Kyoto Animation has emerged as one of the most beloved and influential anime studios, garnering critical acclaim for its expressive style, intricate storytelling, and exceptional visual quality.
Although the studio has been part of the anime industry since the 1980s, initially providing support, it only debuted as a self-produced anime studio with “Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu!” in 2003. The success of the Haruhi Suzumiya franchise further propelled Kyoto Animation’s popularity, solidifying its position as a prominent studio.
Yasuhiro Takemoto, an esteemed director, played a significant role in shaping the studio’s success. He joined Kyoto Animation in 1996 and dedicated most of his animation career to the studio. Takemoto, an alumnus of the Yoyogi Animation Institute, a renowned animation academy in Shibuya, Tokyo, showcased his talents through various projects. Unfortunately, his career was tragically cut short due to the devastating Kyoto Animation arson incident in 2019.
Throughout his tenure at Kyoto Animation, Takemoto helmed the creation of numerous captivating anime series. Here, we highlight ten remarkable anime produced by Yasuhiro Takemoto.
Anime Made by Yasuhiro Takemoto
1. Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu!
- Episode: 12
- Genres: Action, Comedy, School
- Show: 2003
Very different from the first season that worked on Studio Gonzo. Fumoffu! Highlighting the comedic aspect of Full Metal Panic! and focusing on the hilarious romantic tension between Sousuke Sagara and Kaname Chidori.
There are no mecha fights or political intrigue, which is the hallmark of Full Metal Panic! At the same time, there is no plot; each episode can be watched randomly, even though there are two consecutive episodes.
Although it is a spin-off, This anime is based on the original light novel. Fumoffu! He often parodies himself and anime stereotypes. The only reference to the mecha aspect of Full Metal Panic! is Bonta-kun, the amusement park mascot that Saousuke uses to disguise himself and is one of the most prominent parodies in this anime. Takemoto has also shown a flair for surreal humor.
Shoji Gatoh, author of the light novel Full Metal Panic! gets involved, and in the coming years, the duet between Takemoto and Gatoh will produce lots of interesting anime.
2. Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid
- Episode: 13
- Genres: Action, Mecha
- Show: 2005
If Fumoffu! Pure parody, then The Second Raid continues Full Metal Panic!
Sergeants Sousuke Sagara of Mithril and Kaname Chidori return to normal high school life. Sousuke continues his efforts to assimilate into the civilian population and still manages his mission on the battlefield simultaneously.
However, as their lives settle down, new problems begin to emerge. The presence of the independent terrorist organization known as Amalgam and the internal conflict within Mithril threatens to turn into a series of failures and betrayals. The new and powerful Arm Slave models further exacerbate the situation when world peace is at stake.
Amid a life-threatening battle between Kaname and Sousuke must also face their inner battle.
The visuals have improved a lot, and the animation of the action moves is so fluid. Maybe many don’t think that Kyoto Animation, now better known for its calm stories, has worked on mecha anime, and you could say it was successful. The Second Raid is in my favorite mecha anime.
3. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
- Episode: 14, 14
- Genres: Comedy, Mystery, School, Supernatural
- Show: 2006-2009
An ordinary high school student, Kyon has long given up his belief in the supernatural. Until then he meets Haruhi Suzumiya, who is very interested in supernatural things from aliens, time travelers, and espers.
Haruhi is disappointed that none of the clubs interest her. Kyon then proposes that he form his own club. From there, the SOS Brigade was formed, a club that specializes in all that is supernatural.
Kyon, along with the quiet bookworm Yuki Nagato, the shy Mikuru Asahina, and the ever-smiling Itsuki Koizumi, are recruited as members. These three are what Haruhi is looking for, even if they have to keep it a secret. The story of this anime series follows the crazy adventures this group goes through under their wacky leader, Haruhi.
The story is based on the commercially successful light novel by Nagaru Tanigawa. In writing the anime script, Gatoh was also involved. Making this adaptation just as interesting, if not more. The anime series Suzumiya Haruhi is a must-see.
4. Lucky Stars
- Episode: 24
- Genres: Comedy, School, Slice of Life
- Show: 2007
Lucky☆Star follows the daily lives of four cute high school girls: lazy otaku Konata Izumi, twins Hiiragi, Tsukasa, and Kagami, and smart and polite Miyuki Takara.
As they navigate their lives at school and beyond, they develop eccentric friendships and make hilarious observations about the world around them. Be it Japanese traditions, the subtleties of otaku culture, schools, or the correct way of preparing and eating various foods. No subject is safe from their observation.
5. Nyoron Churuya-san
- Episode: 13
- Genres: Comedy, School, Slice of Life
- Show: 2009
An anime adaptation of the 4-panel manga strip: Nyoron Churuya-san. Based on a side character in Suzumiya Haruhi: Churuya.
Churuya is a girl with a strong passion for smoked cheese. But Kyon and the others know this and take advantage of his weakness. They made him do all sorts of things with smoked cheese as a prize.
However, Churuya is unaware of this sinister plot, so she persists in her efforts for the cheese. Every day is a struggle to get to the smoked cheese he loves, but it’s much harder than he could ever imagine!
6. The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya
- Episode: 1 Movies
- genres: Comedy, Mystery, Romance, School, Supernatural
- Show: 2010
One cold Christmas day, Kyon heads to the school and SOS Brigade’s holiday celebration, only to notice that Haruhi Suzumiya appears to have disappeared.
Apart from Kyon, no one remembers Haruhi or the SOS Brigade. Mikuru Asahina was in the dark, and Itsuki Koizumi was also missing. The Literature Club, filled only by the usual quiet Yuki Nagato, was now occupying the SOS clubroom.
Suzumiya Haruhi is based on the fourth light novel in the Haruhi series set after the events of the anime series. Kyon has to deal with his whole life now turned upside down.
This is the first anime film that Takemoto has made and is a sweet ending to the Suzumiya Haruhi series.
- Episode: 22
- Genres: Mystery, School, Slice of Life
- Show: 2012
Based on the light novel series Koten-bu meaning Literature Club, Hyouka shows that normal life can be full of mysteries, whether it’s family history, amateur student films, or even the withered flowers that make up a ghost story. Hyouka is about solving mysteries, especially mysteries that are of an everyday level.
Super energy-efficient high school student Houtarou Oreki enrolls in the Classics Club at his older sister’s behest. Filled with trepidation, Oreki is drawn into an investigation into a 45-year-old mystery surrounding the club room.
8. Amagi Brilliant Park
- Episode: 13
- Genres: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, School, Slice of Life
- Show: 2014
Seiya Kanie, a bright and extremely narcissistic high school student, is forced on a date by transfer student Isuzu Sento to an amusement park called Amagi Brilliant Park.
The amusement park was disappointing and neglected, and many facilities were in disrepair. Unexpectedly, Sento brings Kanie together with Princess Latifa Fleuranza, the amusement park owner, who then asks him to become the park’s new manager. Amagi Brilliant Park has less than three months to fulfill its 500,000 guest quota, or the park will be closed for good, and a real estate company will redevelop the land.
Amagi Brilliant Park is no ordinary amusement park; many employees come from Maple Land, a world full of magic. Entrusted with the hopes and dreams of this faraway magical land, Kanie must now use her skills to bring Amagi Brilliant Park back to its feet or watch it crumble.
The anime is based on the light novel by Shoji Gatoh, which also brings back the Bonta mascot doll.
9. High Speed! Free! Starting Days
- Episode: 1 Movie
- Genres: Comedy, Drama, School, Slice of Life, Sport
- Show: 2015
High ☆ Speed!: Free! Starting Days Plunge into the past of the members of the Iwatobi Swim Club with their fellow swimmers and competitors.
Haruka Nanase and Makoto Tachibana have started middle school and must adjust to the changes that come with age. While Makoto gets along with his classmates and stays positive about swimming, Haruka struggles to make friends or join his school’s swim club, as previous problems bother him.
Distanced from her classmates and the swim club, she has difficulty deciding which club to join. Her other classmates, including Makoto, also hesitate about which club to join. After an argument leads them to join the swim club, they work to hone their skills, align their swimming styles, and mend their conflicted feelings.
10. Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid
- Episode: 13
- Genres: Comedy, Fantasy, Slice of Life
- Show: 2017
When Kobayashi opened his apartment door, a dragon head stared at him from across the balcony. The dragon immediately turned into a cute and energetic young girl. Dressed in a maid outfit, she introduced herself as Tooru.
It turns out that Kobayashi met the dragon the night before. When drunk and meet him in a mountain. Since the mystical beast has no place to live, Kobayashi offers to stay at his house. So, Tooru accepts the offer, repaying his savior’s kindness by working as his maid.
Though highly efficient at his job, the servant dragon’s methods often end up causing more trouble for Kobayashi. Moreover, Tooru bears various painful emotions and memories. Tooru’s presence eventually attracts several other mystical creatures to the Kobayashi house.