Toei Company is a Japanese film company founded in 1949 during the dismantling of the traditional Japanese film industry, as a result of some of the oldest elements of motion picture producers Makino, Tokyo Film Distribution, and Ohizumi Films. In its early years, Toei preferred to build local cinemas in villages and near train stations more than make good movies. In 1956, Toei established an animation division, Toei Animation Company Limited at the former Tokyo-Ōizumi animation studio, purchasing the assets of Japan Animated Films. In 1960, Toei established Daini Toei (later New Toei) to produce and distribute more gendaigeki films, where it's being a genre of Japanese drama that deals with contemporary life. The company is also best known for producing television shows (mainly coming from the Tokusatsu genre) such as the Kamen Rider and Super Sentai series.
|1st Logo (1950s?)||2nd Logo (1950s?-1958?)||3rd Logo (1958?-March 3, 2001)||4th Logo (April 7, 2001- )|
1st Logo (1950s?)
Logo: Just the Toei logo (which consists of a triangle with the kanji letters "東映" (which means "TOEI")) seen in the middle of the screen with the company name in kanji on a stormy background.
2nd Logo (1950s?-1958?)
Logo: Same as last time, but the logo and text are in 3D against a rocky wall.
3rd Logo (1958?-March 3, 2001)
Logo: We see a shot at sea with some rocks and waves crashing ashore. Then, when big waves form, the Toei logo in a superimposed style, zooms in.
- Originally, the logo appeared in B&W.
- On early prints of the logo, the words (also in Japanese text) "COMPANY, LTD." are seen below the logo.
- On some English export prints, the logo is translated into English, with the words "A TOEI COMPANY, LTD. Picture".
- Other English export prints have the text "A TOEI PICTURE" pop in a split-second after the logo settles.
- English export prints of The Bullet Train (Shinkansen Daibakuha) have another variant with the text "TOEI COMPANY LTD." appearing underneath the logo.
- When ToeiScope premiered, the logo would appear with the letters "TOEI SCOPE" surrounding the logo.
- The logo may be completely still on some films.
- On a Greek VHS of The Golden Bird, there is a blue tint to the logo, due to film quality master.
- On The Fugitive From The Past (1965), there is a name on the logo translated to "Toei W106 Operation".
- There are many Russian versions usually seen on Soviet prints of existing films.
Technique: Mostly live-action. The zooming of the logo might've been done on cels.
Music/Sounds: The sound of waves crashing, silent, or the opening theme of the film.
- The Hakujyaden variant uses a patriotic fanfare.
- New Line co-productions have a dramatic, western-sounding fanfare continuing to said company's first logo, composed by such names as Tony Sushima and Takeo Watanabe.
Availability: Very common. Seen on Toei releases from the late 50s to 2001.
- Sometimes it is removed or plastered with local distributors logos on export prints, but is often retained.
- Common films that have this are the Dragon Ball films, the Sonny Chiba Street Fighter films (the New Line Home Video releases, and public domain prints of the first two films, retain them, with the theatrical R-rated versions using the truncated versions of their opening themes as heard over the New Line Cinema logo on original American release prints), Animal Treasure Island, The Bullet Train, The Fugitive From The Past, and Karate Bullfighter. It can also be found on YuYu Hakusho: The Golden Seal, which they distributed on behalf of Studio Pierrot.
- The variant that says "A TOEI PICTURE" appears on the English version of Shogun's Ninja.
- The Thorn EMI release of Roaring Fire has the variant with the text "TOEI COMPANY, LTD. Presents" fading in below.
- It is not known if it appeared on any prints of Fist of the North Star (1986) but all known versions currently available do have an in-credit reference to Toei at the beginning of the film.
- It may have been on older prints of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind but no evidence has shown up as of yet.
- It was also probably seen on the earliest prints of Castle In The Sky and Kiki's Delivery Service but has since been replaced on most home video releases of both films with the current Studio Ghibli logo.
Legacy: Quite possibly the most famous Japanese film logo, or at least outside of Japan.
4th Logo (April 7, 2001- )
Logo: A light appears and reveals a "wall" of clouds/water, which takes over the entire screen. A black Toei logo is revealed on the wall for a few seconds. The words "TOEI COMPANY LTD." emerge from the water at the bottom side of the screen, and the "wall" crossfades to the seashore from the previous logo and the cyan Toei triangle zooms in, and while it does so it turns back to its white color. The seashore fades out, leaving the text and triangle on a black background.
- Since the 2010's, the wall looks more like it's made of water, and the Toei logo isn't revealed on it.
- Kamen Rider × Kamen Rider OOO & W Featuring Skull: Movie War Core: The Toei logo is colored red, yellow, green and purple, the colors of the Kamen Riders Double (green and purple) and OOO (red, yellow and green).
- Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time: The Toei logo used, is the 1950s original one.
Technique: CGI animation.
Music/Sounds: Same as before.
Availability: Currently in use. Films that have this, beginning with the Special Edition of Battle Royale, are all modern Super Sentai and Kamen Rider films among others. This also appears on Japanese releases of American co-productions, such as the 2017 Power Rangers film.