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Operation ONI, the Sumi-e Anime created by Studio ONI

Official website of Operation ONI, the anime currently being produced in the traditional ink brush painting style called Sumi-e by Studio ONI Ltd. in Japan. Selected creators from different countries are working as a team, transcending languages and border barriers. Our first goal is to bring this unique anime to the film festivals abroad and walk the red carpet.

The first 15 minutes (Episode 1) is currently in production. The release of Episode 1 and the next crowdfunding campaign are scheduled in the first half of 2025 or later. We sincerely appreciate your warm support!

July 12,   Onatsu's birthday party will be held on August 8! New
July 05,   Hang in there, Taisho! (Video)
June 29,   Mao Vtuber will be born soon!
June 28,   Don't cut me! (Video)
June 21,   It seems that someone's patience is running out!
June 14,   Their comedy show starts next week!
June 07,   A new character, Taisho, the owener chef of the restaurant! [Video]

Our latest video


Campaign video

Special Interview with Risa Imayanagi

What's Sumi-e?

Sumi-e is one of the East Asian styles of traditional brush painting. While it's monochrome, it can express rich and impressive scenes. Watch these drawing videos and you'll find what it is.

What's ONI?

ONI are Japanese demons with horns. They have been popular stock characters in Japanese fairytales, manga, film, art, literature, theatre and so on for a long time.

And the lead of this film has these horns too, even though she is not an ONI. You will be able to see the reason why she has horns and discover the meaning of "Operation ONI" at the end of story. It's a military operation concerning her.


This is a fictional story about Japan when there were "samurais".

A war is about to break out between humans and the Empire of Spirits. Mao, the strongest samurai with ONI horns, had been separated from her parents by death and was raised by the tyrannical lord.

Mao is human, but because of the demon horn on her head, she is not considered human. She has always felt lonely.

Only her best friend, Onatsu, was able to save her from her loneliness. Filled with Onatsu's family-like love and affection, Mao felt happy for the first time in her life.

Then, a war begins between humans and monsters. Mao wants to protect both their country and Onatsu, but Onatsu says, "This is the end of our friendship." She bursts into tears and disappears.

What is the true meaning of Onatsu's words?
And what will become of their friendship?

The truth is hidden in Mao's mysterious horns...

Mao / Risa Imayanagi 

Voice actress: Risa Imayanagi (Website / Twitter)

Age: 18
Birthday: April 1
Nationality: Mito
Race: Human

A samurai with ONI horns on her head and uncommon strength. People call her ONI, but she is a pure-hearted, calm and kind person.

She has no family other than her tyrannical foster father, Hakuo. However she doesn't feel lonely thanks to her best friend, Onatsu. With her, she is happy.

Favorite food: Dango 🍡
Her name means: Sakura in full bloom

Designed by Suzu Nomiya.

Onatsu / Yuri Kondo
Voice actress: Yuri Kondo (Website / Twitter)

Age: 22
Birthday: August 8
Nationality: Tama
Race: Human

Mao's best friend, working as a chef in a local restaurant.
She is one of the few people who are as strong as Mao.

She is very patient, and is very affectionate only to Mao. She is the happiest when she takes care of her.

On the other hand, she's tight-lipped and doesn't like to talk about her personal life a lot.
Sometimes she looks at Mao and has tears in her eyes, but she doesn't want to talk about why. Sometimes she stares at Mao with icy eyes, but doesn't want to talk about the reason why. Sometimes she's desperate and wants to be alone, but doesn't want to talk about why.

Favorite food: Katsuobushi (Bonito Flakes)
Her name means: Summer (Natsu means summer)

Designed by Suzu Nomiya
Saki / Ryoku Dion

Voice actress: Ryoku Dion

Age: 5382
Birthday: January 1
Nationality: Empire of Spirits
Race: Spirit (Humans call them monsters)

The legendary fox spirit who uses the arts of brainwashing and transfiguration. She is a general in the Empire of Spirits.
People say she has been involved in many historical turning points in the entire world.
Nothing else is known about her.

Favorite food: Unknown
Her name means: Flower in autumn

Designed by Suzu Nomiya
Hakuo / Takashi Narumi

Voice actror: Takashi Narumi (Website / Twitter)

Age: 48
Birthday: January 21
Nationality: Mito
Race: Human

Mao's father and the lord of Mito Castle. A crazy and diabolical tyrant. People say he is eating monsters (spirits) in order to increase his strength. He is called "demon" by spirits, and his life is in danger.

Favorite food: Secret
His name means: King in winter

Designed by Suzu Nomiya

Ohaguro Bettari / Momoko Iwasawa

Ohaguro Bettari
Voice actress: Momoko Iwasawa (Website / Twitter)

Age: unknown
Birthday: unknown
Nationality: Empire of Spirits
Race: Spirit (Humans call them monsters)

Saki's boss, and an ambitious monster who is always aiming for a higher position. She covers her teeth with black paint as part of type of fashion called "Ohaguro". She applies a solution of iron dissolved in acid to her teeth, and then applies a powder called fushiko, which contains a lot of tannin.

Favorite food: Human
Her name means: Lots of black on teeth

Designed by Suzu Nomiya

Sanagi / Tomiko Claire

Voice actress: Tomiko Claire (Website / Twitter / Sumi-e Challenge)

Age: 2
Birthday: unknown
Nationality: Empire of Spirits
Race: Spirit (Humans call them monsters)

Ohaguro bettari's buddy. This kitten relies on Ohaguro bettari and is always on her shoulder. She likes to speak foreign languages.

Favorite food: Milk
Her name means: Pupa

Designed by Suzu Nomiya


Voice actor: Secret

Age: 26
Birthday: December 24th
Nationality: Mito
Race: Human

The handsome owener chef of the restaurant “Sangatsu-tei”. He loves muscles and liveliness. So dependable and has a large heart, and loved and trusted by his customers. The head of the town's youth organization.

Favorite food: Hot Wasabi Chazuke cooked by Onatsu

Designed by Suzu Nomiya, Kinosuke Rakuga

Town Girl
Voice actress: Neon (YouTube)

Rice Shop Girl
Voice actress: under consideration

Rice Shop Boy
Voice actor: under consideration

Hakuo's Aide
Voice actress: under consideration

Hakuo's Aide
Voice actor: under consideration


Sumi-e Gallery / Sho Hosokawa

Sumi-e is one of the East Asian styles of traditional brush painting. While it doesn't use many colors, it can express rich and impressive scenes. These Sumi-e art will be background pictures of the film. It's extremely compelling and I'm sure you will feel inspired by it. We are very honored to invite you to this mysterious and traditional Asian world.

Castle town

The first collab with digital and analog Suibokuga (Sumi-e)

A castle surrounded by sakura trees

Starting production on Episode 1

Onatsu hurries in front of Mao and yells at the crowd.

Onatsu, the chef in a local restaurant, is announcing the menu for tonight.

Onatsu stomps on the ground and yells!

She's going to dye the ground red.


Onatsu makes a surprising suggestion.

Mao doesn't feel like it today...

Onatsu does not approve of Mao wanting to take a break from training.

Onatsu forcefully begins training.

Training begins.


Onatsu is happy to feel Mao's solid growth.

Mao in battle mode, her weak expression gone.

Mao slips on cherry blossom petals.

Mao lying down after a slip.


Bird's eye perspective

I've never heard cooks are strong.

Resting on the hill.

Local restaurant in the castle town.

Inside the local restaurant

How many dishes is Onatsu bringing!?

Shut up! You drunkard!

All Set!

Mini Onatsu's explanation

Tamago Fuwa Fuwa

Grilled fish skewers

Superb duck hot pot


A special day

Mao doesn't know the exact date of her birth.


Love Onigiri!

The war is about to begin

Mao's Secret

Who is the enemy?

New Character, Taisho!

Their comedy show starts!

Don't cut me!

Hang in there, Taisho!

She gives the job back to the boss!

Yokai Gallery / Hazeiko and Roberta

Studio ONI Ltd. is a company located in Tama, Tokyo, which was established in 2004. In addition to animation production, our services include Vtuber (Real-time Live2D motion capture animation) production, art production such as sumi-e and watercolor painting, Sumi-e portrait, character design, Western style storyboard (can be in Japanese or English), application and website production and design, etc.
For work-related requests, contact us. (We are Open to Work)
Hiroshi Takane
CEO and Founder of Studio ONI Ltd.
Producer, Director, Story, Script Writer and Editor
A professional scriptwriter, director, Ad content creator at Synthese Co.,Ltd., and a filmmaker, director, scriptwriter, editor, producer and CEO of Studio ONI born in Tokyo, Japan in 1979. After graduating from high school, he studied at McGill University in Canada and at schools in France. In 2005, he graduated from the department of scriptwriting of the Japan Academy of Moving Images, the film school established in Tokyo by director Shōhei Imamura, and began his career in 2006 with 428: Shibuya Scramble as a member of Synthese Co., Ltd., a scriptwriting company, of which he is a founding member. He has been writing scripts for Fire Emblem and other famous titles in Japan for more than 17 years, and also has been working on advertisements for NHK, LEXUS, SONY, Wacoal, BABYMETAL, and Granblue Fantasy etc. This is his first film as a director. (Linkedin / FilmFreeway / IMDb)
Sho Hosokawa
COO of Studio ONI Ltd.
Sumi-e Art Director, Background Artist and Co-Producer
Has been self-taught in Suibokuga and watercolor since junior high school. For several years after his high school years, he explored the roots of beauty by copying famous paintings from all over the world. He discovered that the oldest animation techniques in Japan, such as Chōjū-giga (Animal Caricatures), and modern animation techniques have the same tradition that has been handed down from generation to generation while changing their forms. Since then, he has been researching "the expression without discomfort" as a bridge between traditional culture and modern animation culture. (Website / Linkedin / YouTube / Twitter / Threads)
Kinosuke Rakuga (Yoko Mori)
COO of Studio ONI Ltd.
Action Director, Main Animator, Character Designer
Representative of Ink Dancer (舞墨桜)
Studied at Tokyo Animator Gakuin and received many awards. This is her first film as the main animator. (Linkedin / Threads)
Painting Animator / Member of Animation Team "Ink Dancer (舞墨桜)"

Agreed with the project and joined to help in any way she can. She draws manga and novels as a hobby.
Oksana Grabenko
Inbetween Animator / Member of Animation Team "Ink Dancer (舞墨桜)"

An animator, artist and screenwriter. Worked on such projects as “Hacking Universe” series and “Winter“ comics, “Marilya. In search of weirdos” series, “Take my muffin” YouTube series. (Website / Linkedin / Twitter(x) / Instagram)
Kaori Fukui
Director of audiography

She started her career in 2010 as a game recording director and has worked in a wide variety of genres including dubbing, commercials, and radio dramas.
Suzu Nomiya
Character Designer
A freelance illustrator. Striving to draw attractive expressions. (Linktree)
Tukine Natsuki
Character Designer
Has created numerous illustrations of cute females with creative worldviews and rich personalities, including the #Healing Little Girls series. Scouted by Director Takane and Kinosuke, and is in charge of character design now, mainly for Operation ONI's costumes. Twitter(x))
Hiroko Aoyama
Script Director
Has worked several times with Director Takane since NHK, and directed most of his scripts. Founded a creative team named "DIP.LÔME" with him in 2015. This film is the first work as DIP.LÔME.
Fawkes Sutherland (南国 鷹)
Music Composer

As a student, this is his first major project as a composer. (Twitter)
Hakumei iro no wasureji
Music Composer

Born in 2007. Usually arranges J-POP and other music for piano under the name "Yudachi go no Akane to Usuakari". Creating sounds that can be close to people. (Youtube / Twitter)
Alejandro Jiang (Hazeiko)
Monster Designer

A freelance illustrator and concept artist. His inspiration comes from the deep value and heart of things that roam in our world, in meanings behind surfaces, behind crude ideas that blossom into beauty. Searching for a way to express those hidden gems to the jeweled eyes of those that wander. (Website / Twitter)
Roberta Alosi
Monster Designer

Italian character designer and concept artist. She graduated from her country's art academy. She loves art in all its forms, from traditional to modern. Her goal in life is to get into people's hearts by her art. (Instagram / Twitter)
Vtuber (Real-time Live2D motion capture animation) Creator (Sample)

I have been given the opportunity to create VTuber Live2D models at Studio ONI. I hope to help bring smiles to everyone's faces. Thank you! (Twitter(x), Youtube)
Marco Preißer
English Advisor

A teacher for English, ethics and philosophy from Germany. In his spare time, he writes music and plays the guitar in several metal bands.
Carolyn Anderson

(Website, Twitter(x), Instagram, Youtube)
Concept Artist
Creating lots for Operation ONI such as Kyofu All Back and Onatsu's knife Work. Her concept art "Prayer" has been selected for the Noto Reconstruction Support Event. And she planned and managed Mao's birthday party. Her gallery is here. (Twitter(x) / Instagram)
Gerardo Coppola
International Jurist
Jacques Pearce
(Website / Instagram)
Deanna J. Wright
English Translator

She is an American writer, translator, teacher, and project leader currently living in Berlin to complete her Master's degree in Sociology and Politics. She lived in Osaka for seven years and hopes to share her love and appreciation for Japan and the Japanese language through her translation and teaching work. (LinkedIn)
kofudeya (Kumiko Goto)
Kanji Logo Designer

An amazing Kanji Logo Designer who created a Kanji Logo for this anime.
Pedro H. de Souza
Brazilian portuguese Translator

Hi I'm a college student that just likes pop culture so much and fell in love with this project so I decided to help with what I can. (Twitter)

Producing and providing background music, mixing, mastering, and karaoke sound sources. He's extremely thrilled because he loves Japanese style music and wanted to be involved in this film production.

Ever since she was a little girl, she loved singing and drawing. Her teacher was a cathode-ray tube TV that was still in black and white. Atom, Sally, and Leo, the Jungle Emperor, appeared on it. It was her awakening to drawing. She found a ballpoint pen and drew her favorite characters on the back of the flier, excitedly enjoying the world of cartoons. She has experienced many things in her life, but now she is feeling as if she is in the same space as she was back then. She is sure that it is a blessing that she was able to meet Director Takane, the Ink Dancer Animation Team, and all the staff of Studio ONI, Operation ONI, as she approaches the milestone of her 60th birthday this year. She will cherish this relationship and continue to support Operation ONI. (Twitter(x))
Goma Channel & Ayaka
has been a member of the Tsurara-an family for 3 years and watched it with her family. That is where she met Operation ONI and is now a supporter of it. She started making dolls as a hobby, and is now making dolls by utilizing her daughter's hobby of digital artistry in doll making. An Operation ONI doll is about to be born!
(Twitter(x) / Youtube)
became fascinated with this project after watching Mr. Hosokawa's Youtube channel. She is training herself daily to draw attractive characters. Her current goal is to be able to receive requests for character design and illustrations. (Twitter(x))
Rokusho Hinata
is a painter who depict the world of Operation ONI's Sumi-e paintings in anime style. In addition to fan art, he paints various motifs in oil, watercolor, and other materials. (Twitter(x))

Jean-Michel Bruyere
Business Advisor
A Belgian entrepreneur, passionate about start-ups and self-employed projects. He has worked in various fields such as chemistry, catering, the environment and energy.

Thanks to all of you, our crowdfunding campaign for the first 15 minutes (Episode 1) in 2022 ended successfully on both Kickstarter and CAMPFIRE. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your warm support!

The first 15 minutes (episode 1) is currently in production. The release of Episode 1 and the next crowdfunding campaign are scheduled in the first half of 2025 or later.

The length of the film is approximately 60 minutes. Since we do not have a large production team, it will take about 5 years to complete the film. We feel bad about keeping you waiting for a long time, so we decided to divide the film into 4 episodes and produce and release 15 minutes of each part every year (12-15 months). In the scripts, I created a climax and a cliffhanger every 15 minutes , so this anime can be enjoyed either in full version or in small 15-minute episodes. This way, our supporters will be able to enjoy our film every year or so. Our first goal is to combine these four episodes into a single movie and bring it to film festivals in the U.S. We would like to walk the red carpet. It is our dream. Thank you very much for your cooperation.

Best regards,
Producer, director, story, script writer and editor of Operation ONI
Founder and CEO of Studio ONI Ltd.
Hiroshi Takane

Actor/actress agency YU-RIN PRO
Foreign talent agency Free Wave Co.,Ltd.
Actor/actress agency Early Wing
Recording Studio STUDIO effort
Tengu idea Arnaud Bruyere
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Copyright (C) Studio ONI Ltd. All rights reserved.