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The Greatest Anime Studios of All Time, Ranked

Updated June 14, 2021 100.3k votes 15.9k voters 250.5k views20 items

List RulesVote up the studios that have made the greatest contributions to the anime canon.

One great way to find new anime is to hone in on the animation studios producing quality content time and again, then check out the other work they've done.

Studios like A-1 Pictures and Sunrise produce a dizzying variety of series while still boasting a signature look. Others – like Wit Studio, which exploded into relevance with its runaway hit Attack on Titan – have a smaller body of work, but the series they've produced put them on the map. 

Some fans may be surprised to learn several of their favorite programs actually come from one animation studio. It's wild to think the same team was responsible for My Hero Academia, Full Metal Alchemist, and Darker than Black

If someone is drawn to a particular anime, chances are they'll be able to find other great shows in the studio's catalog.

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    MAPPA

    A former Madhouse employee named Masao Maruyama started MAPPA in 2011, and since then the fledgling studio has been churning out hits. Its first anime, Kids on the Slope, is a coming-of-age story told through jazz. MAPPA is also responsible for Terror in Resonance, one of the few anime that directly confronts the issue of terrorism. 

    Yuri on Ice!!! is another original series that centers on two men falling in love with each other through the power of ice skating. MAPPA takes on subject matter other studios won't, which has helped it stand out in a relatively short span of time. 

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  • Kyoto Animation is responsible for some of the most renowned anime in history, including The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, CLANNAD, and Full Metal Panic.

    Though their style has evolved over time, Kyoto Animation characters are always easily recognizable. The studio maintains a distinct, high-quality style by keeping a team of salaried animators on staff (as opposed to relying on freelancers). 

     

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  • If you ask an average person on the street to name an anime studio, you'll probably hear about Studio Ghibli. Headed by the legendary Hayao Miyazaki, this studio has produced some of the most spectacular films ever created—in any medium, not just anime.

    These films often combine coming-of-age stories featuring young girls with messages about the natural environment and humanity's role in its care.

    The studio's most famous films are My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, and Spirited Away, but they've birthed plenty of other spectacular stories that are well worth watching. 

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  • 8

    White Fox

    Founded by Gaku Iwasa in 2007, White Fox is responsible for many popular anime series such as the time-travel thriller Steins;Gate and the hilarious reverse isekai The Devil is a Part-Timer! More recently, they've impressed fans with the Re:Zero series, an isekai drama about a teenage gamer who finds himself stuck in a time loop.

    Other famous works include Akame ga Kill, Goblin Slayer, and Katanagatari. 

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