What You Actually Can Expect Based on Studio Names

I’ve long been an advocate of studios doesn’t matter, you should look at staff names. And that is still true, however, there are also certain things you can expect based on which studios are making an anime, so let me talk a bit about what to expect and what not to expect. Be aware that any and all of this can change, as staff rarely stays the same place for long

Just to be clear. Studios are still mostly just an office building with a name on it. Most of the Tokyo based studios (which will say, most of the studios) hire freelancers for most of their works, which means that you can’t expect much. Take what I say here with a grain of salt for anything other than Kyoto Animation.

I also wanna mention that this is mostly for seasonal watchers, as studios change so much over time that I’ve focused on what they are today, not 10 years ago

Kyoto Animation
You can expect . . .
– Solid productions. Kyoto Animation tends to only work on a few shows a year and a few movies, only as much as they can do. They also have a very consistent staff and work entirely in-house. This leads to high consistency between productions and generally high production value.
– Anime that focus less on story and more on characters

What not to expect . . .
– A lot of anime every season
– Bad animation

Ufotable
What you can expect . . .
– Solid interplay between traditional animation and CG. Ufotable has a talented CG crew and the CG staff work closely with the rest of the artists. This allows for great CG in most of their productions. When I’m talking CG, I’m also talking about digital effects
– High-quality productions. Ufotable tends to have pretty good scheduling and will put out high-quality work most of the time. The talented digital effects team is also part of why their production will usually look stellar

What not to expect . . .
– A lot of anime every season
– Consistent writing between productions. Most studios don’t have a consistent writing staff, and I haven’t done enough research on whether Ufotable has or not, so I will assume they don’t

Shaft
What to expect . . .
– Highly creative visuals. Shinbo works on most, if not all, of Shaft’s productions, and his style simmers through everything. If you’ve ever heard of Shaft necks, this is where it stems from.
– Loads of animation cuts. Instead of animation, Shaft tends to focus on making every scene look interesting. They work with limited animation and they know very well how to do that
– High consistency between productions. The core staff tends to be pretty much consistent, so you’ll most likely see a lot of similarities between each of their productions

What not to expect . . .
– Consistent animation. Shaft tends to outsource a lot and also usually has very poor scheduling. I don’t know if it’s still true, but they used to work on pretty low budgets, which might be the reason why they excel at making every scene look as stellar as possible

A-1 Pictures and CloverWorks
I group these two together as CloverWorks is a sister studio of A-1

What to expect . . .
– Similar CG. They both work with the same CG staff, so unless the CG director is different, most of either studio will have very similar CG.
– That’s it. Don’t expect much from these studios

What not to expect . . .
– Don’t expect anything from them. They work with freelancers, and the only consistent staff are producers and CG staff. You never know what you get.

Madhouse
Don’t expect anything anymore. They used to have relative consistency, but no longer does. You won’t know what you get until you get it (proof: Boogiepop & Others). After Satoshi Kon passed away, the founder left and created MAPPA instead, and since then, there have not been consistent enough productions from them.

MAPPA
What to expect . . .
– Mostly high-quality productions that tend to run out of time by the end of the anime’s runtime. That means that they will most likely look great for a while, but then look worse over time. Most of these productions will, however, be fixed for the blurays

I can’t say much more about MAPPA, as my familiarity with them is limited

Studio Deen
What to expect . . .
– Anime that don’t tend to have a large audience. Deen often picks shows that don’t sell well, which means that they also tend to not have the most stellar productions. Konosuba is the exception, not the rule

What not to expect . . .
– High-quality productions

Trigger
What to expect . . .
– Creative anime coming from staff that used to work at Gainax
– High-quality directing

What not to expect . . .
– Loads of animation
– A lot of productions every year

P.A. Works
What to expect . . .
– That I will most likely dislike the anime
– That most others will probably praise it

Sorry, I won’t be commenting much on this one, as I personally don’t like most of their anime. They tend to be relatively consistent though, which is why when I don’t like one anime, I probably won’t like most of their other anime either.

Doga Kobo
What to expect . . .
– High-quality animation
– Cute girls

Somehow, Doga Kobo has made a name for themselves making some of the highest quality cute girls anime. I don’t know why, probably a producer that loves cute girls or something.

Bones
I wanna say that you can expect great animation and that you can expect hype fights. However, I honestly don’t really know. They do tend to have solid productions and great animation for the most part though from what I’ve seen. I think Yutaka Nakamura often sticks around, and so does a lot of other top tier creators

Production I.G.
Similarly to what I said about Madhouse, Production I.G. has changed so much, you can’t really expect much out of them anymore. They used to be mostly high quality at a point. Now you’ll see anime ranging from high quality to low quality

Conclusion
Usually, I’d say that you can’t really expect much from any individual studio. However, there definitely are some studios with consistency. Though, they won’t stay consistent forever. If I didn’t mention a specific studio, it’s either because they’re not consistent enough to be on this list, that I don’t know enough about them, or that I simply forgot. If you see any studio missing, feel free to tell me in a comment wherever you see this post 🙂

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