There is a staggering amount of animation studios in Japan today, all vying for recognition and fame. As the Japanese animation industry gets flooded with obscure sub-genres, cookiecutter plotlines, and the lack of any kind of innovation, it's become increasingly difficult to stand out from the rest of the pack. Yet, a select few anime studios have done just that, establish a solid fan base, and a sort of cult following. We're big anime fans here at Binge and we think you guys are as well. So, let's take a look at some of the best anime studios today and see what makes them so great at their craft, shall we? Read on to check the list out and share your opinions with us in the comments section as well.
If you're any kind of anime fan at all, chances are, you've heard or even seen one of the films by Studio Ghibli. It practically holds Legend Status among its peers in the Japanese animation industry. The studio is renowned all over the world for its animated feature films and boy what amazing films they are. Each film is beautiful and painstakingly drawn by hand. None of that CGI stuff here. Out of all its films, the one that a lot of people are probably familiar with is Spirited Away, a film that's actually one of the fifteen highest-grossing anime films of all time in Japan. There are more that need mentioning but there's a lot of them. Trust us. They are really that good.
When you hear the name Ufotable, one of the first things that will probably come to your mind is the anime Fate/stay night. We would probably think the same as it's one of the most popular and recognizable anime series that the studio has ever worked on. It's an anime franchise that has given birth to multiple sequels and spin-offs. That is not all that Ufotable has to offer though. Let's fast-forward to today and look at one of the most popular anime series right now, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. It's a series that has even rivaled the great One Piece in popularity and manga sales. Do you know which studio made the anime adaptation for it? That's right. It was Ufotable.
Studio Trigger is kind of a unique entry on this list. Compared to others on this list that already have a long-established history and a large fan base, Studio Trigger is an interesting little animation studio that has only been around for less than a decade. In fact, since it was first founded, it only has nine original anime series under its belt. So, what's the reason for its rise to fame and success, you may ask? Well, there are two things. First, its fascination with western culture. Second, is its wild and fun animation and art style. Both of these things became immediately apparent with its first anime series ever, Kill la Kill. Studio Tigger has a lot of work ahead of it but we're expecting great things from this humble studio.
Kyoto Animation - as the name implies - operates out of Kyoto and exists in this unique and isolated place in the Japanese animation space. It is the only anime studio that does not hire any freelancers or outsource any of its work to other groups or companies. Every aspect of its anime production is done within its walls. It might seem strange to you, snobbish even, but it does help promote consistency and quality work among all its animators since everyone is on the same page when it comes to how things are done and it shows. Some of our favorite shows like Clannad, K-On!, and more recently, Free! Dive to the Future were all made by the meticulous and dedicated hands of the guys over at Kyoto Animation.
We are huge fans of Madhouse Studios here but admittedly, the prolific animation studio has seen better days. One of the contributing factors to this is the departure of its founder in order to set up a new studio. This has left Madhouse with no direction and no contingency plan in place. Thankfully, it didn't take long for the ailing studio to get back up on its feet. It soon started working on projects like Death Parade and more recently, the anime adaptation of the popular One-Punch Man manga series. Hunter x Hunter, Redline, and Ninja Scrolls will always have a special place in our hearts but hopefully, we get to see Madhouse return to its heyday and put out another amazing anime soon.
P.A Works's name stands for Progressive Animation Works and we think it's quite a fitting name for the studio. How so, you may wonder? Well. the studio has produced various anime shows covering a wide array of genres from horror to mecha, and even slice-of-life stuff. Hits like Another, Angel Beats!, and Shirobako. Today, the studio's name is synonymous with amazing storytelling and high-quality artwork. It's not a huge company but we appreciate the fact that its CEO and founder is such a hands-on kind of guy and gets involved with all the processes of the work. If you've yet to see any of the studio's various works, now is a great time to start.
Bones was founded by members of another Japanese animation studio, Sunrise. In fact, one of the studio's first projects was a collaboration with Sunrise on a feature film based on the popular Cowboy Bebop anime series called Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' on Heaven's Door. From then on, Studio Bones has worked its way to becoming one of the most prestigious animation studios in all of Japan. Its roster of incredibly talented animators has worked on some of the best anime series that you may be a fan of. Shows like Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Eureka Seven, and Darker Than Black. With the release of Space Dandy, the future is bright for the iconic studio, with more amazing projects in the work for future releases.
It's not really uncommon in the Japanese animation industry for an animation studio to exist for a long time without getting the recognition that it deserves from its audience. Such is the case with Satelight Studios and If this is the first time you've heard of the name, we can't blame you. Satelight has been responsible for creating some of the most-beloved anime shows ever. Shows like the excellent isekai anime, Log Horizon, the later iterations from the Macross anime franchise, and of course, the ever-popular Fairy Tail. We hope that the studio gains more attention after this and we look forward to what they have in store for future anime releases.
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