Production I.G, Inc. (Japanese: 株式会社プロダクション・アイジー Hepburn: Kabushiki-gaisha Purodakushon Ai Jī) is a Japanese anime studio and production enterprise, founded on December 15, 1987, by Mitsuhisa Ishikawa and headquartered in Musashino, Tokyo, Japan.
Production I.G has been involved in the creation of numerous anime television series, OVAs, theatrical films, and is further involved in video game design and development, as well as music publishing and management. Among its prominent works are Guilty Crown, Psycho-Pass, Eden of the East, and the Ghost in the Shell series. It is known in the video game industry for developing intros, cut-scenes, and artwork for games such as the Namco Tales Studio’s title, Tales of Symphonia.
The letters I and G derive from the names of the company founders, Mitsuhisa Ishikawa and popular character designer Takayuki Goto. The company is a member of The Association of Japanese Animations (AJA), an association of over 50 Japanese anime studios.
Initially founded as “I.G. Tatsunoko Limited” in 1987, it was a break-off branch-studio of Tatsunoko Productions which created Zillion. Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, the producer of Zillion, founded the studio to obstruct the dispersing of the excellent staffs of the Tatsunoko branch. The members of the Tatsunoko Production annex, “鐘夢チャイム” (named after the English “chime”), which led by Takayuki Goto joined the Ishikawa’s Tatsunoko Branch that used the same floor of Goto’s annex and Goto was also the character designer of Zillion. Kyoto Animation, one of the finishers of Zillion, supported Ishikawa and the “IG Tatsunoko Limited” was founded on December 15, 1987. The “IG” was named after the initials of Ishikawa and Goto. The initial shareholders of the studio were Ishikawa, Goto, Hideaki Hatta (Kyoto Animation), Tatsunoko Production, and etc.
Among Production I.G’s earliest most notable works was the feature-length cinematic anime adaptation of the Patlabor story, created by the group HEADGEAR. In 1993, during the final stages of the production of Patlabor 2 the company ended capital relation to Tatsunoko Production that had 20% of the stocks of I.G and changed its name to the current “Production I.G” on September 1993. Thus, the movie Patlabor 2, released on August 1993, became the last product bearing the name “IG Tatsunoko”.
In early 1997 Koichi Mashimo a fellow Tatsunoko employee presented an idea of his to President Ishikawa. Mashimo had conceived the idea of a small studio that could work on small productions and “nurture” the creative spirit of its staff members. Ishikawa liked the idea and sponsored Mashimo’s endeavor and studio Bee Train Animation Inc. was formed as a subsidiary company. Production I.G and Ishikawa helped supervise and produce the early productions such as PoPoLoCrois Monogatari, Wild Arms: Twilight Venom, and Arc the Lad. Along with Xebec it was the second subsidiary company under I.G. In 2006, Bee Train became independent and Ishikawa stepped down as an executive in the company. The two studios would team up again in 2008 to work on Blade of the Immortal, Batman: Gotham Knight, and again in 2010 for Halo Legends.
In 1998, the company incorporated to become “Production I.G, Inc.” Following that, Production I.G merged with “ING”, another production company founded by the same Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, in 2000. In a Q&A session Ishikawa said:
It [The I.G in Production I.G] stands for two words: itsumo (always) and genki (happy); you should ask, is that true? In reality, it stands for Ishikawa, and my artist collaborator’s name, Takayuki Goto, the initials of our last names. But, now that I am the sole president, we kept the name. But I am happy to say it means Itsumo Genki.
On July 4, 2007, the company announced a merger with Mag Garden, forming a new holding company called IG Port. IG Port has since become the parent company of Production I.G, Signal.MD and Wit Studio. XEBEC was formerly a part of IG Port until November 20, 2018, when it was sold to studio Sunrise.
One January 12, it was announced that XEBEC’s subsidiary, XEBECzwei, was announced to have been given to I.G as a subsidiary studio, and that work on Fafner in the Azure: The Beyond would proceed as planned. The studio is planned to be renamed to IGzwei following the transfer.