Kitty Films

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Kitty Films logo.

Kitty Films (キティ・フィルム Kiti · Firumu) is an anime production company established in 1972 in Japan. The company also operates a record label under "Kitty" or "Kitty Records" (used interchangeably).


The company was first established in 1972 as Kitty Music Corporation under Hidenori Taga. It was a subsidiary of Polydor and Universal Music, producing TV drama soundtracks. Their first was for the 1972 film Hajimete no Tabi. By 1979 the company began to branch off into live action with the films Kagirinaku toumei ni chikai buru and The Rose of Versailles (Kitty had no association with the 1979 anime version of the latter, which was made by Tokyo Movie Shinsha). However, major success first came with their anime version of Rumiko Takahashi's Urusei Yatsura. Starting in 1981, it marked Kitty's entry into anime production. Over the next two decades, Kitty Films would become noteworthy in and outside Japan as the producer of most of the animated versions of Takahashi's manga series, including Maison Ikkoku and Ranma ½. Takahashi had in fact attended the same college as Shigekazu Ochiai, the planner of most of Kitty's anime productions.

Despite their fame as producer, the actual animation of Kitty's works was handled by several independent anime studios, some of which still exist today. Studio Pierrot did the animation for the first half of Urusei Yatsura, Studio Deen animated the second half (except for several of the OVAs) and all of Maison Ikkoku and Ranma, while Madhouse handled the final Urusei Yatsura movie, some of the later Urusei Yatsura OVAs, Legend of the Galactic Heroes, and YAWARA! a fashionable judo girl!

Unfortunately, the company had suffered financial troubles from early on, which started to come to a head towards the end of the Ranma TV series in 1992. Hidenori Taga had in fact helped finance Kitty's film division by spending money from their music branch, and that year was forced to step down due to an unknown scandal, while Shigekazu Ochiai transferred to Pao House Studios (he died in 1999). Kitty continued to produce less well-known shows such as Ping Pong Club (1995) and Shinkai Densetsu Meremanoid, but their output shrank to almost nothing by the end of the 20th century. Rumiko Takahashi did not work with Kitty again after the last Ranma OVA was released in 1996; Sunrise handled the animation duties on Inuyasha, and TMS animated Rumiko Takahashi Theater.

The company shifted focus in the 2000s and mainly exists as a talent agency, having sold off the rights of most of their anime hits. One of the artists under the company is the Japanese female band SCANDAL.


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