Toei Company

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


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 July 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 March 1, 1960, Toei established Daini Toei (later New Toei) to produce and distribute more gendaigeki films, 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 (August 25, 1952)

Visuals: Over a textured background is the emblem from the Tokyo Eiga Haikyu logo (consists of a triangle with the kanji letters "東映") carved out of stone. Below is the text "東映京都作品" also carved out of stone.

Technique: It appears to be a model being pointed at by a camera.

Audio: None.

Availability: It appears on Boryoku.

2nd Logo (January 9, 1953)

Visuals: On a marble patterned background with an embossed rectangle, the Toei emblem is shown. Below is the text "東映株式会社".

Technique: It appears to be a model being pointed at by a camera.

Audio: A custom fanfare.

Availability: Seen on Himeyuri no Tô.

3rd Logo (April 5, 1955-1956)

Visuals: There is a shot at sea with some rocks and waves crashing ashore in a stormy weather at Cape Inubō, Chōshi, Chiba. The Toei logo then zooms towards the camera and settles at the middle of the screen, and the company name in kanji wipes in.

Technique: Live action and cel animation.

Audio: Either of these:

  • An eighteen-note dramatic violin tune.
  • An eight-note horn tune accompanied by three cymbal crashes.
  • An eight-note flute tune, followed by a five-note piano tune.

Availability: Seen on the company's films from the time, such as The Great Black Hood: Eyes of Magna and Children of Kujukuri Beach.

4th Logo (August 27, 1958-March 3, 2001)

Visuals: Mostly similar to the previous logo, but it's not stormy, and when big waves form, the Toei logo in a superimposed style, zooms in.


  • Originally, the logo appeared in B&W.
  • A short variant exists.
  • 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.

Audio: The sound of waves crashing, silent, or the opening theme of the film.

Audio Variants:

  • 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: Seen on Toei releases from mid-1958 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.
  • Despite being retired, this logo later appeared on First Love, released on September 27, 2019.

Legacy: Quite possibly the most famous Japanese film logo, or at least outside of Japan.

5th Logo (April 7, 2001- )

Visuals: 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 a slightly different 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.

Audio: Same as before.

Availability: 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.

Toyoko Eiga Co., Ltd.
Tokyo Eiga Haikyuu
Ohizumi Picture
Toei Company
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