Fans of Kyoto Animation’s films adore the studio’s work because of the outstanding production quality and wide range of themes it covers.
It’s easy to see why Kyoto Animation, often known as KyoAni, is one of the most lauded anime studios in the medium, thanks to its roster of some of the industry’s top talent, some of the medium’s most popular shows, and consistently high production quality. KyoAni’s anime are frequently heartfelt stories that have a large following because of their unique level of artistry.
While Bones and Ufotable are known for their stunning action sequences, KyoAni has a reputation for generating more laid-back works. Even their more modest shows, however, have generally great animation, and despite their rather low-key image, the studio produces a varied body of work.
1. K-On! (7.7)
To date, Naoko Yamada is the most notable female anime director in the industry. Although at first glance K-On! may appear to be a typical slice-of-life story, the series leaps above its peers because of its vividly drawn universe and lovable characters.
What sets K-On! apart is its honesty and reality; the characters are portrayed with a sincere charm that makes them lovable, but what really holds the program together is its realism. The characters’ interrelationships are convincingly realistic and full of nuance, which engages the audience and keeps them riveted.
2. Hyouka (7.8)
However, Hyouka is not a typical mystery show in the traditional sense. Despite the abundance of detective shows in the business, including the incredibly long-running Detective Conan, these tales tend to be more classic in nature, with Sherlock Holmes as the central figure. Hyouka takes an interesting decision to forgo murders and lost treasures in favor of daily capers.
The result is a low-key, mellow animation that provides a breather from the intensity of other episodes in its genre. ‘ Just as thrilling as seeing high-stakes crimes unravel in other games is watching this show’s ensemble solve these daily mysteries, and the outstanding animation and lovely visual direction just add to the appeal.
3. Hibike! Euphonium (7.8)
Hibike! Fans of sports anime will recognize many of the cliches used in Euphonium, but instead of focusing on athletes, Euphonium tells the narrative of a high school band as they prepare for their next competition season. It’s like a good sports story, when the team’s competitiveness and interpersonal conflict merge.
Euphonium’s cast is superb, and fans will learn a great deal about the group’s members and how they interact with one another throughout the course of the performance. Viewers will be intrigued by the above-average character writing and be treated to visual pleasures by KyoAni’s typically outstanding animation.
4. The Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya (7.8)
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, a supernatural slice-of-life classic released in 2006, captivated the anime community with its intriguing premise. Haruhi Suzumiya has godlike powers that allow her to create and re-create reality at will. Because she’s assumed the persona of a high school student, it’s impossible for her to learn her true identity while in this disguise. In order to prevent Haruhi from discovering her true identity, the world relies on a time traveler, an alien intelligence, a psychic, and the charmingly ordinary protagonist Kyon.
Each episode of Haruhi, which is told in an achronological order, is innovative, hilarious, and tremendously enjoyable. In order to keep Haruhi’s powers from spreading, the show’s cast must work together to keep her powers from leaking out into the real world.
5. Clannad (7.9)
KyoAni’s Clannad is regarded as one of his first masterpieces, adapted from the critically lauded graphic novel of the same name. For the most part, the structure of visual novel adaptations is to blame for their ignominious failure among anime enthusiasts. Because the tale of a visual novel can be taken in a variety of directions by the player, it can be difficult to bring all the loose ends together into a single coherent narrative. This might leave admirers of the original work feeling let down.
This is one of the many reasons why Clannad is still so popular. What actually propels the plot is the underlying love story in this poignant character study with an engaging cast. Fans of the genre will be familiar with its plot and cliches, but it was this effort that established KyoAni as masters of adaptation.
6. The Disappearance Of Haruhi Suzumiya (8.1)
If you haven’t seen it yet, you’d be hard-pressed to find another anime movie that’s as purely enjoyable to watch as The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya. The “endless eight” storyline of Haruhi’s second season, in which the same episode was repeated and aired eight times in a row, caused quite a stir, and as a result, expectations for Disappearance’s second season were varied.
The good news is that almost everyone’s expectations were met. Without going into spoiler zone, viewers may rest confident that the film follows through properly on the story strands established in the television series, despite the fact that it is impossible to pinpoint exactly what makes Disappearance so brilliant. Disappearance is a work by KyoAni that should not be missed since it is more dramatic than its prequels and because it has so many memorable moments.
7. A Silent Voice (8.2)
A Silent Voice is director Naoko Yamada’s most critically acclaimed and tragic anime to date. To say it’s an emotional roller coaster would be an understatement. A Silent Voice was widely praised for its deep emotional resonance because of its willingness to touch on taboo topics in the business.
As a result of its Netflix release, a passionate fan base has sprung up, even among individuals who were previously unaware of Yamada’s work. Despite the fact that it often feels like it’s trying to adequately translate its source material, the movie’s primary concepts are portrayed with such intensity that it’s impossible not to become engrossed.
8. Nichijou (8.3)
A common English translation of Nichijou’s title is “My Ordinary Life,” which is a fitting description given the show’s penchant for exaggerating the trivialities of everyday life in order to make a point. In Nichijou, life is anything from normal, and the absurdist presentation never fails to keep things lighthearted.
Some of the most imaginative and high-quality animation may be found in the show’s numerous slapstick gags. Nichijou distinguishes out from the crowd as a visually stunning anime sitcom, which is rare in this genre. As a result of the show’s visual aesthetic, there are some funny episodes that will never be forgotten.
9. Violet Evergarden (8.5)
One of Netflix’s greatest shows, Violet Evergarden tells the story of a girl named Violet who is trying to overcome her horrible past. Being raised in the midst of a war has left Violet with limited exposure to the rest of the world. The anime follows her as she attempts to overcome the psychological scars of her time in the military and reintegrate into normal life.
As Violet travels, the spectator is introduced to a wide variety of supporting people. The show’s world comes to life as the spectator discovers the ramifications of the long-running struggle in the story’s past. This series has several heartwarming episodes that contribute greatly to Violet’s character arc, which culminates in a satisfying and upbeat finish at the show’s climax.
10. Clannad: After Story (8.6)
When it comes to Clannad fans, After Story is the true reason why the series has been hailed as a masterpiece. One of those life-altering pieces of media, After Story is significantly more solemn, mature, and emotionally demanding than its lighthearted forerunner.
Finally, After Story is a notoriously depressing film. Even the most hardened anime fans can be brought to tears by the show’s devastating emotional blows, which can leave even the most steadfast of viewers in a puddle of tears by the end of its 24-episode run. If you haven’t seen Clannad before, you’re going to have a hard time getting into After Story, but its impact on anime lovers is undeniable, which is why we’ve included it here.