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Studio Unagi Launches in Montreal: A New Animation Powerhouse with Anime Flair

With a strong artistic vein inspired by Japanese animation, the independent studio already has two ambitious projects in production for Ankama, ‘Bestiale’ and ‘Sacré-Coeur.’

Montreal has a new player in the animation scene: Studio Unagi, an independent animation studio launched with a mission to infuse the Canadian industry with vibrant anime-inspired energy. Founded by Guillaume Dubois, and supported by Anthony Roux, CEO of Ankama, Studio Unagi aims to blend Japanese animation’s technical brilliance with Canadian creativity.

The studio has quickly made waves, attracting more than 700 applications in just two months. The team boasts a strong local presence, with 90% of the talent being Canadian and the remaining 10% coming from international backgrounds. Notably, gender diversity is a cornerstone at Studio Unagi, with women occupying 75% of all roles, including key positions in production and animation. The studio prides itself on its roster of senior artists known for their outstanding skills and creativity.

Studio Unagi is working on two productions for Ankama: seven 11-minute episodes of Bestiale for French broadcaster ADN, and 26 episodes of the 26-minute Sacré-Coeur for France Télévision. The studio is also planning to expand its horizons by exploring new segments such as YouTube and video games to tell innovative stories.

“Our ambition with Studio Unagi is to combine the technical and artistic excellence of Japanese animation with the cultural richness and creativity of Montreal to offer a competitive presence in North America,” says Guillaume Dubois, founder and president of Studio Unagi. “We aim to create works that resonate with anime fans worldwide while providing a space where talents can thrive.”

Anthony Roux, founder of Ankama, adds: “Our collaboration with Studio Unagi stems from our shared passion for animation and our desire to push the boundaries of creativity. Leveraging their expertise, we want to bring a new dynamic to the industry and create captivating stories that honor the spirit and aesthetics of the Ankama universe and anime in general.”

The partnership with Ankama, renowned for its game Dofus and the animated series Wakfu, as well as the French-Japanese animated co-production MFKZ, is built on what Dubois and Roux call their “longstanding, trusting relationship.” This collaboration aims to meet Ankama’s growing production needs while fostering Studio Unagi’s growth. Together, they aspire to create top-tier 2D animation stories and develop groundbreaking projects.