If you have spent any amount of time in the anime blogosphere, you’d have come to realize that simply watching an anime is not enough to voice a respectable opinion. No, you need to gain a certain amount of knowledge about animation studios to lend authority to your voice, and size to your e-penis.
3 years later edit: I have kept the introduction as is, but I wouldn’t write something quite this heavy handed today. I apologize if this comes across as being childish.
When you first start out, some basic knowledge will help formulate your opinions and lend credence to your thoughts during conversations.
Otaku Noob: “I don’t understand why episode 6 of ____ sucked so much.”
You: “My rudimentary knowledge of ____ studio would suggest that they normally suck and therefore the anime probably sucks too.”
After having acquired a decent amount of knowledge, you will be able to correct noob otaku in their season predictions.
Otaku Noob: “Hey, did you see the trailer, promo picture and plot description for ______ . It looks really good, I can’t wait to watch it!”
You: “No, I did not check any of that and frankly I have no need to. I know that studio is pure shit and now I know your taste is too.”
The amount of credence and authority lent to your opinions will be complete when you have studied animation trends and statistics.
Otaku Noob: “I don’t understand why episode 6 of ____ sucked so much.”
You: “According to statistical data for the past 10 years, ____’s studio (______) allocates approximately 87% of their budget towards the first 50% of the season. Given that the 6th episode of an 11 episode series is just past the 50% point, it is obvious that it would suck and not be up to par with the previous 5 episodes. I can’t believe you did not know that. I did and hence I chose to not watch the inevitable train wreck.”
A truly professional fan does not stop there though. No, she goes all the way and researches the staff working for animation studios. At first, this simply helps with formulating predictions.
That anime has some staff from Code Geass and Death Note working on it! IT WILL BE MOST EXCELLENT.
But once enough background information is collected, your opinions will be facts and your word will be truth.
Don’t watch that anime. The seiyū ( ____ ____ ) has a really ugly face. No, you should go watch _____ instead. All of the seiyūs are attractive teenagers.
Do you now understand the importance of background knowledge?
Now, let us quickly fix some of your otaku noobness.
A long time ago, someone with a head tilt fetish wandered off on a quest to seek fellow head tilt fetishists. Unfortunately for her, she could not find anyone else. Then like any other poor desolate soul, she decided to convert others to the same fetish as herself. Given that most real humans can only til their heads for a very short period of time and that even less can look attractive while doing so, an animation studio was her only option. Thus, 22.5° was born.
Why 22.5°? The head tilts used in the studios anime are close to 45°(they aren’t accurately measured because doing so would ruin the “authenticity” and “naturalness” of the tilt, or so the founder believes). Given that the characters are either head tilting by 45° or not head tilting, it can be said that on AVERAGE, they are head tilting by 22.5°
22.5° made some good shows like Arakawa, Madoka and Bakemonogatari.
Hailing from Kyouto, Kyon-Ani is well known and famous for creating the character, Brother Kyon. To try and distinguish the character from their own name, they featured him in a show that was supposed to be about some girl called Haruhi, but, there was no fooling the fandom. Everyone knew that Kyon was the only important character in that show and that the entire animation studio had been created just to give him a chance to show up on the big 2-D screen.
Shamelessly stolen from a tumblr.
While waiting for more
Brother Kyon Haruhi novels to be written, they make some other anime along the way (the staff needs to eat, right?). Hyouka and Chunibyou are recent examples of some good anime made by these guys.
Japanese Catering Staff
Japanese Catering Staff is a studio founded on the core principle of catering to the customer. That is to say, they know exactly what you want (even if you don’t know it yet) and they will give it you without any internal artistic input of their own. This is otherwise known as pandering, but that word sounds sneaky and cheap, so they use catering instead.
They made shows like Shakugan no Shana, Index, Honey and Clover and some others.
Guy and Axe
Some guy found an Axe and decided to use it to chop wood and stuff. Someone else watching him decided to make an animation studio named after that guy and his axe. Unfortunately, what the founder did not realize was that an axe is only sharp for as long as you are willing to regularly sharpen it.
Hacking away at people without proper thought leads to a worn down, sucky axe. Apparently, it is getting better now, but they haven’t scrubbed all of the rust off yet.
They made Neon Genesis Evangelion and Gurann Lagann.
Someone decided that Anime was too soft and unstructured, so they made Osseous tissue to fix this problem.
They made some good stuff like FMA, UN-GO and Eureka 7.
Zombie base is an animation studio that seeks out the viewers brains and brings them back to their base. That is why they made brain stressing shows like Penguindrum in order to distract your brain so they could steal it.
A relatively new studio that made the JoJo anime, so they are awesome! (If you aren’t watching JoJo, then something is not right with you.)
A few people who used to work at Guy and Axe realized that they in fact and indeed do not like guys and axes, so they left and made a studio of their own. They called it Fartzo because they believed that farting is the key to success in the anime kingdom.
They are known for some series like Samurai 7, FMP season 1, Hellsing, Welcome to the NHK and Afro Samurai. It would appear that as of late, their farts have become more and more rare.
They house loonies and stuff. That is why they made Deathnote and Trigun.
Pretty sucky studio except for Samurai Champloo.
A very old studio.
They hail from Japan and make Japanese cartoons many of which are not actually based on Japanese literature. Made the first Hunter x Hunter.
Progressive Apathy Works
is a studio that strives to make you see so much drama you will eventually end up totally apathetic to everything. Their company policy dictates that a state of apathy is best state and that everyone should WORK towards a state of apathy.
Made stuff like True Tears, Canaan, Angel Beats!, Hanasaku Iroha and Tari Tari.
Produce an Igloo
In their quest to make the perfect igloo, they made several innovations and miraculous breakthroughs. Unfortunately for them, all of those achievements did nothing towards advancing man kinds knowledge of igloos, so they became an animation studio instead.
They made some good shit like Ghost in the Shell and FLCL.
They are actually from space and they want to steal our desks.
They made Fate/Zero and Futakoi Alternative. You can also partially hold them responsible for Gundam Seed.
They are a pretty big studio. A few of their series include: Cowboy Bepop, Escaflowne, My-Hime and Code Geass.
1995: He ordered another beer and rested his head on the counter. His second wife had just divorced him after cheating on him with his first wife, his boss had fired him and his friends had all moved to Mexico. He was a sad, depressed man at the end of his rope.
“Don’t be sad Mister, you got your whole life ahead of you. I believe in you.”
“No…no one believes in me. I suck.”
“People won’t believe in you unless you believe in yourself.”
“…you are RIGHT!”
The man jumped up and turned to face his benefactor, only to realize that his benefactor had already walked away and had reached the bar exit.
“Wait, who are you?” the now sobered up man asked.
“Who am I? That is not important. Instead you should ask yourself who you are.”
Then the mysterious benefactor reached the exit and opened the door. With the sun reflecting off of his shiny, white lab coat, he raised up his hand and said:
“El Psy Congroo”
and walked out.
That is the story of how White Fox got founded. This later delved into a conspiracy that involved the coercing of a publisher into making a visual novel to facilitate a smooth adaption of said novel by White Fox, but that is a separate story and best saved for another time.
EDIT: (Added this one in because I figure it is good to know about).
Airforce One Pictures
Airforce One is an air traffic control call sign for a plane that carries the president. That is to say there have been several modified planes that did this job. Airforce One Pictures has been in charge of interior design for each of one those planes. I’d tell you if they did a good job, but I am only a Lord, not a president.
They are well known for anime like Idolm@ster, Working, Sword Art Online and Kannagi.
And, we are done!
And yes, the above does not cover all there is to know about animation studios.
I will not share all of my knowledge on animation (especially on famous staff) with you, for that is something you should do for yourself.
As a general rule of thumb for life, you should go listen to other people, figure out the majority opinion on studios/staff, then copy it. If there is no majority opinion to copy then just listen to the advertisements. If you can do this then you will get far in life.
p.s. (I got most of the above info from Wikipedia. Click here if you just want a useful list.)