Banno Film Studio (Japan)

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Background: While Shankyo Banno (b. 1875) was an beginner on photographing apparatus, he had no choice but to demonstrate all it's collegiate students at Ritsumeikan High School that he's "better photographist" by recording with it's very first camera how the students fight against each other. It called the "Resuming of the snack"(スナックの再開), which was their very first movie in 1886, which only 3 prints of it remain. It's sister, Mai Banno, later renamed Mai Minakami on 1932, maked conjoint with Shankyo to make a film on it's very own studio that it created: Ritsu Studio. It's about a "kurubon" (special film that everyone is forced to enter) about three kids in a tower that want to save a maitress' life. The film was called "Look upon that tower!" (Japanese: 私たちの塔を見てください, 1889), and it was a sucess upon their hands. After the Sino-Gakuin War, the Ritsu Studio collapsed and the Banno brothers decided to make another studio to revive how Ritsu Studio suceeded. Thus, "Banno Film Studio" was born.

1st Logo (1904-1915)


Logo: On a space background, we see diagonal lines shooting to form an gray neon eagle-ish thing, which only has one foot. It flaps it's wings and looks at us, while zooming in. While it's zooming in and finishes, it spins thrice until it forms into the left and flies diagonally at said direction, with the space moving. Diagonal lines are in conjoint with the flapping of the bird, and after 4 seconds, a white circle appears from the space background and we zoom in to it rapidly. The background then drains rapidly into a black background, with the diagonal lines flashing. The text, which translates to "Banno Film" appears zooming out repeatedly (the amount of it is actually 7) to the upper side of the circle.

  • A still variant also exists, but it has only been spotted on The Instructor of the Hill (丘のインストラクター) and Literally Sticked Friends (一緒にくっつく親友)

Trivia: If you want to know how this was made, it was on professional and at the same time traditional animation, just like a moving picture, but not stop motion animation. There was no paper cutouts on this logo, it was just an animation made with multicolored markers, made by Shankyo and it's brother Mai Banno, which maked this animation sequence on exactly 14 minutes, no seconds - the shortest time a person has ever recieved on making a logo!

FX/SFX: The bird flapping, the diagonal lines, the circle appearing, the background draining, the text zooming out repeatedly. Not such look-a-like efforted by today's standards, but this was a good animation through - since the first time this logo it was shown, it was a sucess.

Music/Sounds: Generally none, as if would the composer would play the musicians' suggested music after the logo, but sometimes, the opening theme of the film is heard. The original fanfare included explosion sounds, but this was not used since 1912 (The sound was never official, whatsoever.)

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • On The Footage of a Foot in Age(ビデオ足の年齢), Some patriotic ditty is heard, probably that's a footage from the song My Car Is Broken (車は壊れている)
  • On Eyed Collission (眼眼眼の衝突), A menacing fanfare plays over that, and then an bombastic piano ditty, followed by a fast Southeast Asian song.
  • Sometimes, it would use a marching band ditty, seen on films like The Connection Was Lost (接続なし) and The Disgusting Killers from the Seaside Northward (北朝鮮からの反政府勢力)

Availability: Extremely common. As spoken clearly, more common than other film industry logos or vanity cards that other films did. Check your PAL tapes or DVD tapes, whatsoever the main style of home video looking is, and you'll see the exact logo of this. Not too clearly to see, anyways, this is perhaps the oldest logo and at the same time most common logo on history, after Gaumont. One day Key Video unexpectedly had a film that contained this exact logo, so other films can have the same error. Last seen on The Alabated Abode (勝利の宮殿)

Editor's Note: The animation is not decent looking, but it's animation was very fast during the era. The company name zooming in repeatedly would give someone a headache, and adds the cheesiness to this logo. Also, the original fanfare could give more than a few the scares, and the eagle eye is also ugly looking, but this is a most rememberable logo for those who are remembering those logo around the world, as it proclaimed international distribution sides.

2nd logo (1915-1927, 1953)


Logo: We see an extreme close up of a black background. Then, an vertical line, three diagonal lines and two lines overpassing it, collide each other, all in neon forming an abstract "B". Suddenly, a circle zooms out, causing some fire to appear over the black background, almost passing over the screen. The fire sends a text which zooms out from the background, translating to "Banno Film Studio" on gray. The B then becomes clearly seen, A line then draws fastly and the logo zooms out to us, leaving the text "Presents" on white.

Trivia: This was it's second attempt to be animating with traditional animation (The fire is also in traditional one!). Also, Presents is on english, as many suggest. Mai Banno, which also spoke english, put the letter "PRESENTS" writen in. It took half of the time to make this logo compared to the first one.

Variant: Sokuho Palli, the founder of Pallicolor, would make this logo colored and back in action in the film Enjoy The Show! (私たちがやっていることを楽しむ) on 1953.

FX/SFX: The fire, the texts zooming in and out, parts of the B colliding.


  • About over 1915-1921, there was no sound at all over the film's music, as most of the films they've produced with this logo are silent.
  • Starting at 1922, it's a majestic, worker-like fanfare with the sounds of zooming in and the fire, which would later end with a loud "gong" sound.

Availability: More common than the first one. It has seen on a tremendous amount of japanese silent movies like some that Mai Banno never created, such as Siu Kokkoya, or some animated films based in legends. It can also seen always on the Public Domain as current enough. Most of the prints are being conserved by Yodobashi Camera.

Editor's Note: A great improvement over the first logo, but a bit of a downgrade, because that there's no company name in english, the logo is still just as fast then the previous logo, not that fast, the logo is still such a remembrance for all Japanese. It could startle you the first time you see it, but otherwise it's harmless.

3rd Logo (1927-1943)


Logo: On a black background, the text on japanese "Banno" draws very slowly and very conjointed (looks like it's abstract), with some lines accompanying it with the drawing, once the first letters are finished. The abstract text goes to the left of the screen while the camera zooms out, and said text sends some trails, all which change in pattern and design when it moves. The logo then flashes, and then the background becomes a moving South Asian-like paper, witchcraft-like background, from which the text "Banno Film Studio", (translated yet again) on black, would appear from it. The text then flashes quicky, as well as the logo. The logo has a fading-out effect due to the severe brightness of the logo, and then we fade to black.

FX/SFX: The animation of the logo. Not very proffessional unlike the first logo, but we are surely quite that this has excellent animation.

Music/Sounds: TBA.

Availability: Very common.

Editor's Note: TBA

4th logo(1943-1953)

Logo: TBA


  • The logo has color in the first color process film, You Expected What? (あなたは何を期待していますか?)

FX/SFX: The earth forming, exploding into pieces with glue and paperboard, the connecting of the logo, the flashing and the lights in space. All in well done animation.

Music/Sounds: Sounds which fit with the logo (meteors, zaps, comets, ascending synth notes, etc.), which intersegue into a patriotic fanfare.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • Sometimes, it's the opening theme of the movie.
  • On the film My Love's Not Here (彼らは私の愛を殺した), they used a different bombastic note.

Availability: Rare, it's not as common as the previous logos, due to the next logo plastering this.

Editor's Note: TBA

5th Logo


TBA, and so are the rest.

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