With the rising popularity of anime in recent years, the question of what animation studios are the best has loomed large in some fans' minds. It has been common for fans to decide what to watch each new season by following certain studios whose works they have enjoyed previously. While this isn't necessarily a surefire indicator of quality, as oftentimes different teams of animators and directors work in the same company, certain studios have shown themselves to be a cut above the rest in terms of the anime they produce.
Of course when discussing the quality of art different anime studios produce it is important to separate praising the shows themselves and the working conditions at these companies. Just because a studio makes some incredible series doesn't mean that their working conditions aren't deplorable and ranking them highly on this list by no means condones this behavior. It is unfortunate that the anime industry is at a point where that disclaimer is necessary, but hopefully, the increased scrutiny surrounding the burdens these studios place on their animators recently will lead to change in the future. With all that said, here are the 10 best anime studios in terms of the media they produce.
10 A-1 Pictures
A-1 Pictures is one of the most prolific anime studios on this list, having made many iconic series since its creation in 2005. These have included action packed shows like Sword Art Online and 86 as well as more down to earth fare like Your Lie in April and Kaguya-Sama: Love is War. However, for all these hits, they have also produced a fair share of content that has been less well received. This is why they end up at the bottom of this ranking despite how many great series they have made, a list which will only grow with projects like Fate Strange/fake and Solo Leveling on the horizon.
9 Production I.G
Production I.G is one of the older studios on this list, being around since the 1980s. They haven't released as many shows as some of the other companies on this list, but many of the ones they have produced like Haikyu!! and Psycho-Pass have been incredibly good. That being said, like with A-1 Pictures, they have had their fair share of flops like Fena: Pirate Princess and Noblesse. However, recently they have also been responsible for one of the best shows of the year Heavenly Delusion and are also animating the upcoming Kaiju No. 8 anime, which looks stunning based on the trailers released so far.
8 David Production
David Production is one of the more obscure studios on this list, but based on their most iconic works they still deserve a spot. They are the studio behind both Jojo's Bizarre Adventure and Fire Force. Through the 6 parts of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure currently animated, their evolution as a studio is clear, with the most recent seasons having some incredibly smooth animation. This season they are releasing Undead Unluck, which has so far proven their animation prowess even further.
7 Wit Studio
Wit Studio first rose to prominence through their work on the first 3 seasons of Attack on Titan, which showed that they could craft great action scenes in a stylized manner. They followed up this success with Vinland Saga, which was an excellent show done in a similar style. Their next big anime Ranking of Kings was completely different in style, but still gorgeously animated, showing that the studio has some great versatility. The only reason they aren't higher on this list is their relatively low output and their tendency to not finish shows, as they passed off both Attack on Titan and Vinland Saga to another studio before they were finished.
Madhouse is a much less active studio than it once was or else it would have actually ranked higher on this list. But having produced legendary shows like Hunter x Hunter's 2011 version and the incredible first season of One-Punch Man it definitely deserves to be here. The first season of One-Punch Man was especially impressive, with animation so good it is still talked about today. While Madhouse's production has slowed down quite a bit in recent years, it still releases new shows occasionally with its newest show Frieren: Beyond Journey's End potentially being the best anime of the year, combining a heartfelt meditation on life with stunning animation.
MAPPA is one of the newer studios on this list, at least in terms of when they rose to prominence. The studio has taken on many high profile projects like Jujutsu Kaisen and Chainsaw Man and has also claimed the unenviable task of taking over production on both Attack on Titan and Vinland Saga after Wit stopped producing them. Shows like Chainsaw Man display MAPPA's gorgeously detailed and cinematic style, which has caused it to be regarded as one of the best studios in recent years. But high profile missteps like the final season of Attack on Titan lower their standing on this list a little bit.
4 Kyoto Animation
Many of the studios on this list have earned that stop based on the merits of their action sets, but the same cannot be said for Kyoto Animation. The studio generally specializes in making cutesy and wholesome slice-of-life anime like K-On! and Nichijou. Of course, this doesn't mean they can't craft an epic fight scene, as parts of Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid have shown. The studio has also dabbled in movies, making one of the best and most emotional films of the 2010s A Silent Voice. All of this makes Kyoto Animation a titan of the industry despite its focus on more niche shows.
Bones has proven themselves to be one of the most versatile anime studios on this list, producing shows in a large variety of styles. This can include the more standard art of My Hero Academia to the more experimental style of Mob Psycho 100. No matter what art style their anime has, viewers can still be sure that they'll see some great feats of animation at some point, making some of their anime visual spectacles. And of course with the highest rated anime of all time on MyAnimeList Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood under its belt, the quality of art that the company produces is indisputable.
Unlike some of the other studios on this list, Ufotable doesn't really dabble in multiple styles or release a prolific amount of anime. But the shows it has released like Fate/Zero and Demon Slayer have been some of the best animated shows of all time. A large part of this is due to Ufotable's innovative blending of 2d and 3d animation, often in ways that casual fans might not even be able to notice. But what every viewer can notice is the incredible quality of animation that this produces, which has led Ufotable shows and movies to feature some of the best fights in the medium and easily earning this studio a high spot on this list.
1 Studio Ghibli
Studio Ghibli primarily specializes in movies unlike many of the other studios on this list, which may have made comparing them hard in regular circumstances. However, Studio Ghibli's films are so impactful and iconic that they are essentially in a league of their own, even inspiring Western movie studios like Pixar. Almost everything they have made is an emotional piece of art unlike anything else in the medium. Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, My Neighbor Totoro, and many more are must watch movies for any anime fan. These masterpieces easily make Studio Ghibli the best anime studio of all time.
As the industry changes and studios rise and fall, these rankings could easily shift. But for now, seeing that any of these studios produced an anime is a good sign that it will likely be something special. That is why these are the 10 best anime studios currently still making their art.