In the past few years, MAPPA has established itself as a prominent powerhouse in the anime industry. MAPPA is known for its clean and consistent animation that captured the hearts of fans worldwide.
The studio is widely recognized for animating some of the fan-favorite manga in recent years and taking the rights to animate the final season of one of the most famous anime of all time, Attack On Titan further increased Studio’s popularity.
MAPPA studio was established by the visionary founder of the renowned Anime studio, MADHOUSE. Here are the anime by studio MAPPA ranked from worst to best, including both original anime and the ones adapted from the manga.
Kakegurui is considerably one of the most famous anime adaptations of a manga by studio MAPPA. The anime was adapted from a manga bearing the same, that was penned by Homura Kawamoto. The anime was directed by Yuuichirou Hayashi, who was hired as a freelance director.
MAPPA did a flawless job with character designs and animation consistency, but the screenwriting and pacing of the anime fell short. The series also included some meaningless touches of ecchi that failed to associate with the plot itself.
Synopsis: In the prestigious Hyakkaou Private Academy, success and social standing are determined through high-stakes gambling. The student council, composed of the academy’s top gamblers, rules over the school and enforces a strict hierarchy.
Yumeko Jabami, a transfer student, enters the academy and challenges the status quo with her fearless and unconventional gambling methods.
As Yumeko navigates the treacherous world of gambling, she uncovers dark secrets, manipulations, and intense psychological battles that test the limits of her sanity and reveal the true nature of the academy’s power structure.
RE-MAIN is an original anime by studio MAPPA that was planned and directed by Masafumi Nishida. Like every other MAPPA anime, RE-MAIN was praised for its animation and impeccable character designs, but some aspects of the anime made it fall short.
The significant problem with the anime was that the creator and director, Masafumi, tried to intertwine character development, past traumas, and sports all together which resulted in a disjointed narrative and pacing, ultimately affecting the cohesion of the whole series.
The support characters in the plot felt vacant and lacked exploration of their ideals.
On the other hand, the RE-MAIN plot stands out for its engaging storytelling and complex characters, including the introduction of Water Polo sports for the first time in anime.
Synopsis: The plot of “RE-MAIN” centers around a high school student named Minato Kiyomizu, who was a talented water polo player before quitting due to a terrible occurrence.
Minato is dragged back into the world of water polo after an accident erases his memory of the past. He starts on a journey to rediscover his passion for the sport, confront his past, and strive to make a return with the help of his new friends and teammates.
Minato’s tenacity and the ties he makes with his teammates become critical aspects in the team’s pursuit of success in the water polo arena as the team tackles various challenges and rivals.
9. Inuyashiki LAST HERO
Inuyashiki is an anime that shows the true potential of 3d CGI animation capabilities by studio MAPPA. The anime was adapted from a manga bearing the same name, written and drawn by Hiroya Oku. The series was directed by Shuhei Yabuta, famous for his magnum-opus Vinland Saga.
Inuyashiki LAST HERO dives into thought-provoking themes and provides a unique and engaging plot for the viewers. Something that makes Inuyashiki stand out, is the concept of the consequences of wielding immense power by a normal high school student, and the use of 3d CGI in immense action sequences.
Though Inuyashiki stands out, the anime contains a lot of gritty and dark themes with immense gore and violence, which may not be suitable for everyone, and introduces numerous subplots at once that can be overwhelming for a lot of viewers.
Synopsis: “Inuyashiki LAST HERO,” follows the story of Ichiro Inuyashiki, a middle-aged man who leads a lonely and unfulfilling life. One fateful day, he is caught in a mysterious explosion that leaves him transformed into a powerful cyborg with incredible abilities. Embracing his newfound abilities, Inuyashiki vows to use his powers to protect the innocent and make a difference in the world.
However, his path crosses with Hiro Shishigami, a troubled teenager who also gained similar powers from the same incident. While Inuyashiki seeks to bring hope and salvation, Hiro succumbs to his darker desires, using his powers for personal gain and wreaking havoc in society.
As the two clash, their conflicting ideals and actions lead to a dramatic confrontation that will determine the fate of humanity itself.
8. Kids On The Slope
Kids On The Slope is directed by one of the most renowned directors of the anime industry, Shinchirou Watanabe, who formerly worked on classic hit anime, Samurai Champloo and Cowboy Bebop.
Shinchirou Watanabe was hired by MAPPA to direct the adaptation of a manga called “Kids On The Slope” by Yuki Kodoma.
Kids On The Slope features a compelling story and narrative which revolves around the friendship and personal development of the characters. Shinchirou Watanabe is known for his animation genius, and the expectations for Kids On The Slope were unarguably met by his fans.
For Watanabe, the anime takes a different direction from his previous works, exploring the themes of Jazz music and how the characters bond with each other using their music preference.
Though the anime has its strong points, the anime falls off of the lack of closure leaving some points unresolved, and there’s much-limited focus on the character’s past traumas and history or, certain character arcs that may receive less attention.
Synopsis: “Kids on the Slope” is a 1960s-set coming-of-age anime. The plot centers around Kaoru Nishimi, a transfer student who moves to a small town and begins attending a new high school.
There, he meets Sentaro Kawabuchi, a skilled and free-spirited jazz drummer from his class. Kaoru and Sentaro create a jazz band together as a result of their shared love of music.
The power of music transforms their lives as they navigate the ups and downs of puberty, friendship, and personal challenges. “Kids on the Slope” tackles themes of friendship, self-discovery, and the pursuit of one’s passion against the backdrop of societal changes and the developing jazz scene.
7. Hell’s Paradise
“Hell’s Paradise is the only anime on this list where the animation is decent, but sadly the story sometimes falls flat. It’s one of those rare cases where the first episode shows promise, but then the series declines as characters die right after their backstory is revealed.
The problem is that the characters aren’t developed slowly. So when they die, it doesn’t hit as hard because the audience hasn’t had time to connect with them emotionally.”
Nonetheless, Hell’s Paradise is a part of the dark trio of Weekly Shonen Jump magazine and the anime adaptation has been rated highly by viewers.
6. Attack On Titan: Final Season
Attack On Titan is a renowned anime that everyone is familiar with, as it is the most-watched anime according to MyAnimeList and Anilist. The series was adapted from a manga, written and drawn by Hajime Isayama, and the first three seasons are animated by WIT Studio.
The anime was dropped by WIT Studio due to their massive upcoming projects load, and because of the bad financial condition. Studio MAPPA agreed to animate the final season of Attack on Titan.
Studio MAPPA gained significant popularity in the anime community when they released the trailer for Attack On Titan: Final Season, as the quality of the animation was crisp and the designs looked justified.
The trailer raised the expectations for fans around the globe, and when the anime aired, all of the expectations were ravaged due to the poor CGI, pacing, and some of the content removed from the original source material.
The major controversy was the fact that the trailer was pre-animated and didn’t reflect the true animation quality of the adaptation. Titans were animated with the help of CGI, on the contrary to drawing them frame by frame as shown in the trailer.
5. Chainsaw Man
Chainsaw Man was one of the most anticipated adaptations of a manga to ever take place in a long time. The Anime was directed by Ryuu Nakayama and produced by Studio MAPPA, which aired from October 2022 to December 2022.
Chainsaw Man anime lived up to its hype. The anime was called a ‘Love Letter’ from the director, Ryuu Nakayama to the author, Tatsuki Fujimoto.
From the animation to the character designs, including the pacing and everything was flawless. The soundtrack was composed by the legendary musician Kensuke Ushio, who previously worked on Devilman Crybaby and A Silent Voice.
One issue that many fans complained about is the use of CGI in unusual fights and places, something MAPPA was criticized for back when Attack On Titan: Final Season aired. Overall, The staff did a noteworthy job with the anime and justified the source material.
On the other hand, some Japanese fans were not particularly happy with the anime adaptation. They even started a petition to remake the anime with a different director.
4. Terror In Resonance
Alike Kids On The Slope, Terror In Resonance is directed and written by Shinchirou Watanabe, and produced by studio MAPPA. The anime aired from July 2014 to September 2014 and marked one of the most iconic creations by Shinchirou Watanabe under MAPPA’s label.
Terror In Resonance upholds with its animation, gripping, and engaging storyline with impeccable visuals and complex cast of characters, something Shinchirou Watanabe is famed for. Apart from the anime itself, Terror In Resonance soundtrack is composed by the renowned musician Youko Kanno which gives it a soothing yet menacing theme.
If we talk about the cons, Terror In Resonance provides rather implausible elements to its plot that may strain the suspension of disbelief for some viewers. The main characters of the series, Nine and Twelve, receive major character development that caused the supporting characters to receive minor to no development throughout the series.
Synopsis: “Terror in Resonance” is a thrilling anime series that follows the exploits of two enigmatic men known only as Nine and Twelve. These enigmatic youngsters plan and carry out a series of well-planned and extremely effective terrorist operations in Tokyo. As a result of their actions attracting the attention of the authorities, a committed detective named Shibazaki is tasked with learning the truth about their motivations and identities.
The complicated cat-and-mouse game unfolds, revealing secrets from the past and eventually revealing the true purpose of Nine and Twelve’s mission, leading to a dramatic and intense finale.
3. Jujutsu Kaisen
One of the most famous adaptations under the production of MAPPA.
The anime was adapted from a manga penned by Gege Akutami and directed by Sung-ho Park. Jujutsu Kaisen became a major hit for studio MAPPA and developed a massive fan base for both anime and manga.
The anime had an impeccable impact on the industry, providing fluid frame-by-frame animation and astounding character designs that excelled the manga itself.
The series received critical acclaim from almost every media outlet, that commercialized the manga enough to become one of the best-selling shonen manga of all time. Jujutsu Kaisen is known for its action, engaging plot, and complex cast.
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Dororo is adapted from an all-time classic manga, released in 1967, written and drawn by the mangaka, Osamu Tezuka, and adapted by studio MAPPA in 2019, after a whopping 52 years. Kazuhiro Furuhashi directed the anime at MAPPA.
Dororo starts with a unique premise, following the story of a swordsman named Hyakkimaru, who is on a journey to find his body parts, taken by a demon in his childhood. The story revolves around the feudal era of Japan, not making the series shy away from a dark and gritty atmosphere which adds depth and realism to the anime.
The only complaint about Dororo is the ending, which felt slightly rushed and forced, lacking proper resolution about the characters.
Synopsis: “Dororo” is an anime series that takes place in a feudal realm tormented by demons and strife. A young warrior, burdened by a tragic fate, sets out on a risky mission to regain what has been stolen from him.
Along the way, he meets a talented and resourceful thief who becomes his buddy. They confront great trials together, battle both human and supernatural foes, and unearth the dark mysteries that lurk within their world. Their search for forgiveness and restoration pushes them to confront their inner demons as well as the unstoppable forces that threaten to consume them.
1. Vinland Saga (Season 2)
Vinland Saga has slowly become one of the most famous historical anime of all time, adapted from a manga bearing the same name by Makoto Yukimura. The first season of the anime was adapted by WIT Studio, and for season 2, the rights of animation were reassigned to studio MAPPA.
For season 2 of the anime, the same staff was hired from WIT studio including the director, Shuuhei Yabuta. Vinland Saga Season 2 stands atop this list as MAPPA has justified the manga enough to get praise from the manga author himself.
From the visual to the characters’ development and action sequences, MAPPA nailed every aspect of the anime and continuously intensified the expectations of the viewers.
Synopsis: “Vinland Saga” is an epic anime set during a turbulent historical era. The plot centers around Thorfinn, a young warrior who embarks on a quest for vengeance after his idyllic life is broken. As he journeys across perilous terrain, he becomes engaged in a bigger war motivated by political intrigue and personal desires. Thorfinn’s voyage is defined by intense fights, great moral quandaries, and significant character development as he navigates the tangled web of alliances and betrayals.
He meets key characters along the road who alter his viewpoint and challenge his ideas, finally bringing him to a path of repentance and self-discovery.
In this list, there are multiple anime by studio MAPPA that deserve to be mentioned. Let us know in the comments what other anime you would like to mention and why!