Ya know to be honest, I ‘m really not that well versed in anime history to say with confidence that I have an all time favorite animation studio (I’m working on that). There are however, two studios that I greatly respect – Gainax and Toei Animation. There are other companies I love such as Madhouse and Shaft, but I’m directing this post towards Gainax and Toei Animation today.
Toei Animation (Founded in 1956):
I love Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball, so of course I would give Toei a little mention. Toei is an animation juggernaut produced over a 100+ shows and movies in their 50 or so active years. Some of their well-known titles include Tiger Mask, Saint Seiya, Cyborg 009, Ultimate Muscle, and Galaxy Express 999.
Gainax (Founded in 1984):
In 1983, twelve people would make an everlasting impact on otaku culture and the field of animation with their six minute animated short “Daicon IV”. This short showcased the otaku fandom love of giant robots, manga, sci-fi movies, American comics, and of course anime at the time. It was a celebration of all things otaku as the short unified the variety of otaku niches for a common purpose and love.
What should be noted from Daicon IV are the technical skills of the staff, considered to be highly impressive in quality – even by amateur animators standards. Many of the techniques shown in Daicon IV would become future staples in Gainax’s animation history such as the infamous “Gainax Bounce” to name one influence.
I admire Gainax. They were just a bunch of young college drop outs who pretty much said “Screw all the normal, everyday average crap everyone else is doing! We’re gonna start our own shit and show the world what it means to be otaku!” (see: Otaku no Video), followed their passion, ran with it, and became successful off their love of otaku culture.
With that, there are my two favorite animation companies. Sorry if I didn’t go more rigorously with this one. My ass got kicked at work and I’m pretty worn out. Plus, I’m prepping for Anime Midwest in Chicago (Rosemon, IL), so my focus is directed towards the convention.
Until next time ya!