In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most influential anime studios in history, whose works have influenced countless new animators and artists throughout the world. Animated media is produced by an animation studio, which is a business.
Japanese animation studios, the majority of which specialize in complex and out-of-this-world animation, have emerged as leaders in the field. Anime has always depended on the work of other studios for its visual effects. Here, we’ll take a closer look at their roots and some of their most notable and well-known works. The studios in this list aren’t ranked; rather, they are just identified as the best.
1. Kyoto Animation
Kyoto Animation is one of the world’s most renowned animation studios. Located in Uji, Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto Animation Co., Ltd., or simply KyoAni (Japanese:, Kyani), is a Japanese animation company and publisher of light novels. Yoko and Hideaki Hatta, a married couple, created Kyoto Animation in 1981; the company became a business in 1985, and a corporation in 1999.
Kyoto Animation’s characters are instantly identifiable, despite the fact that their aesthetic has developed throughout time. A team of hired entertainers keeps the studio’s distinctive and high-quality approach alive (rather than relying on freelancers).
Masao Maruyama, Osamu Dezaki, Rintaro, and Yoshiaki Kawajiri, all former Mushi Pro animators, created Madhouse Inc. in 1972. The impressive animation work done by Madhouse has made it a household name.
3. Studio Bones
Their intricate designs have made Bones a popular choice. Bones was founded in October 1998 by Sunrise employees Masahiko Minami, Hiroshi saka, and Toshihiro Kawamoto. Cowboy Bebop: Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door, a feature film based on the anime series Cowboy Bebop, was one of his first efforts with Sunrise.
When Hiroshi saka, a character designer most known for his work on Gundam series such as Mobile Suit Victory Gundam and Mobile Fighter G Gundam, died in 2007, the company was left without a co-founder. In the midst of his battle with cancer, he passed away on September 24th, 2007. At the time of his death, he was 44 years old.
Makoto Watanabe and Takahiro Komori have joined the studio’s board of directors since the death of saka. Animator and character designer, Komori has been with the firm from its inception, and his reputation precedes him. Angelic Layer, Scrapped Princess, and Darker than Black are all examples of his earlier work as a designer.
4. J.C STAFF
It was formed in 1986 by Tomoyuki Miyata, a former employee of Tatsunoko Productions, who had previously worked as an animator at J.C Staff Co., Ltd. Ytden was the first studio album released in 1987. The studio has produced a number of notable anime films in the past.
Former employees of the TMS Entertainment Telecom Animation Film division formed Ufotable, Inc. in October 2000 and it is based in Nakano, Tokyo. Many of his works feature a clay sequence, which is a distinctive feature. Anime aficionados regard the studio as one of the most innovative in the industry.
Ufotable’s offices were reportedly raided in March 2019 on suspicion of tax cheating. Ufotable was reported to owe 400 million yen in taxes the following month. When Hikaru Kondo, the company’s president and founder, failed to pay 139 million yen in taxes in June of 2020, the corporation and he were both charged with breaking the Corporation Tax Law and the Consumption Tax Law. The studio issued a public apology for its mistakes.
6. Wit Studio
Japanese animation company WIT STUDIO Inc. was launched on June 1, 2012 by the producers of Production I.G as a subsidiary of IG Port and WIT STUDIO Inc. was established on June 1, 2012. George Wada, the president, and Tetsuya Nakatake, the studio director, are both producers from Production I.G., and the studio is located in Tokyo’s Musashino district. Attack on Titan’s first three seasons made the studio a household name.
This anime studio produced fewer episodes, but the ones it did have were of high quality. First, IG Port, Wada and Nakatakan invested 30 million yen in Wit Studio’s stock; these three companies own 66.66%, 21.66% and 10.00% of the studio’s share capital, respectively.
The Japanese animation company MAPPA Co., Ltd. Masao Maruyama, the creator and former producer of Madhouse, launched it on June 14th, 2011. The Maruyama Animation Produce Project Association is known by the acronym “MAPPA”. Studio M2 was created in April 2016 by Maruyama after he resigned from his position at the studio.
Since the final season of Attack on Titan and Jujutsu Kaisen was animated by MAPPA, the studio has been in the news. Animators are also involved in the production of the upcoming Chainsaw Man anime.
8. A-1 Pictures
Sunrise producer Mikihiro Iwata formed A-1 Pictures Inc., an anime production firm subsidiary of Sony Music Japan’s anime production company Aniplex. In order to produce anime, SMEJ’s Aniplex subsidiary opened the studio on May 9th, 2005 to house the company’s in-house animation efforts. He co-produced the inaugural Zenmai Zamurai production in 2006, and he opened an Asagaya studio in October of same year. Kiku Furikabutte, the studio’s debut series, premiered in the next year, in 2007.
Aniplex’s family-friendly programs were initially under the purview of the studio, but it has since extended to include a wide range of anime and media productions, as well as other activities. To further its international reach, the studio attended and hosted a panel at the well-known Anime Expo 2007 (AX 2007) conference in Long Beach, California.
9. Studio Ghibli
The Koganei, Tokyo-based Studio Ghibli Inc. produces Japanese animated films. The studio is primarily known for its animated films, although it has also made a number of short films, television commercials, and a television movie.. Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata, and Toshio Suzuki formed the studio on June 15, 1985, and it has since become one of the most renowned animation studios in the world.
There are five Studio Ghibli films among the top ten most successful Japanese animation films of all time, with Spirited Away coming in second with over $ 380 million in worldwide box office revenue. In addition to the Animage Anime Grand Prix award, he has also won the Japanese Academy of Animation’s Award of the Year for four of his works. The Academy Awards have nominated five Studio Ghibli films. When Spirited Away was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film in 2003, it took home both the Golden Bear and the Academy Award.
10. Toei Animation
One of Japan’s most prominent animation studios, Toei Animation is owned by its parent company, Toei Corporation. A number of television shows and movies have been produced and adapted from Japanese comics, many of which have become popular in other countries. Massive anime series like Dragon Ball and One Piece have been animated by Studio Ghibli.
Japan Animated Films was established in 1948 by animators Kenz Masaoka and Zenjiro Yamamoto. Toei Doga Co., Ltd. was renamed Toei Animation Co., Ltd. outside of Japan in 1956 after Toei purchased the studio. Toei Animation was rebranded in 1998 in the Japanese version of the company.
11. Studio Pierrot
One of the first anime studios in Japan, Pierrot Co., Ltd. was founded in May 1979 by Tatsunoko Production and Mushi Production workers. Mitaka, Tokyo, is home to the company’s headquarters. Some of Pierrot’s best-known anime shows are Naruto and Bleach.
Sunrise Inc., a Japanese animation studio situated in Tokyo’s Suginami neighborhood, was established in September 1972. Nippon Sunrise and Sunrise Studio were previous names for the company. Sunrise Studio, Limited was created by former Mushi Production employees in 1972, according to an interview with members of the studio. Sunrise determined that instead than having anime production revolve around a single creator (like Mushi, spearheaded by Osamu Tezuka), production should instead focus on producers.
Sunrise opted to specialize on robot animation because the mainstream anime business was already controlled by existing firms (such as manga adaptations, sports shows, and adaptations of popular children’s stories). the sale of a toy
13. Production I.G
Production Mitsuhisa Ishikawa established I.G, Inc., an animation production company in Musashino, Tokyo, Japan, on December 15, 1987. To honor the company’s founders, producer Mitsuhisa Ishikawa and character designer Takayuki Goto, the company’s initials are I and G.
Production Rather than being a single studio, I.G is more like a conglomerate of units operating under the same brand (like Sunrise). In allusion to the studio’s Ghost in the Shell franchise, these separate studios are referred to as “parts.” Production IG approached Ishikawa in 2011 with the goal of creating a new studio under the Production IG banner to allow for more creative flexibility and speedier production processes than are accessible on IG. It was on June 1, 2012, that Wit Studio, which I.G. helped produce, was established, marking the first project of the Attack on Titan studio.
14. White Fox
Gaku Iwasa, the brains behind the White Fox Co., Ltd. animation company, created it in April 2007. Adaptations of Steins, Gate, and Re: Zero – Starting Life in Another World are among the studio’s most popular works. First came Tears to Tiara, an anime series.
15. Studio Deen
Sunrise producer Hiroshi Hasegawa and former Sunrise animators launched Studio Deen Co. Ltd. in 1975 as a Japanese animation studio. Megumi, a digital works outsourcing studio; Umidori 3DCG, an outsourcing studio for 3DCG; and Danny Donghua are all subsidiaries of the studio.
After finishing animation on Brave Raideen, a Sunrise anime, two of the studio’s co-creators decided to name their company after it.
16. Studio Trigger
Hiroyuki Imaishi, a former Gainax employee, created Studio Trigger in the wake of his success with Gurren Lagann (2007). Studio Trigger was born as a result of this, and the studio’s output was defined by the visual humor and style of Gurren Lagann, with Trigger being seen as a successor to Gainax. They don’t put out a ton of series just for the purpose of it like Kyoto Animation.
A Patreon page was set up by Studio Trigger in 2018 in order to raise funds for upcoming projects and merchandising. They have over 2,000 backers on the platform, raising over $ 6,000 a month, and provide a $ 1 and $ 5 option for users.
17. SHAFT Studios
Japanese animation company Shaft, often known as Studio Shaft, was established in Suginami, Tokyo in 1975. From director Akiyuki Shinbo’s work in 2004, the studio’s output has been greatly inspired by his avant-garde visual and cinematic approach.
P.A. Works, Inc. was formed in Nanto, Toyama, on November 10, 2000, and is a Japanese animation company. When Kenji Horikawa founded P.A. Works, he left behind a career in filmmaking with Tatsunoko Production, PG and Bee Train before starting his own firm in 2010. In 2002, the studio rebranded as P.A. Works. Toyama prefecture is home to the company’s headquarters, where digital photography, sketching, and office production and management take place.
In addition to working with Production I.G and Bee Train on anime, the studio is also involved in video games. During the production of True Tears in January 2008, P.A. Works was the sole animation company involved in the process. An anime novelization of True Tears was released on April 20th under the newly announced P.A.Books imprint by P.A. Works.
19. Brain’s Base
Founded in 1996 by former employees of Tokyo Movie Shinsha, Brain’s Base Co., Ltd. is a Japanese animation studio. For decades, they’ve been churning out some of the best anime in the business.
CloverWorks Inc., formerly known as A-1 Pictures, is a Japanese animation studio now known as Kenji Studio. A division of Sony Music Japan’s animation production firm, Aniplex, it is based in Tokyo, Japan. Unlike Darling in the Franxx, Slow Start did not change its credited studio after its first run finished.