Behind every great anime, some of the best anime studios are making the magic happen. After every dazzling theatre play, we have to thank a team of the hardworking crew that worked behind the curtains. Quite similarly, behind our favorite anime T.V. series and movies, there are several studios that we ought to extend our thanks to.
There is a behemoth of fans all around the world who are die-hard fans of anime. The storyline, graphics, animations, and more strike a chord with children and adults alike. Believe it or not, the first significant anime studio emerged way back in 1958. The same Studio, called Toei studios, went on to release a series of mega-successful anime like Dragon Ball (1986), One Piece (1999), Sailor Moon (1992), Digimon (1999), and Astro Boy (1963). Yes, all of these are the brainchild of one Studio.
Toei Studio is not alone; there are a number of significant anime studios that have released multiple fan-favorite anime. Although there is no one way to determine the best Studio, we have tried to judge via the number of popular anime released by the said Studio, the cultural phenomenon caused and the critical appreciation received.
That said, here is our top ten list of best anime studios of all time:
Top 10 Best Anime Studios
Here are all the Best Anime Studios Ranked –
10. A-1 Studio
|Studio name||A-1 Studio|
|Popular animes||Your Lie in April, The Seven Deadly Sins, Erased, Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day|
|Number of employees||151|
The studio lives up to its name by giving A-1 classic animes for fans. Known for its beautiful aesthetics, the company was founded in 2005 by Mikhiro Iwata.
The series has produced an exorbitant 200 notable animes throughout these years, and we don’t want to jinx it because they are still going strong.
The Studio delivers a variety of genres from slice-of-life to supernatural, offering a myriad of experiences to fans. Its notable series are Your Lie in April ( With an impressive 8.6 IMDB score), The Seven Deadly Sins, Erased, Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day( pro tip for you here: don’t watch without tissue paper for your tears) and more.
|Popular animes||Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Fate/Zero series, Today’s Menu For The Emiya Family, Tales Of Zestiria The Cross|
|Number of employees||200|
At number 9 in the list of best anime studios, we have for you UFOTable, a well known Japanese animation studio that has produced some of the most well-made and creative anime series in the past few years, that includes very successful series like Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Fate/Zero series and more.
It is still an up-and-coming studio in the anime industry, setting new milestones in quality productions every year.
It will be a treat for fans to watch what they release next. Here are some of the fantastic productions by the Studio you can watch: Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Fate/Zero series, Today’s Menu For The Emiya Family, Tales Of Zestiria The Cross, etc.
Or if you happen to be in a mood to watch something humorous and bizarre, my recommendation for you will be Ninja Nonsense from these studios, which have a fun time with the ninja tropes and overall make for a fresh and hilarious show.
8. MAPPA Studio
|Studio name||MAPPA Studio|
|Popular animes||Yuri!!! On Ice, Hajime No Ippo: Rising, Jujutsu Kaisen, Dororo|
|Number of employees||312|
The fanmade AMVs of Yuri!!! On Ice has garnered praise all over the internet from fans and non-fans alike (check ’em out after reading this article). A production of MAPPA studios, Yuri!!! On Ice is a beloved anime for its inspiring sports-based story and a keen and sensitive depiction of same-sex relationships and the complex emotions one goes through.
Founded in 2011, this Studio (definitely one of the Best Anime Studios) is also credited with making the final season of Attack Of Titans and other anime like Hajime No Ippo: Rising, Jujutsu Kaisen, Dororo, etc. Clearly, MAPPA studio stands out for sports-driven or Action genres.
But it also does great justice to slice-of-life stories like Kids on the Slope, which does a splendid job of depicting themes of friendship. This makes MAPPA number eight in the best anime studios, neck-to-neck with number 7.
7. Wit Studio
|Studio name||Wit Studio|
|Popular animes||Attack on Titan, SpyXFamily, Bubble, Vinland Saga|
|Number of employees||130|
It’s not easy to compare the studios to place them in the series of best anime studios. The seventh position in the list goes to Wit Studio for its splendid contribution to the animation industry.
A relatively newer studio, Wit Studio, was founded in 2012 as a subsidiary of I.G. Port of Production I.G.
Despite being much younger than many studios, Studio WIT has put out some blockbuster anime over the past decade. They made a mark for themselves in the already flourishing industry in 2013 with the release of the superhit Attack on Titan.
Wit Studio stands out with its elegant artwork and thoughtful character designs. It is also notable for its unique soundtrack by Hiroyuki Sawano. The culmination of the above brings the manga illustrations to life vividly, giving the audience an enthralling experience, both visually and musically.
6. Kyoto Animation
|Studio name||Kyoto Animation|
|Popular animes||Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Free!, Clannad, K-On!, Free!, Sound!|
|Number of employees||137|
Kyoto Animation Co., Ltd. is a Japanese animation company and light novel publisher based in Uji, Kyoto Prefecture. It was founded in 1985 by Yoko and Hideaki Hatta and has since created anime like Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Free!, Clannad, K-On!, Free!, Sound!, and others.
It is fondly called as KyoAni by fans. KyoAni’s signature style is mainly stunning visual art and slice-of-life stories. Watching a KyoAni production is like a warm coffee at the end of the day with the wholesome, simple, and heartrending stories it produces.
KyoAni is one of the most beloved studios out there and has a special place in the hearts of its fans. That places it sixth in the list of best anime studios.
|Studio name||Madhouse inc.|
|Popular animes||Death Note, One man punch, HunterXHunter, No game No Life, Overlord, Monster, Black lagoon|
|Number of employees||70|
These mad lads made eating chips a cultural phenomenon when they released Death Note, arguably, one of the most popular series in the world. Based in Nakano city, Tokyo, Madhouse inc was established in 1979.
Alongside Death Note, the Studio has released One Punch Man, HunterXHunter, and No game No life, to name a few.
The Studio was also responsible for the first Beyblade anime series, a raging success in India. The Studio is noted for bringing prominent directors like Satoshi Kon under its wing. With the reputed directors and animators and successful series pouring out, Madhouse sure is a powerhouse that makes it to the top five in the list of best anime studios of all time.
4. Studio Pierrot
|Studio name||Studio Pierrot|
|Popular animes||Naruto, The Twelve Kingdoms, Baby Steps, Black clover, Great Teacher Onizuka|
|Number of employees||158|
There hardly goes a day by when a kid is not seen doing the ‘Naruto Run’ in the neighborhood park. Arguably, one of the most popular anime series in the world, Naruto, is the brainchild of Studio Pierrot. Pierrot Co., Ltd. is a Japanese animation studio established in May 1979.
While being the most prominent name under the Studio’s portfolio, Naruto is by no means the only great anime produced by the Studio. Other massively popular series include The Twelve Kingdoms, Baby Steps, Black clover, and the critically acclaimed, Great Teacher Onizuka (a must-watch ngl).
Currently one of the biggest studios in Japan, this Studio holds its ground firm with great series still running. We keep Studio Pierrot at number 4 on the list of best anime studios for all this and more.
3. Studio Bones
|Studio name||Studio Bones|
|Popular animes||Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Space Dandy, Eureka Seven, My Hero Academia,|
|Number of employees||80|
Okay, this may be my bias showing as a BNHA lover. But honestly, studio bones has produced multiple amazing anime and continues to pump out more.
With Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Space Dandy, Eureka Seven, and the current and my favorite My Hero Academia, the Studio is now commemorating its 20th anniversary. That’s just a tiny sample of the Studio’s 50+ glorious productions.
What’s not to love the adrenaline-pumping shows with excellent cinematography and well-written characters?
The Studio has perhaps carved a niche with science fiction, but it continues to experiment with multiple genres. So while we sit tight for the sixth season of BNHA this October, this Studio sits tight on the spot three on our list of best anime studios.
2. Toei Studio
|Studio name||Toei Studio|
|Popular animes||Dragon Ball, Sailor Moon, Slam Dunk, One Piece|
|Number of employees||1226|
Established all the way back in 1958, Toei Animation Studio has anything but faded with time. This Studio has produced classic anime series like Dragon Ball, Sailor Moon, Slam Dunk, and, wait for it, One Piece.
It is staggering to think all these great shows have been products of one Studio. Great animation movie directors and animators like Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata, and more have worked with the company.
The company also has a wide presence on social media and actively engages with fans on Twitter, Instagram, and more. Few studios do it as actively as Toei studios. It might seem a frivolous point to add but considering the oldest studio is most eager to adapt to new technology is a testament to the studio’s marketing and frankly, keeping up with time. This gives us a little sneak peek into the work ethics of the studio and how it has managed to stand the test of time. And of course, number two on this coveted list of best anime studios of all time.
The company is known for creating the classic shows as above, which were critically acclaimed too. Toei animation stands second on our list of best anime studios. Honestly, take a bow for making our childhood great.
1. Studio Ghibli
|Studio name||Studio Ghibli|
|Popular animes||Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke, My neighbor Totoro, Whisper of the heart|
|Number of employees||182|
Studio Ghibli became known worldwide when ‘Spirited Away‘ became the first non-American animated movie to win Best Animated Feature in Oscars 2002. Spirited Away is, however, not the only magnum opus of the Studio. It has also produced classics like Howl’s Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke, My neighbor Totoro, Whisper of the heart, and more.
Hayao Miyazaki‘s movies give viewers a heartfelt nostalgia with a strong backdrop of environmentalism and masterful storytelling. The messages in his films are delivered to the viewer in a way that is not at all didactic but so deeply embedded in the fabric of the storyline that it enables the viewer to expand her horizons of empathy.
That is why movies like his can stir a soul the way academic journals cannot. This superpower of Miyazaki renders viewers longing for more from nature, relationships, and more. Hence his movies are not merely entertaining but a cascade of emotions that pervade the human soul. This makes his films an experience to remember.
Studio Ghibli undoubtedly has established a league of its own, and for that reason, the sheer iconic Studio is numero uno on our list of best anime studios.
We hope we did justice to the list, although there is no one way to rank the best anime studios of all time. This, however, was a personal take and obviously a subjective opinion. Do tell us what you think about the list. Do you agree, or is there anything you’d like to change? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Which anime is better than Manga?
My Hero Academia, Dragon Ball Z, Attack On Titan, Gintama, and One Punch Man are better than their mangas.
Which is the best anime studio for action?
Studio Bones and Mappa Studio are best for action.