Toho Co., Ltd.

From Audiovisual Identity Database


Credits
Descriptions by
Eric S., Logohub, sega3dmm, Supermarty-o, Stephen C. and Thisisanswer

Captures by
Eric S. , sega3dmm, Stephen C., Logohub

Editions by
kidinbed, mr3urious And thestudioghiblifan

Video captures courtesy of
shimomov, Peakpasha, Logo Archive, BreadCrustCouncil, ArhiVid and MarkStarCrashes

Background

Toho Co., Ltd. (東宝株式会社) is a Japanese film, theater production, and distribution company. It has its headquarters in Yūrakuchō, Chiyoda, Tokyo, and is one of the core companies of the Hankyu Hanshin Toho Group. It was formed as Toho Eiga Co., Ltd. from the merger of P.C.L., Jenkins Osawa Studio, and Toho Eiga Haikyu of the Tokyo-Takarazuka Theater Company which itself was formed in 1932. In 1937, the documentary film department, Toho Bunka Eiga, was established. In 1943, it was merged with the Tokyo-Takarazuka Theater Company, forming Toho Co., Ltd. and renaming their production facilities as Toho Studios.

Outside Japan, it is best known as the producer and distributor of many kaiju and tokusatsu films, the Chouseishin tokusatsu superhero television franchise, the films of Akira Kurosawa, and the anime films of Studio Ghibli. Other famous directors, including Yasujirō Ozu, Kenji Mizoguchi, Masaki Kobayashi, and Mikio Naruse, also directed films for Toho. Toho's most famous creation is Godzilla, who features in 29 of the company's films. Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, King Ghidorah and Mechagodzilla are described as Toho's Big Five because of the monsters' numerous appearances in all three eras of the franchise, as well as spin-offs. Toho has also been involved in the production of numerous anime titles. Its subdivisions are Toho-Towa Distribution, Toho Pictures Incorporated, Toho International Company Limited, Toho E. B. Company Limited, and Toho Music Corporation & Toho Costume Company Limited. The company is the largest shareholder (7.96%) of Fuji Media Holdings Inc. Toho is a member of the Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan (MPPAJ), and is one of Japan's Big Four film studios.


Toho Eiga Co., Ltd.


Toho Co., Ltd.

Toho Eiga Co., Ltd.

1st Logo (1937-1938)

Logo: On a black background, the Toho emblem (a circle with the characters "東宝" inside reading from top to bottom, previously used in Toho Eiga Haikyu's logo) is seen in white. Below is the company name "東宝映画株式會社" in Japanese.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Seen on Learn from Experience Part I.

Legacy: This was the first appearance of the iconic logo.

2nd Logo (1938)

Logo: On a black background, a small Toho emblem is seen, with the company name "東宝映畫" below.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: TBA

Availability: TBA


3rd Logo (1938-1939)

Logo: The Toho emblem and company name in Japanese is seen inside a white frame. Two versions of this exist: one with a wooden background and one with a black background. The name may be displayed as either "東宝映画株式會社" or "東宝映畫株式會社" (both reading right to left).

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: TBA

Availability: TBA


4th Logo (1938)

Toho13.PNG.png

Logo: On a light background, a large Toho emblem in black is seen. Over the emblem is the Japanese text.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: TBA

Availability: TBA


5th Logo (1938)

Toho1.jpeg

Logo: On a textured white background with black patterns, the Toho emblem and company name is seen drawn on.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: TBA

Availability: TBA


6th Logo (1939)

Logo: Over a brick wall is the Toho emblem and the company name below. The inside of the Toho emblem is smooth.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: TBA

Availability: TBA


7th Logo (1940)

Toho space 1940.jpeg

Logo: On a space background, we see the giant Toho emblem, surrounded by a rotating ring that has the company name inscribed.

Technique: Live action.

Music/Sounds: TBA

Availability: TBA


8th Logo (1941-1942)

Logo: Over a rocky background with a light source on the bottom, we see the Toho emblem in white, floating above the screen. Then the company name in black tilts into view, casting a shadow in the front due to the light source being behind the text.

Technique: Live action.

Music/Sounds: TBA

Availability: TBA


9th Logo (1942)

Toho 1942 shadow.png

Logo: We see the Toho emblem and company name in a dark environment, barely visible. A light then illuminates the logo, casting a prominent shadow to the right.

Technique: Live action.

Music/Sounds: TBA

Availability: TBA


10th Logo (1942)

Toho katakana.jpeg

TBA

11th Logo (1943)

Logo: Over a wall with cracks, a metallic Toho emblem is seen, along with the company name in white below.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: TBA

Availability: TBA


Toho Co., Ltd.

1st Logo (1944)

Toho musical staff logo.jpeg

Logo: On a sunburst background (which can be barely seen), a large model of the Toho emblem is seen suspended above ground. Below is a rotating model of a musical staff, with the company name inscribed.

Technique: Live action.

Music/Sounds: TBA

Availability: TBA


2nd Logo (1946-1947)

Logo: On a dark textured background, we see the Toho emblem and company name, both seemingly three-dimensional and sporting a slight shadow.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: TBA

Availability: TBA. Known to plaster older logos.


3rd Logo (1946)

Logo: We see the Toho emblem between two lit torches. The torches are placed over a platform which has the company name inscribed over it.

Variant: A still version of this exists, with the torches being a painting.

Technique: Live action.

Music/Sounds: TBA

Availability: TBA


4th Logo (1947)

Toho zooming out.jpeg

Logo: On a black background, we see the Toho emblem. We then zoom out from the emblem, revealing the company name below.

Technique: A zoom-out effect.

Music/Sounds: TBA

Availability: TBA


5th Logo (1947-1948)

Logo: On a black background, the Toho emblem is seen over a small area of glimmering lights. The company name is below.

Technique: Live action.

Music/Sounds: TBA

Availability: TBA


6th Logo (1947-1948)

Logo: On a black background, the Toho emblem in white is seen, but thinner, with the company name below.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: TBA

Availability: Seen on early Shintoho productions, preceding said company's logo.


7th Logo (1948)

Toho 1948 grey.jpeg

Logo: On a grey background, the Toho emblem is seen in white, with the company name below.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: TBA

Availability: TBA


8th Logo (1948)

Logo: On a marble background, the Toho emblem is seen in white. The company name is below.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: TBA

Availability: TBA


9th Logo (1949-1950)

Logo: We see a model of a town. The Toho emblem and company name, both three-dimensional, are seen suspended over it.

Variant: There's an animated version where the logo begins with the Toho emblem and name darkened, then being lit up.

Technique: None. The variant is live action.

Music/Sounds: TBA

Availability: TBA


10th Logo (1949, 1953)

Logo: Over a flower field, we see the Toho emblem zooming in. The arched company name enters from the right of the screen to below the emblem.

Technique: 2D animation.

Music/Sounds: TBA

Availability: TBA


11th Logo (1950)

Toho sky 1950.jpeg

Logo: On a cloud background, the Toho emblem in black is seen, with a banner displaying the company name below. Animated sun rays are seen behind the logo.

Technique: Live action.

Music/Sounds: TBA

Availability: TBA


12th Logo (1950-1952)

Logo: The Toho emblem and company name is seen inside a frame.

Technique: TBA

Music/Sounds: TBA

Availability: TBA


13th Logo (1952-1955)

Logo: On a black background with spinning lines and a shining center (like a sunburst), we see a large Toho emblem. The company name then wipes in below the emblem.

Variants: In 1952, the company celebrated its 20th anniversary (from its beginnings as the Tokyo-Takarazuka Theater Company, founded in 1932). In this variant, after the logo animates, it fades into a black background with an ornate frame and with the text "東宝創立20周年記念映画" ("Toho's 20th anniversary film").

Technique: Practical effects.

Music/Sounds: None or the opening theme of the movie.

Availability: Ultra rare. Seen on some films from the time, most notably Seven Samurai.

Legacy: The spinning lights are notable for being used for the first time here, and for the rest of the logos below.

14th Logo (1953)

Toho shining 1953 clouds.jpeg

Logo: Similar to before, except the lines are aquamarine is shown over a sky background with some clouds below. The emblem and the company name (which are already there) is in orange.

Technique: Practical effects.

Music/Sounds: TBA

Availability: TBA

Legacy: This was the first appearance of the lights in color, and the first color logo from the company.

15th Logo (1954-1965)

Logo: Similar to before, but the emblem is smaller and is shown on a dark blue space background with two versions, one with golden stripes with the various colors of the rainbow spectrum, and clear, light blue stripes with the colors of the rainbow spectrum more apparent.

Variant:

  • On films in TohoScope, "TOHO" and "SCOPE" are on the left and right sides of the circle in a huge font.
  • The distribution variant reads "TOHO COMPANY LTD. DISTRIBUTION" in Japanese. The rotating stripes are much slower and slightly blurry in this variant.

Technique: Practical effects.

Music/Sounds: None or the opening theme.

Availability: Common. Seen on releases from this period, such as Rodan, The Hidden Fortress, and The Mysterians. The distribution variant is much more common and is known to plaster older logos on many films, such as Stray Dog (1949) and Sugata Sanshiro (1943). The 1950s "TohoScope" color version makes a surprise appearance on the 2016 movie Shin Godzilla, after the 1993 version.


16th Logo (1958)

Logo: On a grey marble background, we see a Toho emblem with film projector lines connected into emblem, then we see "TOHO PAN SCOPE" in a Gothic font with "PAN" in the center of emblem, and the Kanji in white is seen below.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: The opening theme.

Availability: Seen only on Varan the Unbelievable (1958) a Toho film which shot in Toho Pan Scope 2:1 format and similar to Univisium.


17th Logo (1965-1997)

Logo: Again, similar to before, but the logo is shown on a blue space background with mostly clear stripes that correspond to the various colors of light seen in the center of the logo. Small sparks of light are seen emitted from the center.

Variants:

  • Some movies had an English-translated logo (with "TOHO" written in the circle and/or "TOHO COMPANY, LTD." in English, replacing the kanji). A still shot of this variant can be seen on the trailer for the anime film Metropolis.
  • The distribution variant also has "TOHO COMPANY, LTD. DISTRIBUTION" in Japanese, unlike previous logos. There are color and B&W variants and still version which used on trailer of Toho distributed films. It was seen on Toho distributed films like Kuroneko (1968), Under the Flag of Rising Sun (1972), Dodes'ka-den (1970), Tokyo Olympiad (1965) and others.
  • The print circle was seen on Godzilla Unleashed for the Nintendo DS, as well as some Classic Media DVD releases of Toho material.

Technique: Practical effects.

Music/Sounds: None or the opening theme of the movie.

Availability: Common. Should be saved on most anything made by Toho in the era. It can also be seen on several anime productions such as the Doraemon and Crayon Shin-Chan films, Metropolis, Akira, Macross: Do You Remember Love? and the Japanese (and later English-dubbed) releases of Pokémon films, among others. It can also be seen on Koneko Monogatari (1986), which was reedited and redubbed outside of Japan as The Adventures of Milo and Otis (a Columbia Pictures release). Additionally, it can be found on Japanese prints of Studio Ghibli films starting with Only Yesterday. It also plasters the 1952 logo on the 1972 PBS broadcast and 1984 Embassy Home Entertainment release of Seven Samurai. It may have also appeared on the earliest Japanese prints of My Neighbor Totoro.

Legacy: One of the most well-known Japanese logos.

18th Logo (1993- )

Logo: An updated version of the last logo. The stripes are colored purple and various light blue colors, but also some green and yellow stripes are thrown in as well.

Variant: Starting with Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva in late 2009, the Japanese letters' font has been changed.

Technique: The animation appears to be CGI, unlike the previous logos.

Music/Sounds: Usually silent or the opening theme of the film.

Availability: Common. Seen on newer releases from the company, such as Ringu, Shin Godzilla (before the 1954 TohoScope logo), and Jujutsu Kaisen 0. Also seen on recent Japanese prints of Studio Ghibli films.


19th Logo (1st North American logo) (December 3, 2020-)

Toho 2020.jpeg

Logo: On a realistic space background, a blue ice comet flies around the bottom of the screen, with the background rotating with it. We then go inside the comet, which reveals several blue and purple streaks coming towards the center with a white light in the middle, as the letters of "TOHO" in off-white fly in from the middle of the screen. A large white ring also comes in as well. After they settle, the background fades to a mostly unaltered version of the 1993 logo's background, and the "東宝" kanji fade in.

Technique: CGI.

Music/Sounds:

  • June-September 2022: A quiet whooshes is heard during the ice comet flying sequences, and we hear a calm synth theme over the blue and purple streaks sequences during the "TOHO" name flying and the ring flying, then another calm theme is heard at the end during the logo formation and the background and the kanji letters fading in sequences.
  • November 2022-: A majestic, orchestral fanfare is heard, with different quiet whooshes and a film projector sound effect during the comet sequences, then a different film projector soundbite is heard again at the end during the streaks, the company name and the ring flying sequences, ending in a "clang" sound effect during the background and the kanji letters sequences.
  • Sometimes (mainly Monster Hunter, this logo's debut film), it has the opening theme of the movie.

Availability: Brand new and current. It first debuted on Monster Hunter (2020), and it may appear on future films from them in the United States. Japanese releases continue to use the previous logo.

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