As popular opinion might corroborate, anime has become a well-celebrated form of entertainment among youth across the world. The visually aesthetic motion graphics, the soundtracks, the intricately designed sequences that portray an emotion, the high-quality animations, have been a show-stopper in the world of Japanese entertainment. So much so, that they have crossed the borders of the Land of the Rising Sun and have made their appearance in countries from across the globe, be it in first-world or third-world nations.
And bringing to you this delightful world of Japanese animated content are anime studios who have taken it upon themselves to produce high-resolution animated graphics of manga panels across a plethora of genres. The popularity of anime and manga has to be accredited to these anime studios who not only create and produce anime but also play a big role in their promotion. No wonder, the wonders of anime have reached the nooks and crannies of the globe.
In this article, we will take a close look at the top 7 anime studios that have made this phenomenon possible and who have earned a reputation among their competition.
Best Anime Studios: Brief Summary
|Name||Popular Anime||Our Rating|
|MAPPA||Jujutsu Kaisen, Banana Fish, Attack on Titan Season 4 (Part 1), Yuri!!! On Ice, Kids on the Slope, Dororo, Dorohedoro, Kakegurui, Hajime no Ippo: Rising||9/10|
|Studio Ghibli||My Neighbour Totoro, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Grave of the Fireflies, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Princess Mononoke, Ponyo, The Tale of Princess Kaguya, The Wind Rises, Castle in the Sky||10/10|
|Studio Pierrot||Naruto, Naruto Shippuden, Bleach, Yu Yu Hakusho, Black Clover, Marude Dameo, Osomatsu-Kun, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, Tokyo Ghoul: re||9/10|
|Kyoto Animation||K-On!, Clannad, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, A Silent Voice, Free!, Violet Evergarden, Lucky Star, Nichijou, Love, Chunibiyo & Other Delusions, Liz and the Blue Bird, Hyouka||9/10|
|Sunrise||Mobile Suit Gundam, City Hunter, Inuyasha, Gintama, Code Geass, Cowboy Bebop, KERORO, The Big O||10/10|
|Madhouse||Cardcaptor Sakura, Hajime no Ippo: The Fighting!, Beyblade, Tenjho Tenge, Monster, Paradise Kiss, NANA, BECK: Mongolia Chop Squad, Death Note, Hunter x Hunter, Chihayafuru, Parasyte -the maxim-, One-Punch Man||9/10|
|Toei Animation||GeGeGe no Kitaro, Devilman, Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, Slam Dunk, Yu-Gi-Oh!, One Piece, Digimon Adventure, Sailor Moon, Saint Seiya, Galaxy Express 999||10/10|
Top 7 Best Anime Studios in Japan
MAPPA is an acronym that stands for Maruyama Animation Produce Project Association. This anime studio has secured its place among the top 10 anime studios in Japan in recent times. It was founded back in 2011 by Masao Maruyama who is also the founder and ex-producer for production company Madhouse.
- MAPPA is one of the hottest anime studios in Japan right now and their quality of production is unsurmountable.
- Really, all the anime that have been produced by MAPPA has gained worldwide recognition for their originality in style, high-resolution graphics and audio, authenticity in storytelling and the ability to bring out the best of the particular manga whose anime they are producing.
List of popular animes produced by MAPPA:
- Jujutsu Kaisen
- Banana Fish
- Attack on Titan Season 4 (Part 1)
- Yuri!!! On Ice
- Kids on the Slope
- Hajime no Ippo: Rising
We rate MAPPA 9/10
Every Hayao Miyazaki fan is well-acquainted with the name Studio Ghibli. It is probably one of the most well-renowned anime production companies best known for its feature films, television commercials, short films, etc. The studio was founded by directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata and producer Toshio Suzuki in 1985, after the success of their first animated feature film, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984).
- The studio’s mascot is the character Totoro from their movie My Neighbour Totoro, a giant cat-spirit.
- Studio Ghibli movies have their own signature touch thanks to Hayao Miyazaki and have proven to be some of the most iconic animated movies in the history of anime
- Studio Ghibli’s animations have a very gleeful and eccentric aesthetic (really, those two words are not enough to define the visual appeal of the animations as they are a world of their own), and focus on romanticizing daily existence and the mundane attributes of life.
- Some of the themes of Ghibli movies include environmentalism and nature, the perils of war, youth, the risks of progress against tradition, strong female leads, etc.
List of popular animes produced by Studio Ghibli:
- My Neighbour Totoro
- Spirited Away
- Howl’s Moving Castle
- Grave of the Fireflies
- Kiki’s Delivery Service
- Princess Mononoke
- The Tale of Princess Kaguya
- The Wind Rises
- Castle in the Sky
We rate Studio Ghibli 10/10
Studio Pierrot was established in 1979 and is one of the best anime studios in Japan. It was founded by the former members of Tatsunoko Production and Mushi Production. This anime studio has produced some of the best Shounen anime that are popular among the youth within and outside Japan.
- This anime studio has the logo of a clown’s face
- Two of the studio’s hit series, Yu Yu Hakusho and Saiyuki won the Animage Anime Grand Prix award, a prestigious accolade in the world of anime
- The studio is well-known for their high-resolution and intricately detailed fight sequences that are present in a lot of Shounen anime produced by the studio.
- Their portrayal of the manga panels are almost accurate and try to capture all the emotions that have been represented in the manga, through their high-quality animation and well composed soundtracks.
List of popular animes produced by Studio Pierrot:
- Naruto Shippuden
- Yu Yu Hakusho
- Black Clover
- Marude Dameo
- Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
- Tokyo Ghoul: re
We give studio Pierrot a rating of 9/10
Kyoto Animation is an anime studio and light novel publishing house founded in 1981 by Yoko and Hideaki Hatta. Kyoto Animation is the well-known producer of various anime series and movies and takes credit for some very popular shows, that have won the hearts of anime lovers time and again.
- Kyoto Animation usually produce anime from the slice-of-life and fantasy/supernatural genres and successfully brings out the signature essence unique to this genre.
- The company’s logo is the Kanji character kyo, which is the first character of Kyoto.
- The anime produced by this anime studio have a unique style which makes it recognizable by the audience. The high-resolution graphics, the ability to capture emotions impeccably and to tell a compelling story is what gives this animation studio its speciality.
List of popular animes produced by Kyoto Animation:
- The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
- A Silent Voice
- Violet Evergarden
- Lucky Star
- Love, Chunibiyo & Other Delusions
- Liz and the Blue Bird
We give Kyoto Animation a rating of 9/10
This anime studio was founded in September 1972 and is one of the no. 1 anime studios in Japan. Initially. The company was called Sunrise Studio, later changing it to Nippon Sunrise and finally settling on Sunrise Inc. Sunrise has produced some of the best and well-celebrated anime ever and is definitely one of the studios to look out for.
- Sunrise has also adapted various light novels other than mangas.
- Most of their work are originals that created in-house under the collective pseudonym Hajime Yatate.
- The studio is well known for their fluidity in animation which is especially observed in the action sequences. The studio’s production quality is reputable as they make it a point to bring out the most detailed intricacies of a scene in their works.
- Their works are so iconic that fans have come up with an original way of describing the quality – “Sunrise Smooth”
List of popular animes produced by Sunrise:
- Mobile Suit Gundam
- City Hunter
- Code Geass
- Cowboy Bebop
- The Big O
We give Sunrise a rating of 10/10
Madhouse Inc. was founded by Masao Maruyama (also the founder of MAPPA), Osamu, Dezaki, Rintaro, and Yoshiaki Kawajiri. Madhouse has a number of popular titles in its bag and is one of the biggest anime studios in Japan. They have collaborated with big names like Studio Ghibli, Naoki Urasawa, Satoshi Kon, Snoop Dogg, Disney, Marvel Entertainment, Dark Horse comics, etc.
- Madhouse has extended its collaboration beyond Japan, collaborating with Snoop Dog, Disney, Marvel Entertainment, Dark Horse Comics on various occasions.
- Madhouse’s animation style is very unique to its own, with high-resolution graphics, audio and the ability to capture a scene perfectly in relation to the manga. Madhouse also has the ability to compact the story of the manga without missing out on crucial details.
List of popular animes produced by Madhouse:
- Cardcaptor Sakura
- Hajime no Ippo: The Fighting!
- Tenjho Tenge
- Paradise Kiss
- BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad
- Death Note
- Hunter x Hunter
- Parasyte -the maxim-
- One-Punch Man
We give Madhouse a rating of 9/10
Toei Animation is an anime studio controlled by its parent company Toei Company. It was founded in 1948 by animators Kenzo Masaoka and Zenriro Yamamoto and is one of the oldest anime studios in Japan. Toei Animation has produced some of the most well-known titles in the history of anime and has collaborated with directors, mangakas, and animators like Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata, Leiji Matsumoto, and Yoichi Kotabe.
- Their mascot is the cat Pero, a character in their film adaptation of Puss in Boots in 1969
- Toei Animation’s lucid storytelling, vibrant graphics, hard-hitting soundtracks and the ability to make the characters come to life has won the hearts of anime lovers since times immemorial.
- They are best known for producing animes from genres like sci-fi, action, adventure, fantasy and supernatural.
- Their animes have won the Animage Anime Grand Prix Award time and again. Saint Seiya won this award in 1987, Sailor Moon won it in 1992 and Galaxy Express 999 won it in 1981.
List of popular animes produced by Toei Animation:
- GeGeGe no Kitaro
- Dragon Ball
- Dragon Ball Z
- Slam Dunk
- One Piece
- Digimon Adventure
- Sailor Moon
- Saint Seiya
- Galaxy Express 999
We give Toei Animation a rating of 10/10
Anime studios have played a pivotal role in the production and distribution of anime in Japan and outside. They have been appointed the task of converting manga panels into hard-hitting animated series and not to say, that they have carried out this task flawlessly to date. Other than the anime studios that I’ve mentioned in this list, there are several others that have been carrying out this job quite successfully. Some of these anime studios include A-1 Pictures, Bones, Gainax, Arms, Wit Studio, Eight Bit, 3Hz, and many more.
As lovers of anime and dedicated fans, it is up to us to pay these anime studios the respect and admiration that they deserve for catering to our anime needs throughout our lives.