Clamp: Anime Studio With Years of Unfinished Works

The tragic story of forgotten anime studio Clamp

Luna Ruiz, Columnist

Clamp: the studio famous for a good deal of anime and manga starting from the 1980s. They were most well known for stories of fantasy, romance, and their symbolism. It’s an all-female group that takes turns writing, drawing, and adding color to manga, according to Wired. Their first popular works include “RG Veda”, “Magic Knight Rayearth”, and “Wish,” each made to express a sense of magic. Other works included fantasy and futuristic concepts, traveling through dimensions, and imagining the end of the world. Clamp remained well known until the 2000s and left a lasting impression.  

When starting out, Clamp’s art style was heavily experimental and changed through the decades. It all happened as they were learning how to work together, according to Yatta Tachi. Even basic things like proportion changed drastically. They weren’t unwelcome changes though; it was so the art wouldn’t become outdated or boring in the future. All the art within the studio remained consistent with their mystical feeling.  

As of now, the size of the studio is rather small, and projects that have been started rarely get endings. They can’t keep up with so many projects at once, with only a few artists. It’s disappointing; it takes at least a decade for Clamp to consider a follow up on a popular hit. It caused people to lose interest when nothing was finished. Nevertheless, it also allowed fans watching decades later to discover some of the studio’s underrated works. 

If their projects do eventually gain endings, though, they’re usually distressing and unsatisfactory. The main character never achieved their goals when everyone was rooting for them. This was changed in the early 2000s, when Clamp rethought the structures of their story endings. 

The newest work of Clamp was supposed to be “Tokyo Babylon,” the reboot anime. It was scheduled to be released in 2021. The anime was cancelled because the newer character outfit design was revealed to be plagiarized, says DualShockers. The original designs were copied from K-pop band Red Velvet and doll company Volks. It’s actually the fault of the producers creating the anime adaptation, but it still damaged the reputation of Clamp artists and their original manga. 

Unfortunately, Clamp is most likely never going to be as popular as in the 90s. Over time, Clamp works became irrelevant to fans with no follow-ups and their recent record of plagiarism. There are especially too many competitors now, but Clamp’s old works will remain true classics.