoda's Studio Chizu.
Collectively, Madhouse films have won a total of two Japan Academy Prizes, three Grand Prizes in Animation Division at Japan Media Arts Festival, two Gertie Awards, six Mainichi Film Awards (three Ōfuji Noburō Awards, and three Animation Grand Awards), two Tokyo Anime Awards for Animation of the Year, and five Animation Kobe Feature Film Awards.