Compared to other prominent studios in the industry like Toei, KyoAni, Madhouse and a few others, MAPPA is fairly new and was established just recently in 2011 by none other than Maruyama Masao. Maruyama Masao was once the co-founder of the well-known Madhouse Studio, so it comes as no surprise that even MAPPA has started doing so well in such a short span. The main goal of MAPPA has always been to create anime that are directed by a younger generation of directors in order to bring in new ideas that will appeal to the anime viewers of today.
Apart from the younger directors, MAPPA has also been associated with some of the most revered directors like Shinichiro Watanabe and Sato Keiichi. Their current portfolio is huge and is full of some of the most highly successful shows, so to choose the best out of these can be a little bit of a challenge. Fortunately for you, we have decided to take up this challenge by listing down the best anime that have been produced by the Studio. The list below not only includes commercially successful anime but also has some quality shows that may not be all that popular but do deserve your attention. Here’s the list of top MAPPA anime of all time:
10. Punch Line (2015)
This borderline Hentai Ecchi anime only made it to this list because we’re considering anime of diverse genres. The entire plot of ‘Punch Line’ is wacky and is so non-linear that it is hard to even describe it. Let’s just say that it’s one of those shows you would classify as your “guilty pleasures”. Undeniably, it packs a whole lot of fun but just make sure you watch it only when no one’s around. Thank me later!
9. Teekyuu (2012)
‘Teekyuu’ is just a sweet comedy for those who dig the CGDCT (Cute Girls Doing Cute Things) genre. It’s about a bunch of young girls who decide to play tennis at their school’s tennis club but none of them know anything about the sport. ‘Teekyuu’ is a ridiculously hilarious show with nicely animated moe characters. It also has its own Ecchi moments and it can only be enjoyed if you’re in the mood for something that does not require you to think too much. If you look for deep plots and well-developed characters in every anime you watch, then don’t even think about this one. But if you just want to kill some time, then go ahead and watch it on Crunchyroll.
8. Kakegurui (2017)
Hyakkaou Academy is unlike any other schools out there and the kind of curriculum that it follows makes it the best school in the entire nation. Only open for kids from royal families, this school allows gambling to make sure that its students are prepared for the atrocities of the real world. While most kids of the school gamble in order to get better grades, a new girl comes along and her obsession towards gambling starts to threaten the higher authorities of the school. The first season of ‘Kakegurui‘ is thrilling, sexy and will keep you at the edge of your seat all time. So if you’re willing to try something different, then you can certainly give this one a shot.
7. In This Corner of the World (2016)
‘In This Corner of the World’ is one brilliant anime movie that no one has heard of. Unfortunately, the film was released around the same time as ‘Your Name‘ and ‘A Silent Voice’ which obviously overshadowed it completely. The first half of this unbearably sad film focuses on the lifestyle of a young girl named Suzu during World War II. The second half is about how Suzu and the people of her village struggle to survive after their homes and their lands were completely destroyed. ‘In the Corner of the World’ is an ignored gem that will make you cry your eyes out. Make sure you do check this one out on Netflix.
6. Inuyashaki (2017)
Inuyashiki is a 50-year-old man and yet he looks like he’s somewhere in his 70s but that is the least of his concerns. His own family despises him and even his coworkers have no respect for him. But that’s not it; his life gets even worse when he is diagnosed with cancer and even then, his family shows no concern towards him. He gets depressed and just walks out of his home into an open field to cry but suddenly, an alien ship lands on him and kills him. The aliens decide to make up for the loss and rebuild his entire body with a bunch of weapons.
Inuyashiki wakes up as cyborg who is now stronger than any other human out there. He decides to use his newly acquired powers to help those in need but little does he know that there’s someone else out there with similar abilities. ‘Inuyashiki‘ is overall a fun action-filled anime that takes a slightly different approach towards terrorism. Its story has been adapted from a manga that has been created by the same author who illustrated ‘Gantz‘, so don’t be surprised if the anime turns out to be a full-fledged gorefest.
5. Yuri on Ice!!! (2016)
‘Yuri on Ice’ is officially labeled as a sports anime but what makes it extremely popular is the fact that it has proved to be a revolutionary anime for the LGBTQ community. Its main story revolves around a young boy named Yuri Katsuki who is a professional figure skater. But after he loses a major tournament, he decides to give up on the sport.
Victor Nikiforov is another figure skater who coincidentally ends up watching one of Yuri’s viral videos and is instantly impressed by his talent. This is when he takes a break from his own skating career and decides to coach Yuri. While the main plot of the anime is quite uplifting and also a little cliched, what really got the attention of most viewers was its sub-plot that portrays the homosexual relationship between the Victor and Yuri in a very mature way. Apart from that, the anime has some great visuals, especially during the figure skating performances that are complemented by some of the most melodious soundtracks.
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4. Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul (2017)
A lot of times, sequels of original anime shows are forcefully announced even after they’ve already had a conclusive ending. But ‘Rage of Bahamut‘ is an exception to that as it presents a very well planned story that subtly drifts from one season to another. Compared to ‘Genesis’, ‘Virgin Soul’ has a fairly longer runtime and further develops the world and characters that have been established in its predecessors.
‘Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul’ continues where ‘Genesis’ left the story and starts off with King Charioce taking over the throne after Bahamut’s death. After many demons are cruelly enslaved by the King and are forced to fight, a vigilante comes to their rescue one day. But somehow, the King is also able to stop this vigilante and in the end, it all comes down to a teenager to save them.
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3. Zankyou no Terror (2014)
The entire nation is rattled after a terror attack takes place in a high-security nuclear facility. With no evidence of who was behind it, everyone remains clueless until a strange video is found on the internet that features two masked boys who openly confront the police force to stop them. The entire city goes wild after watching the video and soon, everyone starts to leave while the police try their best to catch the masked terrorists. ‘Terror in Resonance‘ is another one of Shinichiro’s creations and though it comes off as a little divisive, it easily qualifies as one of MAPPA’s best. Just try not to compare this with ‘Death Note‘ or ‘Steins;gate‘ as both of them are anime of an entirely different league.
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2. Kids on the Slope (2012)
When cult director Shinichiro Watanabe and music composer Yoko Kanno meet MAPPA Studios, the outcome is an anime that is no less than a masterpiece. Yoko Kanno being a composer was already well-versed with Jazz music and Shinichiro who has used Jazzy soundtracks in ‘Cowboy Bebop‘ is no stranger to it. So it came as no surprise that they decided to create a music anime that makes Jazz look cool again.
Kaoru Nishimi has always moved around from one place to another and because of this, he has never been able to make any good friends. So when he moves to Kyushu for his first year of high school, he keeps no hopes of making any good friends here. On the first day of school, he meets a delinquent drummer named Kawabuchi Sentaro who introduces him to a whole new world of Jazz music. Inspired by Kawabuchi, Kaoru starts to learn Jazz piano all by himself and soon becomes a part of an after-school Jazz club. What follows is the story of an introverted young boy who gets out of his shell with the support of his friends and sets out to achieve greatness.
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1. Hajime no Ippo: Rising (2013-2014)
‘Hajime Ippo: Rising‘ was a collaborated project between Madhouse and MAPPA Studio. It is the third installment in the series that again brings in its colorful cast that is full of boxers of all shapes and sizes with one motive: to make a name for themselves. The exquisite representation of the sport of boxing in this anime has allowed it to gain a whole new level of recognition, internationally.
The anime centers around a young boy named Ippo who is shy and is often targeted by bullies. While he gets bullied one day, a professional boxer, who was just passing by, decides to rescue him. After he takes Ippo to his gym, Ippo suddenly gets drawn towards the sport and asks him if he can train there. Once he qualifies a small test, Ippo gets to train as a professional boxer and what follows is the story of an underdog who makes his way to the top with his only edge in the ring being his strong will power.
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