Among many animation production companies, there are those who stand at the top when it comes to the communities’ tastes. “Kyoto Animation” and “Shaft” are famous for their top-notch animation quality and working on popular titles. Many fans have their own peculiar takes on why they prefer a specific anime studio due to the reputations these studios created over time.
This time, we focused on MAPPA from among the animation production companies. With its grandeur popularity and loyal fanbase, it’s no surprise that it ranks as one of the best production companies out there. Let’s take a closer look at the appeal of MAPPA, along with a list of all past works and popular titles it produced.
What is MAPPA?
MAPPA is an animation production company based in Tokyo and Sendai. It was established in 2011 with creators from Sunrise and Madhouse. The company has a large number of creators and boasts a production system with abundant human resources and high quality.
MAPPA’s works are characterized by the original works that they produce. Each original work is based on new and innovative ideas. “Zombieland Saga” and “Yuri! on ICE” are the best examples. The combination of zombies and idols, and figure skating anime, is something that has never been seen before.
In this way, MAPPA’s characteristic and appeal lies in the fact that they create “unique” works. The works with original works are also carefully produced, and the quality is maintained so that the fans of the original works will not be disappointed.
1. Chainsaw Man
Denji has a simple dream—to live a happy and peaceful life, spending time with a girl he likes. This is a far cry from reality, however, as Denji is forced by the yakuza into killing devils in order to pay off his crushing debts. Using his pet devil Pochita as a weapon, he is ready to do anything for a bit of cash.
Unfortunately, he has outlived his usefulness and is murdered by a devil in contract with the yakuza. However, in an unexpected turn of events, Pochita merges with Denji’s dead body and grants him the powers of a chainsaw devil. Now able to transform parts of his body into chainsaws, a revived Denji uses his new abilities to quickly and brutally dispatch his enemies. Catching the eye of the official devil hunters who arrive at the scene, he is offered work at the Public Safety Bureau as one of them.
Now with the means to face even the toughest of enemies, Denji will stop at nothing to achieve his simple teenage dreams.
- Stellar animation production, it even had fans saying “watching the first episode was like watching a movie”
- The OP and ED suit the show perfectly and are instant classics in the anime community
- The story will have you at the edge of your seat each episode wanting more and more!
2. Jujutsu Kaisen
Idly indulging in baseless paranormal activities with the Occult Club, high schooler Yuuji Itadori spends his days at either the clubroom or the hospital, where he visits his bedridden grandfather. However, this leisurely lifestyle soon takes a turn for the strange when he unknowingly encounters a cursed item.
Triggering a chain of supernatural occurrences, Yuuji finds himself suddenly thrust into the world of Curses—dreadful beings formed from human malice and negativity—after swallowing the said item, revealed to be a finger belonging to the demon Sukuna Ryoumen, the “King of Curses.”
Yuuji experiences first-hand the threat these Curses pose to society as he discovers his own newfound powers. Introduced to the Tokyo Metropolitan Jujutsu Technical High School, he begins to walk down a path from which he cannot return—the path of a Jujutsu sorcerer.
- Director Seong-Hu Park and his incredibly talented team of animators make bursts of exciting, visually active battle scenes when showing off the characters and their various powers
- The soundtracks are clean and well-composed. The songs became world famous being used in every form of social media
- The characters all carry interesting storylines and are dynamic for your viewing pleasure
3. Attack On Titan: Final Season
Gabi Braun and Falco Grice have been training their entire lives to inherit one of the seven Titans under Marley’s control and aid their nation in eradicating the Eldians on Paradis. However, just as all seems well for the two cadets, their peace is suddenly shaken by the arrival of Eren Yeager and the remaining members of the Survey Corps.
Having finally reached the Yeager family basement and learned about the dark history surrounding the Titans, the Survey Corps has at long last found the answer they so desperately fought to uncover. With the truth now in their hands, the group set out for the world beyond the walls.
In Attack on Titan: The Final Season, two utterly different worlds collide as each party pursues its own agenda in the long-awaited conclusion to Paradis’ fight for freedom.
- Despite the short schedule MAPPA was given to animate this, they did a phenomenal job at incorporating the CGI with their already amazing Animation production
- Just like in previous seasons, the soundtracks were crisp this time again. The OP and ED are executed with such skill
- Attack on Titan uses a lot of explicit themes in the story to give it the acclamation it has, like revenge, hate, dystopia, but one of the more implicit themes to be shared is the influence
One day, Kazuki, Tooi, and Enta encounter a mysterious kappa-shaped life form, Keppi. The life form, mistaking them for frogs, becomes enraged and pulls out the three’s buttock balls. The three are then transformed into kappas.
In order to return to their original form, the three must follow Keppi’s instructions and search for the “Zombie Butterballs”. They become Kappa through “Sarazammai” and collect the Zombie Butterballs while fighting the Kappa Zombies. However, when they perform the “Sarazammai”, the secret that the person is hiding becomes known to the members who performed the ritual.
- The concept is both complex and challenging to understand but at the same time, it’s straightforward and essentially Persona 5 but with anal
- The characters are unpredictable, and their “embarrassing secrets” just add to their 4-dimensional personalities! They all start off simplistic but even after one episode, they are built into mentally complex and peculiar people
- The art and animation are phenomenal and peppered with deep metaphors within every frame underneath a layer of simplicity making it a pleasure to watch for viewers
5. Zombieland Saga
Sakura Minamoto dreams of becoming an idol. Unfortunately, reality hits her like a truck, and she dies in a sudden traffic accident.
Ten years later, she wakes up in Saga Prefecture, only to find herself a zombie with no memory of her past. While still coming to terms with her demise, she meets a man named Koutarou Tatsumi, who explains that he has resurrected her and six other zombie girls from different eras for the purpose of economically revitalizing Saga by means of an idol group. Assuming the role of an abrasive manager, Koutarou begins scheduling events; the girls go along with it, eventually deciding to name their idol group Franchouchou.
An absurdly comedic take on the idol genre, Zombieland Saga tells the story of Franchouchou’s heartwarming struggle to save Saga Prefecture while hiding their zombie identities and rediscovering their past lives.
- Beautiful mesh of CGI and crisp animation/art
- Our veteran Anime character “Truck-Kun” makes an appearance
- Cute girls + heavy metal rock music + THE LEGENDARY TAE YAMADA + a chicly dressed manager, who emanates awesomeness + LOUD YELLING = MASTERPIECE!!!!
6. Banana Fish
Aslan Jade Callenreese, known as Ash Lynx, was a runaway picked off the streets of New York City and raised by the infamous godfather of the mafia, Dino Golzine. Now 17 years old and the boss of his own gang, Ash begins investigating the mysterious “Banana Fish”—the same two words his older brother, Griffin, has muttered since his return from the Iraq War. However, his inquiries are hindered when Dino sends his men after Ash at an underground bar he uses as a hideout.
At the bar, Skip, Ash’s friend, introduces him to Shunichi Ibe and his assistant, Eiji Okumura, who are Japanese photographers reporting on American street gangs. However, their conversation is interrupted when Shorter Wong, one of Ash’s allies, calls to warn him about Dino. Soon, Dino’s men storm the bar, and in the ensuing chaos kidnap Skip and Eiji. Now, Ash must find a way to rescue them and continue his investigation into Banana Fish, but will his history with the mafia prevent him from succeeding
- Not very often do we get an anime based around gangsters and heavy crime-affiliated subplots, so it’s a treat to those of a more mature audience
- Banana Fish‘s cinematography remains very strong throughout its entire run
- The contrasting natures of the two main characters are enthralling. Ash being the stubborn and intelligent gang leader with a dark history, and Eiji a softer character just starting to regain his lost courage
7. Yuri!!! on Ice
Figure skater Yuri Katsuki was having a hard time improving. When he returns to his hometown and skates a program to refresh his mind, the video footage of his performance is leaked on the internet. The footage also catches the eye of Victor Nikiforov, one of the world’s top skaters.
After seeing Yuri’s performance, Viktor came to Japan and announced that he would be his coach. Yuri Plisetsky, who had promised to get a program from Viktor, arrives. The battle between the two “Yuri’s” for Viktor is about to begin.
- The soundtrack of Yuri on ice is great. It features a wild array of instruments, music genres
- LGTBQIA2S+ Friendly
- The characters in Yuri on Ice may seem like cookie-cutter models at first, but as the story unfolds you learn more and more about their personalities and motivations, and (cliche though it sounds) they really will surprise you
8. Terror in Resonance
Painted in red, the word “VON” is all that is left behind after a terrorist attack on a nuclear facility in Japan. The government is shattered by their inability to act, and the police are left frantically searching for ways to crack down on the perpetrators.
The public are clueless—until, six months later, a strange video makes its way onto the internet. In it, two teenage boys who identify themselves only as “Sphinx” directly challenge the police, threatening to cause destruction and mayhem across Tokyo. Unable to stop the mass panic quickly spreading through the city and desperate for any leads in their investigation, the police struggle to act effectively against these terrorists, with Detective Kenjirou Shibazaki caught in the middle of it all.
Terror in Resonance tells the story of Nine and Twelve, the two boys behind the masked figures of Sphinx. They should not exist, yet they stand strong in a world of deception and secrets while they make the city fall around them, all in the hopes of burying their own tragic truth.
- There are many still-life scenes in Terror in Resonance, and each one perfectly captures the essence of Tokyo
- The character design also mirrors the art style: realistic enough to provide a sense of severity, yet different enough to give the show an underlying artistic element
- By incorporating fancy pieces of technology like Twitter, YouTube, and virtual currency as well, it makes the viewers think about the fragility of our current reality
9. Takt Op. Destiny
The United States of America has been in chaos ever since the emergence of D2s, an invasive species originating from a black meteorite that fell to Earth. A public decree banned citizens from playing any melodies, to prevent further casualties caused by the D2s’ hatred for music—even now, in 2047, this prohibition is still in effect. Humanity’s only form of defense against the D2s are Musicarts, young women representing pieces of classical music; and Conductors, the ones controlling them.
Takt Asahina, an aloof piano prodigy, finds himself transformed into a Conductor following a spontaneous D2 attack. The same incident kills Anna Schneider’s younger sister, Cosette, and brings Takt into contact with his Musicart, Destiny. Searching for a means of stabilizing the pact between themselves, Takt and Destiny—alongside Anna—embark on a perilous journey to the Symphonica Headquarters in New York City.
Takt is in a hurry to reach the city so that he can play the piano again, even though his passion attracts the creatures he has come to despise. Meanwhile, Destiny’s sense of duty drags the group into trouble along the way. With a D2-infested path and many more arduous obstacles ahead of them, will the trio make it to New York City in one piece?
- MAPPA and Madhouse did a great job in the art for the anime. It was flawless. From the action scenes to normal chit-chats everything was stunning. The character designs were also amazing
- Takt Op. Destiny feels more adult-like with its characters. But also treating them like such. Even if they may seem a little too cold in some cases, it’s their deeper backgrounds, that really set the scene
- The music for this anime was well executed, and the time and craftsmanship helped bring the melodies to life in each scene
Yasuke is based on real-life samurai Yasuke of African origin who served as a retainer under Nobunaga Oda and is believed to be the first African that Nobunaga had ever seen. Yasuke arrived in 1579 in Japan, in service as the bodyguard of Italian Jesuit missionary Alessandro Valignano during the Nanban trade.
When Nobunaga first saw him, he thought he was inked and ordered to strip him from the waist up and scrub him. Realizing his skin was indeed black, Nobunaga took an interest in Yasuke and liked to talk with him.
In a war-torn feudal Japan filled with mechs and magic, the greatest ronin never known, Yasuke, struggles to maintain a peaceful existence after a past life of violence. But when a local village becomes the center of social upheaval between warring daimyo, Yasuke must take up his sword and transport a mysterious child who is the target of dark forces and bloodthirsty warlords.
- Based on a real-life Samurai whose origins are of African descent
- A sci-fi twist in the original historical anomaly
- Animations are fluid and the bright art styles are a treat to the viewer’s eyes
Hole—a dark, decrepit, and disorderly district where the strong prey on the weak and death is an ordinary occurrence—is all but befitting of the name given to it. A realm separated from law and ethics, it is a testing ground to the magic users who dominate it. As a race occupying the highest rungs of their society, the magic users think of the denizens of Hole as no more than insects. Murdered, mutilated, and made experiments without a second thought, the powerless Hole dwellers litter the halls of Hole’s hospital on a daily basis.
Possessing free access to and from the cesspool, and with little challenge to their authority, the magic users appear indomitable to most—aside for a few. Kaiman, more reptile than man, is one such individual. He hunts them on a heedless quest for answers with only a trusted pair of bayonets and his immunity to magic. Cursed by his appearance and tormented by nightmares, magic users are his only clue to restoring his life to normal. With his biggest obstacle being his stomach, his female companion Nikaidou, who runs the restaurant Hungry Bug, is his greatest ally.
Set in a gritty world of hellish design, Dorohedoro manages a healthy blend of comedy and lightheartedness with death and carnage. Taking plenty of twists and turns while following the lives of Hole’s residents, it weaves a unique world of unearthly origin and dreary appearance not for the squeamish or easily disturbed.
- The OP and EDs are great. Overall, they knocked it out the park in this department
- So, this adaptation only covers part of the manga and so far, the story has been engaging, unpredictable, totally crazy and entertaining. You cannot ask for more.
- The CGI is hardly noticeable, and the backgrounds are phenomenal. I repeat the backgrounds are phenomenal and really establish the atmosphere of the world of Dorohedoro
As Yumeko Jabami’s fame grows and the reputation of the student council dwindles, Kirari Momobami decides to revolutionize the group. To this end, she announces an election for its next president. The rules are simple: each student in the school receives one chip. Whoever has the most chips by the end of thirty days becomes both the new president and the head of the Momobami clan.
Upon receiving news of this development, the Momobami branch families spring into action. Eleven transfer students arrive at Hyakkao Private Academy, each aiming to lead both the school and the Momobami clan. Equipped with unique talents, they will compete to get as many chips as possible—but their chips are not the only things on the line.
- Gambling ecstasy, mild fanservice, and hot characters
- Heavily detailed animations done by MAPPA truly showcasing their well-deserved praise
- The voice cast is back and has a new roster of voice actors from the Momobami clan and they have some veterans helping with the cast
13. Inuyashiki: Last Hero
Ichirou Inuyashiki is a 58-year-old family man who is going through a difficult time in his life. Though his frequent back problems are painful, nothing hurts quite as much as the indifference and distaste that his wife and children have for him. Despite this, Ichirou still manages to find solace in Hanako, an abandoned Shiba Inu that he adopts into his home. However, his life takes a turn for the worse when a follow-up physical examination reveals that Ichirou has stomach cancer and only three months to live; though he tries to be strong, his family’s disinterest causes an emotional breakdown. Running off into a nearby field, Ichirou embraces his dog and weeps—until he notices a strange figure standing before him.
Suddenly, a bright light appears, and Ichirou is enveloped by smoke and dust. When he comes to, he discovers something is amiss—he has been reborn as a mechanized weapon wearing the skin of his former self. Though initially shocked, the compassionate Ichirou immediately uses his newfound powers to save a life, an act of kindness that fills him with happiness and newfound hope.
However, the origins of these strange powers remain unclear. Who was the mysterious figure at the site of the explosion, and are they as kind as Ichirou when it comes to using this dangerous gift?
- Adapted by studio MAPPA, Inuyashiki’s quality is about as amazing as it can get
- The songs of the anime gave us a clue of how the starting of an episode and a bit of emotional craze of it. The opening by Man With a Mission is very powerful, along with its visuals, giving us a good head start on every episode
- There are lots of intense scenes through the anime and you do agonize with the people living the situation
14. In This Corner of the World
Suzu Urano is a pure and kindhearted girl who loves to draw and keep her head in the clouds. Growing up on the outskirts of Hiroshima with her family, she is more than happy to help with her grandmother’s nori business.
However, when she becomes of age, Suzu leaves her beloved home to marry Shuusaku Houjou, a man she barely knows. As she integrates into her new husband’s household, the homesick bride struggles to adjust to the unfamiliar environment as the war effort extends far beyond its point of no return. When the war reaches Suzu’s own backyard and peace gives way to brutality, how will she support herself and those she comes to love along the way?
In This Corner of the World paints a colorful yet haunting depiction of everyday life in the years before and after World War II, showcasing the perseverance and fortitude of ordinary Japanese during one of the darkest periods of modern history.
- In This corner of the World is a very human movie. Beautiful, artistic, historical accuracy, timely messages, thematic depth, thoughtful, and more importantly, it is a genuinely enjoyable viewing experience that you won’t forget
- Kotringo’s composition brings a melancholic feeling to us as viewers. Sometimes, the music brings you happiness with its gentle note
- The animation in the movie shifts from its realist mode to capture an impressionistic vision of the surrounding beauty
The greedy samurai lord Daigo Kagemitsu’s land is dying, and he would do anything for power, even renounce Buddha and make a pact with demons. His prayers are answered by 12 demons who grant him the power he desires by aiding his prefecture’s growth, but at a price. When Kagemitsu’s first son is born, the boy has no limbs, no nose, no eyes, no ears, nor even skin—yet still, he lives.
This child is disposed of in a river and forgotten. But as luck would have it, he is saved by a medicine man who provides him with prosthetics and weapons, allowing for him to survive and fend for himself. The boy lives and grows, and although he cannot see, hear, or feel anything, he must defeat the demons that took him as a sacrifice. With the death of each one, he regains a part of himself that is rightfully his. For many years he wanders alone, until one day an orphan boy, Dororo, befriends him. The unlikely pair of castaways now fight for their survival and humanity in an unforgiving, demon-infested world.
- There’s the theme of revenge born from the beginning. The episodic structure (as some fans dubs it as ‘monster of the week’) is a typical style of storytelling for this show
- Whether it’s about personal relationships or just surviving, this anime makes it clear that it’s not an easy world to be in. There’s carnage with gory content as the show establishes itself as a dark fantasy
- MAPPA did a fantastic job of bringing this classic series to life with its beautiful soft color palette, well-drawn characters designs, and splendid background secretly that is filled with attention to detail
In this article, we have introduced a number of works produced by MAPPA. From original works to working with other studios, their meticulous workmanship can be clearly seen in their works.
The charm of MAPPA’s works is their original works that are innovative yet enjoyable. Let’s continue to pay attention to the many MAPPA works that will lead the animation industry in the future.
Be sure to keep checking back on our site for more great anime recommendations!