Closing Logo Group

Written by Eric S. ,sega3dmm, Supermarty-o, and Stephen C. Editions by kidinbed,mr3urious And thestudioghiblifan Logo captures by Eric S. , sega3dmm and Stephen C.

Videos by shimomov, Peakpasha, Logo Archive, BreadCrustCouncil, ArhiVid and MarkStarCrashes


Toho Co., Ltd. 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. 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.

1st logo (1935-1950)[]

Nicknames: "The Circle I"

Logo: The Toho logo (the familiar circle with the kanji "東宝"in the center, arranged vertically) is seen on a gray background. The logo appears to have a drop shadow. Kanji is written on the bottom of the screen which translates to "Toho Motion Picture Company".

Variant: On educational films, the background is a very dark gray (almost black; due to major film deterioration), and the circle is light gray and filled completely.

FX/SFX: None.

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

Availability: Seen on movies from the era.

Scare Factor: Minimal. The B&W prints may unnerve some viewers.

2nd logo (1950-)[]

Nicknames: "The Circle II", "Shining Circle", 1st Place in the Oldest Logo award, The Logo Seen Before The Godzilla Movies, Japan's Most Famous logo

Logo: On a space blue background with multicolored lines, with a shining center. On the center, we see a white circle with the kanji "東宝" arranged vertically, which means "TOHO". Under the circle, we see yellow kanji that reads "東宝株式会社", which means "TOHO COMPANY, LTD".

Evolution/Variants: The logo has changed through the years. Here, we can see the differences:

  • 1950-1955: The logo is closer to the screen and in black and white. The Kanji wipes in below the logo instead of already being there.
  • 1955-1965, 1984: The logo is in color, and is shown on a dark blue space background with two versions, one with golden stripes various colors of the rainbow spectrum, and clear, light blue stripes with the colors of the rainbow spectrum more apparent.
  • 1965-1997: The most famous variant of the logo. It 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.
  • 1957-1965: "TOHO" and "SCOPE" are on the left and right sides of the circle in a huge font.
  • 1993-: The logo is enhanced to look more modern. The stripes are colored purple and various light blue colors, but also some green and yellow stripes are thrown in as well.
  • Also, 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.
  • There are versions of the logo in 4:3 (full open matte or cropped from widescreen), flat (1.85:1, 1.75:1), and CinemaScope (2.35, 2.55) .
  • The print circle was seen on Godzilla Unleashed for the Nintendo DS, as well as some Classic Media DVD releases of Toho material.

Trivia: This is possibly the longest-running logo ever, as it debuted in 1950 and is still used to this day; a whopping 73 years!

FX/SFX: The stripes rotating and shining. Very nice practical effects for its time, although it did improve over the years.

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

Availability: Can be seen many titles produced by Toho, such as popular ones like GodzillaBlack DogLast Song, and Super Godzilla to name a few. It can also be seen on several anime productions such as the Doraemon and Crayon Shin-Chan films, MetropolisAkiraMacross: Do You Remember Love? and the Japanese (and later English-dubbed) releases of Pokemon 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. The 1950s color version makes a surprise appearance on the 2016 movie Shin Godzilla, after the 2000s version.

Scare Factor: None. This logo is a favorite among anime and tokusatsu fans.