Madhouse: God’s own studio or merely human?

Wherever anime studios are spoken of, fans can be found singing the praises of Madhouse, claiming how this one studio can turn everything they touch into gold. Naturally, when I hear such things, I have to question them, and so it was that they had to be the subject of one of my pointless studio reviews. The mission- to test the hypothesis that Madhouse are skilled enough to make anything worthy. Continue reading “Madhouse: God’s own studio or merely human?”

Gainax: Recycling Evangelion and overdoing the fanservice

They may not be the most prolific of studios, but Gainax has been the subject of much debate and discussion over the years, surrounding both their seeming inability to end a series properly, but over the various elements of their apparent masterwork Evangelion. In all this time, perhaps everything that can be said has already been beaten to death many times over, but even so, my desire to write studio reviews means that I have to cover that old ground once again. Continue reading “Gainax: Recycling Evangelion and overdoing the fanservice”

Production I.G.: From the highs of Chevalier to the lows of xxxHOLiC

I’ve looked at past and present subsidiaries Bee Train and Xebec, but what has Production I.G. themselves brought to the anime scene? The number of series they have brought us may be relatively limited, but from the technological future of Ghost in the Shell to the historical fantasy of Otogi Zoshi and Chevalier, both content and quality vary across the board. Continue reading “Production I.G.: From the highs of Chevalier to the lows of xxxHOLiC”

Gonzo: Style over substance and messed up manga adaptations

When we think of Studio Gonzo, what comes to mind? Inevitably it seems to be CG bullet time, ugly and unnecessary mecha, inconsistent production values and a complete and utter inability to properly adapt a manga series without losing what made it appealing in the first place. Is the studio properly deserving of this reputation, or is it an impression built up by a few failures? The only way to find out is to take a closer look at their work. Continue reading “Gonzo: Style over substance and messed up manga adaptations”

Xebec: From Fafner’s Kazuki to Busou Renkin’s Kazuki

Gonzo may have cornered the market when it comes to messing up manga adaptations, but a quick look at Xebec’s catalogue indicates that they may not be the only studio who has problems adapting a series from page to screen (let us not forget the Negima fiasco). Do their original works make up for it, or is Xebec just an unremarkable studio in a sea of better offerings? Continue reading “Xebec: From Fafner’s Kazuki to Busou Renkin’s Kazuki”

Studio BONES: does creating some of my favourites make up for the existence of Jyu-Oh-Sei?

Founded by former Sunrise members who had sworn off the dango, Studio BONES will celebrate its ninth anniversary this year, but in that time, what has it brought us? A quick glance at the studio’s catalogue certainly reveals some strong contenders, but should we assume that everything they touch turns to gold? The only way to find out is to take a closer look at their work. Continue reading “Studio BONES: does creating some of my favourites make up for the existence of Jyu-Oh-Sei?”

Bee Train: All stills and not much else?


The camera pans over a beautifully rendered yet ultimately motionless background, a melancholy Yuki Kajiura tune plays in the background…what else could it be other than a Bee Train anime? Famous (or perhaps infamous) for their distinctive “minimal motion” style, Bee Train’s output may be small, but they have stuck around for almost a decade- and now they have the dubious honour of being the first studio to be highlighted in my planned series of studio review articles. So, without further ado, let’s skip ahead and examine Bee Train’s successes…and its accompanying failures.

Continue reading “Bee Train: All stills and not much else?”