When we talk about anime studios, MAPPA is the new kid on the block compared to the big names like Toei Animation, Sunrise, and Madhouse. It was cooked up by Maruyama Masao in 2011, and he’s a bit of a legend in the anime world thanks to his roots in Madhouse.
Surprisingly (or maybe not), MAPPA has made a splash quickly. Maruyama knows the ropes, and that’s probably why MAPPA is moving full steam ahead.
Now, what’s MAPPA’s game plan? They want to jazz up anime with fresh ideas from younger directors. They’re all about connecting with today’s anime fans. And hey, they’re not afraid to bring in seasoned directors like Shinichiro Watanabe, who has a track record.
So, if you’re looking for some top-notch anime from MAPPA, here’s the lowdown:
1. Sakamichi no Apollon (Kids on the Slope)
- Episode 12
- Genres: Drama, Romance, Music, School, Josei
Imagine the magic when director Shinichiro Watanabe, composer Yoko Kanno, and studio MAPPA join forces. The result? It’s a potential masterpiece.
Yoko Kanno, the musical genius in the realm of Jazz, brings her expertise to the table. Shinichiro, known for weaving Jazz into the iconic “Cowboy Bebop,” teams up for an anime that might make Jazz cool all over again.
Enter “Sakamichi no Apollon.” Meet Kaoru Nishimi, a perpetual nomad who struggles to make friends due to his constant moving. When he lands in Kyushu for high school, he’s not holding out much hope for a social life.
Cue the entrance of Sentaro Kawabuchi, a playful drummer who introduces Kaoru to the enchanting world of Jazz. Inspired, Kaoru dives into Jazz piano solo sessions and eventually joins the after-school Jazz club.
“Sakamichi no Apollon” unfolds the tale of a shy boy breaking out of his shell, fueled by the camaraderie of friends and the pursuit of greatness.
2. Terror in Resonance
- Episode 11
- Genres: Mystery, Psychological, Suspense
Picture this: the entire nation is on edge after a terror attack rocks a super-secure nuclear spot. No one knows who’s behind it, leaving everyone in the dark. But then, a weird video pops up online, starring two masked boys challenging the police openly.
The city erupts in chaos after the video goes viral. People start evacuating, and the police are playing catch-up to nab these masked troublemakers.
Welcome to “Zankyou no Terror,” another brainchild of Shinichiro Watanabe and a top-tier anime from the wizards at MAPPA.
3. In This Corner of the World
- Episode 1 Movie
- Genres Drama, Historical, Seinen
“In This Corner of the World” is a true hidden gem in the anime movie world. It might not have made as much noise, partly because it shared the stage with heavy hitters like “Your Name” and “A Silent Voice.”
Now, brace yourself for the feels. The first part of this emotionally charged film walks us through the life of Suzu, a young girl navigating the hardships of World War II.
But wait, there’s more heartbreak. The second half delves into Suzu and her village folks fighting tooth and nail for survival after their homes and lands get wiped off the map.
“In This Corner of the World” is a MAPPA Studio creation that might not be as famous, but it’s a tearjerker that packs a punch.
4. Yuri!!! on Ice
- Episode 12
- Genres: Drama, Sport, Romance
Let’s talk about Yuri!!! On Ice. It’s officially in the sports anime league, but what sets it on fire is the romantic twist among its characters.
Yuri Katsuki, a pro figure skater who hits a rough patch after a big tournament loss, is considering hanging up his skates. Enter Victor Nikiforov, another figure skater. He catches wind of Yuri’s viral video, sees the talent, and decides to take a break from his skating journey to coach Yuri.
Sure, the main storyline has its share of thrills and a touch of the usual drama, but what steals the show are the side stories. These dive into the mature portrayal of the romantic relationship between Victor and Yuri, adding that extra layer.
This MAPPA creation serves up some stunning visuals, especially during the figure skating scenes, and hits the right notes with its soulful soundtrack. It’s a blend of sports, romance, and visual delight that hooked fans!
- Episode 12, 12
- Genres Drama, Psychological, School, Shounen
Welcome to Hyakkaou Academy, where normal school rules don’t cut it. This elite institution is a whole different ball game, catering exclusively to the offspring of royalty.
But here’s the twist – instead of textbooks and quizzes, this school’s all about gambling. Yep, you heard it right. They’re prepping these students for the real world, Kakegurui style.
While most kids are rolling the dice to score better grades, along comes a new girl. But she’s not here for the usual academic hustle. Nope, she’s got a gambling itch that’s shaking things up, even challenging the top dogs of the school.
Kakegurui isn’t your typical school drama. It’s a rollercoaster of thrills, a touch of sexy, and a story that’ll get you hooked. Get ready to dive into the wild world of high-stakes games and school politics!
- Episode 11
- Genres Action, Drama, Psychological, Seinen
Meet Inuyashiki, a 50-year-old dude who looks like he’s pushing 70. His family gives him the cold shoulder; even his coworkers don’t throw him a bone. Life takes a nosedive when cancer joins the party, and not a single family member bats an eye.
Feeling like a ghost, Inuyashiki strolls into an open field, unleashing a waterfall of tears. Out of the blue, an alien ship crash-lands on him and zaps him to kingdom come. To make things right, the alien feels guilty and turns Inuyashiki into a cyborg with a whole arsenal of weapons.
Now, Inuyashiki’s not your average Joe anymore. He’s a cyborg powerhouse. And guess what? He uses his newfound powers to be a hero for those in a tight spot. But here’s the kicker – he’s not the only one with supercharged abilities.
Inuyashiki, brought to you by the awesome MAPPA studio, is an action-packed anime that shakes things up with a unique take on heroism. The story’s cooked up from the same brain behind Gantz, so buckle up for some mind-blowing action and maybe a sprinkle of gore.
7. Banana Fish
- Episode 24
- Genres Action, Adventure, Drama, Shoujo
Banana Fish is a gem of a one-season anime that takes a lot of inspiration from not just its manga but also the crime thrillers of the 1990s.
The story’s heart revolves around the strong friendship between gang leader Ash Lynx and journalist Max Lobo. This duo packs an emotional punch, and the plot spices things up with a mind-control conspiracy linked to the Iraq War, adding that extra thrill.
Even though the anime was in the 2010s, the manga is based on hails from the 1980s. So, you’ve got these throwback vibes in the references and visuals, giving Banana Fish a classic touch in today’s crime thriller scene.
- Episode 24
- Genres Action, Adventure, Supernatural, Historical, Shounen
Dororo tells the thrilling story of a young wandering samurai called Hyakkimaru and a scrappy orphan named Dororo. The classic manga has a dark supernatural twist, though – demons stole Hyakkimaru’s body parts at birth! So now my dude’s on a quest to take back what those nasty monsters snatched away.
The recent Dororo anime adaptation keeps the grisly action of Hyakkimaru slashing those creepy demons to slowly regain his stolen arms, legs, sight, and more. But it also takes the artistic license to change parts of the original manga’s plot and characters.
Overall, it’s a solid fantasy thriller with dope sword fights and monsters, bringing some heavier themes around identity and purpose. Beyond hunting body parts, my man Hyakkimaru searches for his humanity and place in the world after his freaky demon deal.
Little bro Dororo makes for a lively sidekick who counters all that dark drama with some plucky humor and heart. The two make quite the quirky pair!
9. Jujutsu Kaisen
- Episode 24
- Genres Action, Fantasy, Supernatural, Shounen
A shonen anime with elements of dark fantasy and adventure, Jujutsu Kaisen has gathered a lot of fans despite debuting recently.
The story mainly shadows high schooler Yuji Itadori and his wild escapades after he signs up with the undercover squad of Jujutsu Witches. Their mission?
Take down these seriously nasty Curses. Oh, and here’s the twist—Yuji has some evil monsters he can boss around.
Now, what makes Jujutsu Kaisen stand out?
Well, it skips the usual shonen playbook and throws in a bunch of crazy humor. Plus, it nods to classic shonen legends like Bleach and Naruto. It’s a rollercoaster of dark, laughs, and serious shonen vibes.
10. Attack on Titan: The Final Season
- Episode 16 (Part 1), 10 (Part 2)
- Genres Action, Drama, Survival, Shounen
Here’s the scoop: Wit Studio rocked the first three seasons, but MAPPA took the reins when it came to the grand finale.
As the series has always promised, the final season dives deep into the post-apocalyptic showdown between humans and Titans. But what sets it apart is the thoughtful twist. See, it’s not just your typical dark fantasy and sci-fi anime.
Attack on Titan brings a whole new level with its characters. They’re like onions—you peel back layers as they unravel their origins and history on each mission. It’s a wild ride!
- Episode 12
- Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Horror, Seinen
The story revolves around Kaiman, who doesn’t remember who he was before a Magic user transformed him. This transformation gives him the head of a reptile and a desire to discover the truth about who he is.
Accompanied by his female friend Nikaido, he tracks down Magic Users in “The Hole” and matter-of-factly slaughters anyone who gets in his way, hoping to find out who put him in this state.
12. Chainsaw Man
- Episode 12
- Genres: Action, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
Let’s dive into the latest Fall 2022 anime from Studio MAPPA. They’ve taken a crack at adapting the super-popular shonen manga by Tatsuki Fujimoto.
Meet Denji, a teenage guy sharing his life with a Chainsaw Devil buddy named Pochita. Thanks to a hefty debt from his dad, Benji’s stuck in a tough spot. His days involve paying off that debt by taking out demon baddies with Pochita.
- Best Anime by Studio Bones
- Best Anime By Ufotable Studio
- Best Anime By CloverWorks Studio
- Best Anime By Production IG
Now, here’s where things get wild. Denji gets betrayed and bites the dust. But wait, there’s a twist! His consciousness aligns with Pochita, and he comes back to life as “Chainsaw Man.” Yeah, the name fits.
So, if you’re into anime that packs a punch, these MAPPA recommendations are a must-watch. Don’t miss out!