Meaningful Storytelling

Maru Exposito is a Japan-based studio creating Animation and Comics with inspiring messages. Our core stories feature heartwarming adventure, fantasy, and romance.

ANIMATION

Although we do have feature film-length stories in mind for the future, and created some short originals, lately we focused on creating stories on demand. Mostly in the format of animated music videos and or anime clips.

COMIC

Mar is also the author of Windy Lightning (web)comic, within the Believe in Fake Magic saga. Its production has paused while we do animation but we will return to this story in the future. Sometimes we even move forward little pieces of it.

Featured works

Our first award-winning short film!

The first 2020 music video, which hit more than 100,000 views in just 3 weeks.

Period ballad music video with a heartwarming story.
Our biggest 2021 piece!

"My Son", first 2021's music video. Deep growth message for your loved little one, and in Arabic.

And a slow-paced loop styled animation to help you relax.

See more animations, making of material and comic info:


Custom Animation Services

Maru Exposito is an English-speaking animation studio based in Tokyo. And we do more than original fantasy moving pictures! Do you have a project to animate? Check our on-demand Services page or get in touch directly through the Animation Enquiry form.

Resources for Industry Professionals

Learn from our founder Mar's multiple interviews with top players, tutorials about the creation process, written articles about animated videos and more. If something is not clear, you can even catch her LIVE on YouTube or Twitch to ask even more.

Studio Director

Hi! It is Mar.

After studying animation in Tokyo, I worked in a managerial marketing position while starting my own media company "Maru Exposito" on the side!

So, from early 2020 I had more time to craft anime projects and share the adventure through live streams. As the team grows, you can expect a regular increase of deep heartwarming animations in the world ;)

YouTube Animation, live streams, interviews

LinkedIN Resume and articles about animation

Instagram | Twitch | Facebook | Twitter

Patreon Some free content and updates, plus patrons can support the studio and get exclusive treasures!

To reach me directly, message me on any of the social media links above ;)

Team

Although we do have some favourite collaborators, the studio director, Mar, takes the director role and gathers a team and support necessary to complete every project. So, even if we use "we" through the entire website, people may vary. We just put together the most skilled and passionate people at each step.

That means
we look forward to hearing people with different skill sets and backgrounds who want to become part of our creations. So don't be shy to apply if you are interested! Just take into consideration that your participation will highly depend on our current needs and projects.

Our Values

Written by Mar, the founder.

  1. All stories contain life-changing messages.

I have an emotional story for you.

When teenage me finally got volume 5 of Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle, she was just desperate to know what was awaiting my beloved characters Sakura and Shaoran.

Instead, I found life-changing advice:

Shaoran makes his father sad. He is struggling (won’t spoil you the problem) so he apologizes over and over to his father who is taking care of him. Guess what, Shaoran feels like a nuisance, and his father feels bad seeing him so down.

Then the advice happens. Sakura tells Shaoran that, instead of saying ‘sorry’ he should say ‘thank you’. He doesn’t get why but, once he tries, his father can't help but hug the little boy, full of joy.

When thanking someone for helping you, you won’t be positioned in an awkward inferior level. Also, the person helping will feel appreciated!

(Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle by CLAMP, chapter 34, volume 5)

This is a life-changing message I found in one of my favorite manga and I have applied it countless times since.

Maybe it is not even the first time that message appeared in my life. But we are more likely to learn when we are interested in something than when we are forcing ourselves to learn (aka. studying something for duty).

So here is my goal and the first value for Maru Exposito:


STORIES CONTAIN LIFE-CHANGING MESSAGES

I don’t care if it is a short story, a full chapter, or a full saga. My best communication skills lie in drawing stories and I want to help you using that medium.

I will put my best advice in Maru Exposito's stories. Sometimes it will be direct (as Sakura literally advising Shaoran) or indirect (as a character acting in a certain way and then receiving some gratification/punishment).

2. No use of filler content to prolong the story.

Have you ever felt like giving up on watching a series because your interest dropped?

My examples: Boruto, Suits, Detective Conan, Downton Abbey, The Big Bang Theory, Dragon Ball, Bleach, How to Train your Dragon (the tv series)…

I loved those series at first (and still like them) but the never-ending factor made it tedious. Like ‘ugh…. will something really happens in this episode!’

A long series means ‘steady revenue stream’ when it comes to media industries.

Yet, if your main goal is not creating a cohesive story from beginning to end, you will end up adding filler content that over time makes people lose their interest. And just as you want a good doctor when you are sick, you want quality entertainment when you are watching tv series. You spend your precious time watching them after all!

The second value inside all Maru Exposito’s products is:


NO FILLER CONTENT TO PROLONG THE STORY.

Windy Lightning comic, like any other anime or comic from us, has an ending point. It has already been decided, and every single action inside the story is pointing to the final scene.

This does not mean stories will be short. Oh, nooo! Also, it is important that characters take a break from facing life/death problems all the time.

It is just that having an ending point in mind allows us to create the best story and keep it interesting and meaningful every time!

So, this value strengthens the story and ensures Maru Exposito is respecting your time.

3. Stories don’t support gambling, smoking, drugs, homophobia, racism, or war.

My parents have always had a strong ‘no-smoking’ policy. Actually, my grandfather died because of smoking (lung cancer).

I have refused persistently to smoke and never even considered trying. So, you can guess where I stand when it comes to smoking.

However, I can’t help but thinking men smoking are cool when appearing during certain movies scenes.

STORIES INFLUENCE US!

Often a cool character is shown smoking and that is the association in my head. I hate smoking, but it looks cool.

The third value of Maru Exposito is:

STORIES DON'T SUPPORT GAMBLING, SMOKING, DRUGS, HOMOPHOBIA, RACISM OR WAR.

My strong belief is that these are important issues for the human kind that develop into very bad consequences. You might not believe in it, and that is ok since I am not forcing you to change your values.

But once again, stories are powerful. And Maru Exposito will put emphasis on creating strong stories against gambling, smoking, drugs, homophobia, racism, and war because that is the influence we want to have.

This way, you can see the other side of the coin and feel supported and encouraged to live and act according to these values.

It is tricky to follow this value because I do use these issues inside the story (never to promote them!). How to make it so every reader understands the position of Maru Exposito has a risk because interpretations of one same story are, even in the most obvious cases, subjective.

But it is absolutely worth trying!

We all have some strong values we live for, and although we default to protecting them, receiving support to it (from society or media content) always helps!

If you also find it important to go against those issues, stick around and enjoy stories with your same ideals. You are not alone here.

4. We push into developing environmentally friendly creative processes.

What do you use for studying?

Not so long ago, I was observing some high school students walking in front of me.

The Japanese uniforms are super cute, but their bags worry me a lot. They look super heavy and not ergonomic at all!

I also remember having lots of book weight in my back while studying, up to the university level. The bag was maybe better suited to carry weight, but I think that it could all have been avoided.

We take way too many things for granted.

It took me until after the university years, when I started studying using heavy books again (for my Japanese studies) to start ‘destroying’ my books to reduce weight.

We never use the whole book at every class (or even to study) so cutting books into chapters is more than OK.

My teachers didn’t like that I appeared with just a few papers of each book putting chapters together with just a stapler. But my back loved it! And my studies and learning experience was not negatively affected by not having pretty, complete books.

Also, I started using the back part of any paper copy they gave me (for exercises) as a place to make notes, sketches, practice handwritten Japanese, etc.

It didn’t look clean. Actually, it looked chaotic.

But I don’t see any reason to refrain from using the blank side of a paper that’s already been given to me. What a waste!!

Why should I use the specific notebook if I already have wide blank spaces elsewhere?

We are tied by emotions. We like the feeling of a whole book in our hands, clean and new clothing, and basically, new 'anything' that is well packaged. But there is not always a real need for that.

There are still new ways to deal with certain experiences and processes. And you too can find new/original/effective ways that break some general norms to act in favor of what you believe or really need!!

The fourth value of Maru Exposito is:

WE PUSH INTO DEVELOPING ENVIRONMENTALLY-FRIENDLY CREATIVE PROCESSES

I strongly believe plants and animals deserve companies and individuals to think and implement ways to not harm them more and more.

Maybe I can't avoid destroying things to a certain degree as long as I am alive. I do consume.

But it is worth the extra effort to strive towards pursuing the smallest consequences for the planet. And, if possible, help the environment improve.

Also, this value does not only apply to the creative processes of creating animation and comics.

First, I am personally studying environmental issues or pollutants. Also, I am trying some new ways to live my life in general: less waste, fewer plastics, checking closer to my habits' footprint and systems where I live... It is a big slow adventure with ups and downs. But hopefully, it will have a better effect on my life's impact on the planet.

Yes, this is bigger than business decisions. And you can see how it can affect everything. With the company's founder taking ecologically mindful decisions in and out, we will all have a greater impact even if perhaps employees are not as active (although I can tell you some are!). That's the structural pyramid's power.

Secondly, it is my plan to donate part of the studio's profits to environmental causes. As I am studying the subject, I am still not sure what this will mean. It could be putting resources on doing a beach clean-up, invest in perhaps more expensive but cleaner energy alternatives, or simply finance a third-party project I believe is doing a good job.

Promises have weight and compromising to something very specific now is not wise since we are in such an early stage. But you see some plans and the direction we are taking!

5. High importance on publishing content that meets deadlines and set expectations.

During Windy Lightning's chapter 1 original release, the comic panel update frequency switched from 5 to 3 panels every week.

I hated that. Let’s be sincere, I would rather stick with what was promised. However, I know that I was hitting a human limit there and I needed a shift to adapt to certain circumstances. So, I informed readers as soon as possible.

Also, at the same time, I had a surprise prepared for them... But I kept quiet! I couldn’t tell what was coming because I don’t want to give people some expectations and break them!

Why?

I respect people's trust in this brand.

The fifth value of Maru Exposito is:

HIGH IMPORTANCE ON PUBLISHING CONTENT THAT MEETS WITH SET EXPECTATIONS AND DEADLINES.

I prefer making sure I can deliver what is promised before making a commitment and breaking it for no reason. Yes, I am human and I can make mistakes. We all do.

But I use my energy to implement processes that ensure that breaking commitments is as rare as possible.

Trust from someone else is a very rare gift to receive. It takes lots of time and effort to obtain such a gift. Moreso if broken once for any reason.

Let’s imagine a situation that will be very familiar:

We are in a group preparing a surprise party for our common friend Jason.

The plan is to get into a certain place you are borrowing. For example, a classroom. The day the party takes place, everyone has to bring certain material at 6 pm, one hour before Jason comes. That way, we can prepare it all on time.

Who will have the responsibility of bringing the classroom key at 6 pm?


To the person that always arrives late whatever they say or do? To the person who cancels at the last minute? Will we give that key responsibility to you?

Depending on your answers here, it can be hurtful. But I am not here to criticize and compare one person to another.

I am aware that my actions can easily take me to a place where people stop paying attention to me because I am not reliable.

I want to make sure that you understand how important it is in real life to have people’s trust. And if you want that, you will have to do what you say you will do as often and truly possible.

Returning to the brand value issue… if you’ve been a subscriber of my newsletter, you will know I am true to my word as human-ly as possible. Why? Because so far I’ve always done what I said in Believe in Fake Magic matters! Even when I was changing commitments.

I have messed up with links and I have mistaken some pictures, yes. I am not perfect in that and I make mistakes at all levels. But trying to meet expectations is one of the things I hold as very important and worth the effort.

That is why I am doing whatever I can (within my imperfections) because I want you to believe that I respect your time and trust.

TRUST IS GIVEN TO THOSE WHO CONSISTENTLY KEEP THEIR PROMISES THROUGH TIME.

And my fifth value is the best I can do to obtain your trust through time.

I am doing whatever I can (without breaking my own values and health) to continue creating Windy Lightning comic and related content every week. Or to have all promised treasures in the Patreon tiers.

If there are changes and interruptions, I will let you know in advance.

Curious about all this? Check Mar go deeper on why are these matters important to us and how are they used in the studio.

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