Top 10 Best Anime Studios

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Anime fans have rendered their verdict on who the best anime studio is, and whilst the top spot was probably never in much doubt, the remaining spots look to have been fiercely contested indeed.

The ranking:

1. Kyoto Animation (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, K-ON!, etc)

2. Sunrise (Gundam series, Gintama, etc)

3. P.A. Works (Angel Beats, Hanasaku Iroha, etc)

4. Shaft (Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica, Bakemonogatari, etc)

5. Production I.G (Blood-C, Guilty Crown, etc)

6. A-1 Pictures (Working!!, Uta no Prince-sama, etc)

7. J.C.Staff (To Aru series, Ano Natsu de Matteru, etc)

8. Bones (Fullmetal Alchemist, Soul Eater, No.6, etc)

9. Studio Ghibli (My Neighbour Totoro, Laputa: Castle in the Sky, Princess Mononoke, Kiki’s Delivery Service, etc)

10. Studio Deen (Higurashi no Naku Koro ni series, Seitokai no Ichizon, etc)


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    Avatar of Solace
    Comment by Solace
    13:32 30/05/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    What about UFOtable and ASCII Media Works?
    I'm sure either one is better than Studio Deen.

    Avatar of Shizu's Waki Obsessor: MaidNiac
    13:47 30/05/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Need to agree with UFOtable. I always view them as one of the most underrated anime studios since Futakoi Alternative.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:34 30/05/2012 # ! Good (+0.6)

    The crazy comedy bits of Futakoi Alternative sure were fun, but the drama was dead flat. The latter also got more screentime.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:31 30/05/2012 # ! Good (+0.8)

    I personally thought Futakoi Alt was a masterpiece. Ufotable, however, needs to do more shows in order to get more love. They've done, what, 10 shows in the past decade? Of course, I guess Kara no Kyoukai ate up a lot of their resources over the last few years.

    Definitely needs to do more shows.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:55 01/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    That sounds like PA and Kyo to me. One or two good shows, but don't do enough shows overall to qualify as "the best".

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:22 30/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    UFOtable is certainly one of my favorite studios, though you have to be insane to actually buy their recent blue-ray sets...

    Kara no Kyoukai go for around 1000$ if you buy it new... =_=;

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:51 31/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    @17:22 Where the heck do you buy your stuff?

    Most import sites were selling the Kara no Kyoukai Box-set for around $500. The Fate/Zero Box-set is also selling for $370 right now and It's still up for sale. The 2nd half of Fate/Zero should be up for pre-order soon and It'll cost less than the first set.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:14 30/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I know what you mean Fate/Zero cost like $500.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:39 30/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    and u are happy about that what a waste of money

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:40 30/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I bought Kara no Kyoukai :3

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:20 31/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    ASCII is a publishing company. It is not an animation studio.

    Avatar of Sly
    Comment by Sly
    04:38 31/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Xebec for to luv Ru my vote and uppote

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:51 31/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Xebec destroyed to love-ru and ichigo 100%!

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:05 31/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    FINALLY!!

    A list that isn't completely retarded.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:58 30/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Where is animation(backwards) those have the coolest series.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:21 31/05/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    noitaminA is a programming block, not an anime studio.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:08 31/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yeah, like Black Rock Shooter, Guilty Crown, and Library War!

    Wait...

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:51 31/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    outdated sometime ago

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:17 31/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    BRS...

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    . . . . . . . . ./. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ,:`^`.}
    . . . . . . . ./. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ,:”. . . ./
    . . . . . . .?. . . __. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . :`. . . ./
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    Comment by Anonymous

    Gainax should at the very least be mentioned.

    Comment by Anonymous

    J.C. Staff also overrated.
    Something's wrong with this ranking

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:51 31/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yeah, J.C Moe is very overrated. Made a lot of generic moe shits, like Shakugan no Shana.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:52 31/05/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Overrated doesn't mean it's bad, moron.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:55 01/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Moron is your mother, idiot.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:27 30/05/2012 # ! Good (+0.8)

    I disagree with Sunrise being #2.. and no mention of UFOtable... lame.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:58 31/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Did you watch first Gundam, Zeta, Char's Counterattack, 08th MS Team, G, X, Turn A and 00? Did you watch Gintama? Did you watch Escaflowne? Did you watch Tiger and Bunny? Did you watch Armored Trooper Votoms? Did you watch Cowboy Bepop? Did you watch Ideon? Did you watch Planetes?

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:30 31/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Wow, Gintama's the only show I like that you've listed.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:12 05/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Then you just lack brains, you know.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:39 30/05/2012 # ! Good (+0.6)

    MadHouse, but it's not enough moe to be in this list I suppose....

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:28 31/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    They're #14 on the list.

    And LOTS of Madhouse's titles have Moe.

    Avatar of Erranty
    Comment by Erranty
    16:11 30/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    That is precisely the problem that plagues most of these rankings.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:11 31/05/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    How about you go fuck yourself Erranty? You've been trolling for a while now. faggot.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:06 30/05/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    SHAFT will always be my number 1.

    Avatar of Soniko
    Comment by Soniko
    20:25 30/05/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Shaft. Always Shaft.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:55 01/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Shit always shit.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:05 31/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Number 1 = Madhouse.

    Why? Logh.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:13 05/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yeah and the other unknown thing they made. Macross or something...

    Avatar of Imyou
    Comment by Imyou
    01:35 31/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I feel like they're the only studio genuinely pushing the envelope for animation now. Seeing stuff like Madoka and Bakemonogatari, I'm legitimately excited to see what Gekidan Inu Curry [http://wiki.puella-magi.net/Gekidan_Inu_Curry] will come up with next and even when a scene isn't trippy, the textures and composition are eye-sex.

    I loved Higurashi, FMA, and the Index/Railgun series, but those are all particular shows. SHAFT is the one case where I go "it's made by those guys? I'll have to check it out!"

    Comment by Anonymous

    People with bad tastes always have shaft as your number 1.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:27 31/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Why? Because you don't like what we like?

    SHAFT Is great, so get off your fucking high Horse.

    Avatar of Nick R
    Comment by Nick R
    13:40 30/05/2012 # ! Good (+0.4)

    I realize that GONZO DIGIMATION didn't make the list. Could be because it's kinda dead and stuff (well, if it wasn't then it is now thanks to the J.C. STAFF team-up project Last Exile 2. Last Exile 2 didn't even come close to being as breathtakingly brilliant as the first season, but despite that, I really think GONZO deseves SOME credit for its achievements in the Anime industry since a lot of 2000-2007 animes were heavily influenced by GONZO whether in part or in physical production. GONZO offered its 3D and 2D studios to help many anime studios up their game.

    GONZO best noted for: Last Exile, Gankutsuou: Count of Monte Cristo, Romeo X Juliet, Le Chevalier D'eon (also a Production I.G.), Read or Die, Chrono Crusade, Tower of Druaga, Kazuma no Stigma (sadly unfinished), and many more very vibrant series/ and movies alike.

    If you have a past Anime between 2000 and 2007 that seems like the artwork is a bit above top-notch it may have had help from GONZO's Digital animation department. I was surprised by how many anime GONZO was responsible for myself.

    Then again, I was a pretty big fan of J.C.Staff as well. Might still be if they keep pulling things like FATE/ZERO off.

    Not for nothing, but I really miss the days of GONZO DIGIMATION. I realize it was a studio that made countless mistakes from production to production, but to be fair, they spent a TON of money to make them.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:11 31/05/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Gonzo destroyed a lot of animes with a poor adaptation/poor original work, like:

    Rosario + Vampire
    Hellsing
    Chrno Crusade
    Agito
    Street Figther IV

    and others.

    Avatar of Gitami
    Comment by Gitami
    14:09 30/05/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Solty Rei needs mentioning for a pretty solid story and a non-ass-pull solid ending. And Strike Witches I.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gonzo_%28company%29 [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gonzo_(company)]

    Browse it and reminisce. My memory has a positive view of Gonzo despite making the jokes back in the days.

    Avatar of Erranty
    Comment by Erranty
    15:10 30/05/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I'm sorry, but I would never use Solty Rei as an example of a "good" anime.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:53 30/05/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Solty Rei is average at best.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:10 31/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    You can make anything sound good by comparing it to something worse...so I don't know what you're trying to get at.

    Avatar of Captain_Zero
    Comment by Captain_Zero
    22:42 30/05/2012 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    Please, Solty Rei was pretty good.
    Thousand times better than Kiddy Grade for example, even though the later has more fanbase, lol.
    Then again, FMP! was better than both.

    Avatar of AnimeGeeksPlayland
    Comment by AnimeGeeksPlayland
    08:22 02/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Agreed.

    When I look at a list of their shows It's almost entirely highly memorable shows I loved.

    I honestly have a terrible memory, and often have to look at a synopsis to figure if I've seen a show or not, but that's not really the case with any of their shows; they are highly memorable.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:36 30/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    GONZO was pretty much hit-or-miss. Either their shows wrecked the top 10s of that season, or it fell so flat it made a crater. I loved so many of their shows, and I also hated so many of their shows.

    Certainly, though, it was sad to see them fold up. The age of GONZO will be an era I will look fondly back upon in the years to come.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:41 30/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Unfortunately, Otakus (The ones that vote this stuff anyways) have shitty memory, so they forget about past achivements.

    Out of sight out of mind I suppose.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:24 31/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    That doesn't matter, because most of these studios destroy Gonzo... And that includes in the past as well.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:17 30/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    "Kazuma no Stigma (sadly unfinished)"

    It's Kaze no stigma. I strongly disagree. It's one of their worst looking shows. It's QUALITY all over.

    Avatar of Slush
    Comment by Slush
    15:56 30/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Sadly unfinished refers to the fact that the mangaka died before they could even finish the manga.

    Avatar of Yamato
    Comment by Yamato
    00:43 31/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I thought it was a light novel. Point still stands, though: the original author died.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:35 30/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    You beat me to the punch, as I was going to say some of the same things about Gonzo. Mainly because #19 AIC is credited in the rankings with Sora no Otoshimono, R-15, and Strike Witches, even though Gonzo did Strike Witches S1.

    I imagine Gonzo's problem was that they worked on a lot of action/sci-fi shows that were perhaps more tailored to Western audiences, and Japanese reception/sales weren't so hot. And since much of the Western fanbase is content to be on anime welfare and let Japanese otaku subsidize their anime consumption and dictate what kinds of shows get made, Gonzo didn't get enough foreign sales boost to prosper. And really, a lot of their more hated projects had circumstances beyond their control.

    So. I'll highlight some other Gonzo projects.

    Gatekeepers (2000) and Gatekeepers 21 (2001-2002) - Fun superpowered teenager show that took a darker turn in its sequel.

    Vandread (2000/2001) - By 7 years, it predated Gurren Lagann's blend of hotblooded ridiculous over-the-top combining mecha action and copious fanservice, all with the innocent romantic comedy of men and women who literally didn't understand each other. CG was good for its time.

    Hellsing TV (2001)- Was an okay vampire show with nice music and atmosphere for the first half, may have been started too early to make a more satisfactory manga-based ending. Fail = not 100% Gonzo's fault.

    Final Fantasy Unlimited (2001-02) - Had the unenviable task of adapting a vast disjointed mythos into a single story. Kind of childish, but had inventive CG and landscapes in the various worlds. Was showing signs of improvement, but the spectacular failure of FF: The Spirits Within caused Square to cancel the show early. So the rushed/asspull ending = not Gonzo's fault.

    Kiddy Grade (2002-03) - Sleek, sexy, and fun sci-fi adventure/comedy. Notable for providing scandal seiyuu Aya Hirano with one of her first leading roles.

    Gravion/Zwei (2002/2004) - Nothing masterful, but good for what it was -- a fanservicey combining-mecha show with plenty of boobs, pantsu, and crossdressing.

    Kaleido Star (2003-2004) - Obviously deserves split credit with Junichi Satou, Hal Film Maker, and North American distributor ADV Films (who helped co-finance the production), but it's still an incredible show with many happy and sad moments.

    Chrono Crusade (2003-2004) - It's kind of hard to adapt a manga final arc that doesn't exist at the time of animation; manga-fan haters have no sense of history. And yet, Gonzo put together one of the most memorable anime endings of the early 00s, if not the whole decade.

    Samurai 7 (2004) - Insane amounts of CG katana-cutting-starship/mecha spectacle, great music and sound, and plenty of heart infused into the adaptation of Kurosawa material and the new arc in the final 3rd.

    Burst Angel (2004) - Probably suffered from having production staff/talent diverted to other projects that same season. But it was reasonably fun, despite relying too much on "Meg gets kidnapped" plots.

    Desert Punk (2004-2005) - Suffers a bit from "incomplete manga adaptation" syndrome, but at least Funimation's dub made it damn entertaining.

    Trinity Blood (2005) - IIRC the LN author's death complicated things. Ending was kind of fail either way, but was an okay show while it lasted.

    Basilisk (2005) - Sometimes-silly, but always-intense ninja action with star-crossed lovers and no clear good guys or bad guys.

    Solty Rei (2005-06) - Was mentioned by the poster below me, but this was one of my best anime surprises. Film Noir meets mecha/sci-fi, plenty of cute girls, but outstanding story and character development.

    Romeo X Juliet (2007) - Setting aside all the stuff about magical trees and floating continents, this was more believable than the source material.

    Rosario + Vampire (2008/2009) - I know manga fans hated it, but I dug the sexy monster girls and occasional 4th-wall-breaking comedy.

    Saki (2008) - The legendary nopan status of this show has been well-covered on Sankaku.

    --------------

    Read or Die was mainly a Deen (OVA) and JC Staff (TV) production, though.

    Avatar of Yamato
    Comment by Yamato
    23:36 31/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm a fan of the RosaVam manga, and yes, I really wasn't fond of the changes that were made in season 1. Season 2, however, is a lot more fun when you learn to treat it as its own thing, which it essentially is considering the only things it brought from the manga were Kokoa and one or two minor plot points. The rest is just pure hilarity (defining moment for me: Yukari being in a trance while the weekly battle happens off-screen XD). Ironically enough, the ending looked as if it was setting up for a more manga-faithful season 3 by completely retconning the lack of any "Tsukune's a ghoul" subplot up to that point (a fuck-up from season 1), but sadly, nothing seems to have become of it.

    "at least Funimation's dub made it damn entertaining."

    Didn't watch much of the Desert Punk dub, but I can say that it didn't have Norio Wakamoto voicing the rival.

    Avatar of Yamato
    Comment by Yamato
    01:05 31/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    dude, you forgot to mention Vandread. That series was awesome.

    Anyway, if there was one thing I'd wanna berate Gonzo for, it was how awkward and cheesy their use of CG was. I mean, Gankutsuou was pretty damn good, but then you get to the mecha fights and... yeah, unique art style kinda loses focus in favor of the same-old same-old from them. At least with Vandread, I'd be more forgiving since it was an earlier foray into CG usage, plus they overall did a pretty good job of separating the space battles from the scenes featuring the characters. However, it's pretty sad once you get to a later series such as, say, Linebarrels of Iron, and see that the way they treat CG hasn't really improved that much, and they actually seem to have fallen behind other studios in a field they were once attempting to revolutionize.

    Overall, I'd say it's a good studio, but so much of what they did was hit-or-miss, so I can understand it not appearing in a top 10 list like this. What does sadden me, however, is that Gonzo couldn't even make it onto the full list (which has 34 entries). Seriously? I mean, in spite of their flaws, I think they should be a lot more noteworthy than, say, XEBEC, which made 25th place (no offense to any XEBEC fans, BTW).










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