|1st Logo (October 16, 1976-July 11, 1981, 1984(?))||2nd Logo (2002-2007)||3rd Logo (2007-2008, 2011)||4th Logo (2008-2013)||5th Logo (August 30, 2014-)|
In 1945, the Kadokawa Shoten Publishing company was established. In 1975, Haruki Kadokawa launched a film division, which presented its first production the year after. Kadokawa made a lot of well-acclaimed films in Japan, having also acquired Daiei Film Co. and renamed it Kadokawa-Daiei in 2002, and in 2005, they purchased Herald Pictures. In 2011, all subsidiaries were rebranded under the label of Kadokawa Group.
1st Logo (October 16, 1976-July 11, 1981, 1984(?))
Logo: We start on a slowly moving starfield with the earth and a red comet appears flying towards us. The comet becomes a flaming firebird, which moves and envelopes the earth. Then the earth explodes into a bright, fluorescent blue splash and suddenly, the early Kadokawa bird pops up, with the name in Japanese ("角川春樹事務所作品", lit. "A work from Haruki Kadokawa Corporation") or English ("HARUKI KADOKAWA presents") zooming in below.
- This logo may appear in a 4:3 format, or a widescreen format.
- On some foreign prints of G.I. Samurai (1979), the logo plays out normally but after the bright splash, a custom-made title card for the movie appears instead (The card refers to whatever the movie is titled in their respective country).
- A still version of the logo appears on Virus (1980) and Legend of Eight Samurai (1984).
Technique: The moving comet, bird, and splash. Incredibly beautifully detailed hand-drawn animation.
Music/Sounds: A raising warbling sound, and the warbling-like explosion sound that becomes a majestic synth.
Availability: Somewhat rare, bordering on near extinction. First appeared on Kon Ichikawa's The Inugami Family (1976), the logo was presumably retired starting with the release of The Aimed School (1981), although a still version of this logo appeared on Legend of Eight Samurai (1984). This logo may or may not be plastered by the Kadokawa Shoten logo (or no logo may even appear at all) on some newer prints of the films this logo originally appeared on, contributing to its' rather limited availability. Fortunately, this logo is retained on the Ultra 4K Blu-ray of The Beast to Die (1980).
Legacy: The animation is very splendid. All that effort (especially for a logo) certainly paid off, as it creates a sense of awe for the viewers!
2nd Logo (2002-2007)
Logo: At a ocean at moonlight, a strange object flies under the water and then emerges. It forms the Kadokawa bird as we zoom into it and the background turns black. The name appears below in either English or Japenese and shines.
Technique: The logo is formed.
Music/Sounds: A majestic soundtrack.
Availability: Uncommon. Seen on One Missed Call (2003), One Missed Call 2 (2004), The Great Yokai War (2005), and One Missed Call: Final (2006). Also seen on the Masters of Horror episode "Imprint" (2006).
3rd Logo (2007-2008, 2011)
Logo: The bird forms with the name in a circle forming as well. It slowly zooms in and fills in with a lavender color.
Technique: The logo forming.
Availability: Rather common on anime releases from Funimation, such as Deadman Wonderland (2011).
4th Logo (2008-2013)
Logo: In a blue environment, rings are seen moving around and one lands on there, making lines. They move around and the background changes color. The background turns back to blue and a white gradient expands like a water drop hitting water, with a different Kadokawa bird opening up. Then, the Japanese text "角川映画" (Kadokawa Pictures) or its English translation appears below.
Technique: The rings, environment, bird, and lines.
Music/Sounds: An ambient soundtrack.
Availability: Rare, seen on certain releases like RoboGeisha (2009).
5th Logo (2013-)
Logo: Over a lake surrounded by mountains and a cloudy sky, two sapphire-colored chevrons flip and move around. The camera then cuts to several shots of the chevrons spinning, as well as other letters moving about. The camera then cuts to the chevrons flipping about, with then and the letters forming the current Kadokawa logo, with the bird on the side and shown with a reflection on the water, all before the background becomes white and the logo becomes 2D. On DVD releases, the chevrons quickly flip into place before the final result is formed.
Technique: The chevrons flipping, the name forming.
Music/Sounds: A synth soundtrack.
Availability: Current. Seen on movies like Lupin the 3rd (2014). Since then, the short version of this logo replaced the Kadokawa Video and Kadokawa Pictures logo on Funimation releases. This was also used on commercials made for the company's products.