June 30th, 2007 was a black day for eroanime fans, the day that studio Himajin closed its doors forever… or was it? When brands Amour and Suzuki Mirano appeared it seemed that the collapse of Himajin was short-lived, and that its reincarnated forms would carry on development of old Himajin properties uninterrupted. The actual story is a bit more complex, and required some digging around in Japanese Wikipedia to unearth; read on for a look at the tangled web of brand shuffling that led to the current state of affairs in one corner of the eroanime industry:

1992: Animation studio Imagin is formed.

Imagin anime studio

1998: Animation studio Anik (ゑにっく) is spun off of Imagin to act as a subcontractor on Imagin projects, specifically adult anime. Acting under the brand name “Himajin” Anik worked primarily on Pink Pineapple OVAs, until

2004: Himajin produced its first independent eroanime OVA, Ikusa Otome Valkyrie. Himajin continued to produce independent eroanime works, and spun off co-brands Himajin Shirogane and Amour in this time.

2006: Himajin produced the first episode of Sora no Iro, Mizu no Iro, which went on to become a smash hit, selling over 10,000 copies. However around this same time Imagin was under enormous pressure with a huge workload that included contract work on Kaibutsu Oujo (Princess Resurrection) and lead production duty on Spice and Wolf. Much of this work was subcontracted to Anik, and they felt increasingly unable to do justice to the new Himajin titles in the pipeline.

2007, June 30th: due to limited manpower and a heavy subcontracting workload on other projects Himajin was closed and brand operation ceased. Support for the brand’s already released titles was transferred to media company Marigold (whose IP they had borrowed for their first Valkyrie OVA), and it was announced that Himajin sister brand Amour would take over production of the unreleased titles in the pipeline. This planned production by Amour didn’t get far off the ground however, and on

2007, October 22nd: newly formed Imagin subsidiary company A1C took over eroanime production operations from Anik entirely. They formed two new brands: Suzuki Mirano, who would produce new titles, and Nihikime no Dozeu, who would take over work on the titles originally intended for Amour. The latter includes the second episode of Soramizu as well as Houkago 2.

Currently A1C is Imagin’s sole active adult media subsidiary. The status of support for products originally released under the Himajin label is currently unknown, as Marigold’s page currently directs readers to the now-defunct Amour site in search of support. It may be that with A1C now fully active, support duty will revert to them for these titles.

As a final note, in addition to new eroanime brand Suzuki Mirano and Himajin legacy brand Nihikime no Dozeu, A1C recently opened an eroge company called “Shelf“, with the debut title Kagiroi (the source of this post’s thumbnail). It seems the company is currently stable but we’ll be on the lookout for any news that could impact future eroanime releases.

Thanks to DocWatson for the question that sparked this inquiry!