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The Greatest Anime Studios of All Time, Ranked

Updated April 14, 2021 88.7k votes 14.4k voters 231.3k 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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  • In 1972, a group of highly-skilled animators left Mushi Production (Osamu Tezuka's studio) to found Madhouse. Since then, the studio has been producing hit after hit.

    The team recruited world-class directors like Satoshi Kon and worked closely with manga artists like Naoki Urasawa and CLAMP to adapt their work into thoughtful, source-compliant anime. They're responsible for everything from Card Captor Sakura to Death Note.

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    Ufotable

    Former staff members of Telecom Animation Film (a subsidiary of TMS Entertainment) founded Ufotable in 2000. While their first anime series was released in 2002, the studio didn't get their big break until 2007 with The Garden of Sinners

    Ufotable is best-known for working on the Fate series such as Fate/Zero and Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works. Other works include God Eater and Tales of Zestiria the Cross. With the unprecedented success of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Ufotable has risen to the top as one of the most popular anime studios in Japan. 

     

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    Studio Bones

    Studio Bones has been around since 1998. They're responsible for amazing anime like both iterations of Fullmetal Alchemist, My Hero Academia, Mob Psycho 100, Ouran High School Host Club, and Wolf's Rain. The studio was founded by former members of Studio Sunrise, Masahiko Minami, Hiroshi Osaka and Toshihiro Kawamoto.

    After Osaka tragically died from cancer in 2007, Makoto Watanabe and Takahiro Komori joined the board of directors. Komori's artistic sensibilities even informed some shows' character design. His previous projects includes Angelic Layer, Scrapped Princess, and Darker than Black.

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    Wit Studio

    Wit Studio is a subsidiary of Production IG. Its debut anime, Attack on Titan, aired in 2013, and quickly earned a spot among the best anime of all time. Not too shabby for a first effort.

    Since then, Wit Studio has continued to astonish viewers with amazing anime like Vinland Saga, Seraph of the End, and The Ancient Magus' Bride.

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