Anime Studio Proficiency – SeriesPosted: July 20, 2010
I have recently finished inputting the data from 2000 to 2009 (pending some quality check but that will have to come later) so now I can start doing some more anime of the animes from the last decade. The first analysis I want to do is to look closely at animes produced by each studio and how many are recognized as great. For example, Madhouse studios have by far the most anime series listed in the top 100 (18). However, it is possible that it produces so many that if you look from the ratio perspective (how many series produced to how many listed), its record may not be so prolific.
Some note before the list:
– The list is ranked on the number of anime series that appear in the ‘top 100 anime series of the decade‘ list (see my previous post here for the list itself and the methodology behind it) over the total anime series production released by the studio [quality percentage] – The logic is that the higher this number, the more likely the studio is to release great series as opposed to forgettable duds (the more accurate measure should be taking an average of the anime score that it produces, from say ANN rating. I currently do not have the data to do that at this point so I am sticking with this methodology for now).
– Studios need to have a minimum of 10 series produced in the decade. This excludes the possibility of a studio being a one-hit wonder and top the list with 100%, having only done one good anime.
– The list only includes anime series. I will have a different list with movies +OAVs
– Bear in mind that I am working with an anime series sample of 974. So when I am comparing it with the top 100 anime series, on average, the quality percentage of a studio should be 10.2% or there should be 9.7 series for every one good series produced. Any studio with higher ratio than this should be considered above average.
Listed anime: Clannad, FMP: Fumoffu!, Clannad -After Story-, Kanon 2006, Lucky Star, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Other anime: K-ON!, Sora o Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai, FMP: Second Raid, Air TV
Comment: Very low number of series produced compared to other major studios (ranked 26th in total anime series produced) but dominate the list in term of sheer quality of the outputs. The studio have released FMA Fumoffu as their first series this decade and have been releasing about 1-2 series per year since. It is also definitely riding the moe wave of K-ON! and Haruhi at the moment!
Proficiency percentage: 40% (8/20)- 1 listed for every 2.5 produced
Listed anime: FMA, RahXephon, Eureka Seven, Ouran High School Host Club, Soul Eater, Wolf’s Rain, Darker Than Black, Xam’d: Lost Memories
Other anime: Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, Nijuu Mensou no Musume, Skull Man, Darker Than Black, DTB: Gemini of the Meteor, Jyu-Oh-Sei, Ghost Slayers Ayashi, Scrapped Princess. Kurau: Phantom Memory, Mars Daybreak, Hiwou War Chrinocles, FMA: Brotherhood, Angelic Layer
Comment: Ranked 13th, with 20 series released over all, the studio really started producing a lot of anime in the later half of the decade (11 series from 2006-9, comparing to 9 in the previous 6 years). FMA is obviously the pick of the bunch (if not in terms of popularity) and Ouran is the quirky, non-action choice.
3). BRAINS BASE
Listed anime: Baccano!, Natsume Yuujinchou, Kure-nai
Other anime: Akikan!, Spice and Wolf II, Zoku Natsume Yuujinchoi, Kishin Taisen Gigantic Formula, Innocent Venus, Kamichu!, Daigunder
Comment: Again, this is a studio that did not hit top gear until 2007 when it produced Baccano! [7 of 10 titles it released were completed in the last 3 years (2007-9)]. The sample size may be a little small but this is one studio to keep a close eye on going forward!
4). PRODUCTION I.G
Proficiency percentage: 28% (7/25)- 1 listed for every 3.6 produced
Listed anime: GITS: SAC, GITS: SAC 2nd Gig, Kemono no Sou-ja Erin, Eden of the East, Cromatie High School, Library War, Seirei no Moribito
Comment: Famous (to me anyway) for its GITS series, Production I.G has also produced just over 2 series per year. Sad to say but apart from the SAC series, I have not actually seen any other series from this studio so I cannot comment too much on them!
5). HAL FILM MAKER
Listed anime: ARIA The Origination, ARIA The Animation, Princess Tutu, ARIA The Natural
Other anime: Boys Be…, Strange Dawn, Pretear, Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-Chan 1 & 2, The Good Witch of the West, Night Wizard!, Sketchbook -full color’s-, Kemeko Deluxe!, Skip Beat!, Skip-Beat!
Comment: Huge output in 2008 (4 series). Now that the ARIA series has come to an end (I believe), it will be interesting to see that what other good series will come out from this studio, considering that ARIA really is the crown in Hal’s production in term of quality over the last few years.
Proficiency percentage: 25% (18/71)- 1 listed for every 3.9 produced
Listed anime: MONSTER, Paranoia Agent, Gunslinger Girl, Black Lagoon, Dennou Coil, Texhnolyze, Kaiba, Gungrave, BECK, Death Note, Shigurui, Kaiji, Chobits, Hajime no Ippo, Boogiepop Phantom, Claymore, Nan, Harlock: Endless Odyssey
Other notable anime: Beyblade, Ichigo 100%, Jubei-chan, Chi’s Sweet Home, DearS, Mouryou no Hako, One Outs, Rideback, Pita Ten
Comment: Despite topping the top 100 list of good anime series with 18, madhouse is all the way down when we rank it based on the quality percentage.This is due solely to its amazing output each year (7 series released on average; 12 releases in 2008 alone. That’s more than some studio’s total output over the last decade!). Taking this into account, we see that the studio only ‘hits’ in about a quarter of its production. Given the massive production, it is not surprising that Madhouse can cover such vast genre from the serious drama like MONSTER, to all-out action in Black Lagoon and even moe romantic comedy like Chobits. All things considered though, I will take one-in-four ratio from Madhouse any day of the week! That works out to just under 2 amazing series a year at this rate.
Proficiency percentage: 22% (4/18)- 1 listed for every 4.5 produced
Listed anime: Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, Ef- Tale of Memories, Bakemonogatari, Pani Poni Dash
Other anime: Dotto! Koni-chan, Arcade Gamer Fubuki, G-On Riders, Popotanm Tsukuyomi: Moonphase, negima, Rec, Ef- Tale of Melodies, Hidamari Sketch & x365, Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei (Original, Zoku, Zan), Maria Holic, Natsu no Arashi (& Akinai chuu)
Comment: I am also less familiar with the animes produced by this studio. Most of its outputs are either drama or comedy. It seems very similar to Kyoto Animation also.
Proficiency percentage: 17% (7/41)- 1 listed for every 5.9 produced
Listed anime: Planetes, Banner of the Stars, Gintama, Code Geass, My-HiME, Gundam SEED, Yakitate!! Japan
Other notable anime: Gundam 00, Dinosaur King, The Big O, S-CRY-ed, Witch Hunter Robin, Gundam SEED Destiny, InuYasha, Brigadoon
Comment:Another high-profile animation studio with lots of productions. Not much to say also about this one.
Proficiency percentage: 15% (2/13)- 1 listed for every 6.5 produced
Listed anime: Bokura ga Ita, Mushi-Shi
Other notable anime: Tutania, Hakushaku to Yo-sei, Kenkou Zenrakei Suieibu Umishou, We Were There, Reborn!, Happiness!, Yugo the Negotiator, Masuda Kousuke Theatre Gag Manga Biyori (1,2,3), Gunslinger Girl II
Comment: Is Mushi-Shi a one-off for this studio? I did not realize it also did the Gunslinger Girl Sequel
Proficiency percentage: 14% (7/52)- 1 listed for every 6.5 produced
Listed anime: Gankutsuou, Last Exile, FMP, Saikano, Welcome to the NHK, Seto no hanayome, Kaleido Star
Other notable anime: Bokurano, Shangrila, The Tower of Druaga, Strike Witches, Witch Blade, Afro Samurai, Witchblade, Vandread, Trinity Blood, Speed Grapher, Gravion, Burst Angel, Chrono Crusade
Comment: Gonzo’s low position is a direct result of it producing just over 5 series per year, not all of them that good. This is likely to be its problem since it seems to churn lesser works like Withcblade, Burst Angel, Speed Grapher or Strike Witches despite it being capable of producing good series like Gankutsuou or Bokurano (really like this a lot though it does not seem to be that well-known at all sadly). Hopefully it will get to the point where it will streamline its production a little bit and up that proficiency %.
a). The list obviously proves the point that it is more difficult for big studio to sustain excellence when it is releasing 5+ series per year. Medium-size studios like Kyoto Animation or Brains Base have it much easier to sustain the ratio. Still, it does at least separate these studios from others like AIC, J.C. Staff and Bee Train who produced similar outputs in term of quantity, but with distinctly inferior quality
b). Despite producing the second highest number of anime series the last decade (55), Studio DEEN only come in ranking 18th with 7% proficiency percentage (1 listed for every 14 series produced). For every Fruits Basket or Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, it also animates lesser works like Rave Master, Yumeria and Samurai Deeper Kyo
c). Toei Animation also suffers similar fate, having only Mononoke ranked among its 47 released titles (2%). Saying that, it does release a lot of franchise series like Digimon, Pretty Cure and Ojamajo Doremi (accounting for over a quarter of its outputs) that defnitely have less traction in the west
d). If we raise the critical mass to 20 released titles, BONEs would come first, followed by Production I.G, Madhouse, Gonzo and J.C. Staff in that order.
Do you think that some studios should make the list? Do you not agree with any of the rankings? Let me know!