WHITE FOX is a Japanese animation studio founded by Gaku Iwasa in April 2007. They spun out of OLM, an animation studio known for the dark fantasy hit Berserk as much as they are for the world renowned Pokémon series. WHITE FOX made its biggest splash with just its third series, Steins;Gate, in 2011. They’ve continued producing solid work at a steady output every year since. In fact, 2018 may be their biggest year yet with their biggest release schedule since they opened. They’re set to release two new television series (one currently on-air), an OVA, and two new movies.
Despite being open for just over a decade, WHITE FOX have an incredible selection of anime worthy of any fan’s attention. Furthermore, they have continued to build on their previous success with improved sequels and spin-offs. Without further ado, here are our selections for the Top 10 Anime Made by WHITE FOX.
10. Soushin Shoujo Matoi (Matoi the Sacred Slayer)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Oct. 2016 – Dec. 2016
Matoi Sumeragi was separated from her mother as a child and grew up in the care of her paternal grandparents. Recently, Matoi began living with her father, a police detective. One day, while returning home from school with Yuma Kusanagi, her friend and co-worker at a shrine, they discover the shrine destroyed and Yuma’s parents succumbing to their wounds. Shingo, Matoi’s father, is able to find the only witness to the scene, but the witness isn’t entirely stable. While Yuma attempts to perform an exorcism on the man, it’s Matoi who is chosen to have the power of a god. Despite Matoi’s preference for a normal life, she now has the responsibility to banish evil spirits called Nights and keep her world safe.
Matoi the Sacred Slayer is WHITE FOX’s first and only original work. While the girls of Matoi the Sacred Slayer are called exorcism girls, it really is just another term for magical girls. This series brings together everything you might expect from a magical girl series and combines it with the great animation WHITE FOX have become known for over the years. It’s just another example of how WHITE FOX has proven they can handle material ranging from light to dark and adjust accordingly.
9. Zero kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho (Grimoire of Zero)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Apr. 2017 – Jun. 2017
Beastfallen are creatures that are half-man and half-beast, they are discriminated against for their appearance, and often suffer abuse. Mercenary, one of the Beastfallen, seeks to become a human and dreams of opening a tavern. A chance encounter with a witch called Zero may see his wish granted. In exchange for protection, Zero promises to turn Mercenary human if he is able to escort her while she searches for a magical tome called the Grimoire of Zero; it’s a book capable of terrible things in the wrong hands.
Based on a light novel of the same name, Grimoire of Zero is WHITE FOX’s 14th series and marks the ten-year anniversary of their founding. Grimoire of Zero is everything you’ve come to expect out of a WHITE FOX series. Tonally, it first feels like a lighthearted fantasy series, but as we get deeper into the plot, Grimoire of Zero gets increasingly darker and deals with tougher topics. Of course, you should also stick around for the adorable relationship that develops between the titular Zero and the nameless Mercenary across their travels.
8. Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen (Utawarerumono: The False Faces)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Oct. 2015 – Mar. 2016
Hakuoro wakes up in a new world with no memories of his past. He is found by a girl named Eruru and brought back to her family. Hakuoro discovers that the empire in which the village belongs has been oppressing its people. After tragedy strikes the family that took Hakuoro in, he can no longer stand aside while those around him suffer. Alongside Eruru and Aruru, her little sister, Hakuoro will lead a rebellion against the emperor to end his oppressive rule.
Utawarerumono is based on a game that is both a tactical role-playing game and a visual novel. Those origins are apparent by the way the anime is structured. Utawarerumono has a large, vibrant cast of characters that Hakuoro encounters throughout the 25 episode run. At the same time, Hakuoro’s responsibilities grow increasingly larger as he manages his own army and deals with a variety of large-scale conflicts. Utawarerumono shares roots with WHITE FOX’s first anime Tears to Tiara, both of them are anime adapted from adult tactical role-playing games made by Leaf, a visual novel studio.
7. Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka?? (Is the Order a Rabbit??)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Oct. 2015 – Dec. 2015
Cocoa Hoto is back in the sequel to Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka??, along with her co-workers at Rabbit House. Much like in season one, season two is all about life at Rabbit House, but this time the secondary characters get an even greater spotlight on their lives and how they all came together.
WHITE FOX continue delivering the slice of life goods with Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka??. If you were hoping to learn more about the other adorable characters of this series then the sequel delivers aplenty in that regard. Despite the mundane nature of the plot, WHITE FOX also makes sure to deliver on the unexpected moments of sakuga that made season one special.
6. Jormungand: Perfect Order
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Oct. 2012 – Dec. 2012
Jormungand is Koko Hekmatyar’s plan for world peace. Koko is an arms dealer and the head of the Europe/Africa Weapons Transport Division, a branch of her father’s shipping business. Koko, along with her nine bodyguards, promote world peace by making sure each side of any war is fully equipped should they meet her price. Jonah is the newest member of her team of bodyguards; he’s a child soldier who opposes war. Jormungand: Perfect Order continues to follow Koko as she travels the world seeking to complete her secret master plan for world peace.
Jormungand: Perfect Order is the follow-up to Jormungand and was released the same year as the original. Jormungand continues offering a perfect blend of badass fighters, in the form of Koko’s mercenaries, with the tactical ingenuity of Koko. The stakes are further ramped up in the sequel thanks to Koko closing in on realizing Jormungand, her ultimate plan, and Jonah having to decide between his values and her plan.
5. Hataraku Maou-sama! (The Devil is a Part-Timer!)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Apr. 2013 – Jun. 2013
Satan and Alciel, his loyal general, are forced to escape their world through a portal when they are defeated by the hero Emilia Justina and the united army behind her. They end up nearly powerless in Japan where they take on the names of Sadao Maou and Shirou Ashiya, respectively. Sadao begins working part-time at a fast food restaurant while Ashiya tries to figure out a way for them to regain their powers. Emilia isn’t too far behind, and she is intent on finishing the job, but without magic, she is also forced to work to secure her livelihood.
The Devil is a Part-Timer! is another light-hearted comedy series in WHITE FOX’s catalogue. Although it’s a gag-heavy series, WHITE FOX goes all out for the many battles Sadao must fight in order to protect the people he’s come to care about. Those battles are a treat, but it’s the way Sadao, Ashiya, Emi, Sadao’s co-worker Chiho, and the rest of the expanding cast all play off each other and interact that makes The Devil is a Part-Timer! a great series.
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jan. 2010 – Dec. 2010
There are twelve swords which when possessed allow the wielder to overcome armies. Togame, the shogunate’s strategist, has the task of recovering those twelve swords. She has already been betrayed twice when she hired a ninja clan and a swordsman to recover the twelve swords for her, so now she turns to Shichika Yasuri. Shichika practices the swordless art called Kyotouryuu, and lives on an isolated island with Nanami, his sister. Togame and Shichika will embark on a journey to recover all twelve swords, and Shichika will put his bladeless style against the finest swordsmen in Japan.
Katanagatari is only the second series made by WHITE FOX. It has a unique art style, each of its twelve episodes lasts 45 minutes, and were released once a month across 2010. Katanagatari is a true epic featuring a romance between Shichika and Togame, some of the greatest fight scenes you’ll ever see, and tragedy waiting at every corner.
3. Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou (Girls’ Last Tour)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Oct. 2017 – Dec. 2017
Chito and Yuuri wander a post-apocalyptic mega-city in search of oil for their Kettenkrad and food for their stomachs. They don’t have any purpose outside of heading to the top of the city in search of, well, they’re not quite sure. Truthfully, their lives are hopeless, but with each other by their side, they’re capable of finding some measure of happiness in their day-to-day lives.
Girls’ Last Tour’s cutesy character design contrasts heavily with the somber environment, but the melding of contradicting elements is a core part of what WHITE FOX does best. Girls’ Last Tour feels very much like a slice of life, but we’re well aware that Chito and Yuuri are struggling just to survive the day. It has a minimal cast and you can count the number of characters on your two hands. Slice of life series tend to be warm, but the mere idea of two girls struggling to survive in that environment will leave you unsettled even when Chito and Yuuri are overcoming their tragic circumstances.
2. Re:Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu (Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World-)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Apr. 2016 – Sep. 2016
Subaru Natsuki, a regular high-school boy, is transported to a fantasy world. He quickly discovers that things aren’t turning out the way they do in the games he plays and the manga he reads. He isn’t the chosen one, and he isn’t particularly gifted. He’s saved from a beatdown at the hands of three thugs by a girl named Emilia. In exchange, Subaru helps Emilia recover her stolen insignia. They find the place where her insignia was meant to be sold, but are both killed before they realize what’s happening to them. Subaru wakes up earlier that day and discovers he’s the only one with memories of what happened. This ability is called “Return by Death” and in order to move forward in time, Subaru will have to find a way to overcome the obstacles standing in his way.
Re:ZERO teases being your standard portal fantasy, much as Subaru expects it to be, but is far from it. It’s half-romance, half-psychological thriller, and will have you both sympathizing and pulling away from him. Subaru and the people around him will die repeatedly in his increasingly desperate attempts to figure out how to move forward. Re:ZERO doesn’t just get dark like a lot of WHITE FOX series, it starts dark and keeps getting darker. If you haven’t checked out Re:ZERO yet, prepare to have your breath taken away with every episode you finish.
1. Steins;Gate 0
- Episodes: ??
- Aired: Apr. 2018 – Ongoing
Rintarou Okabe discovered the secret to time travel, and that knowledge came with consequences when his friend Mayuri is killed. He travels back in time repeatedly to prevent Mayuri’s death, and while he succeeds, it results in the death of Makise Kurisu, another one of his friends. Her death doesn’t only pain Okabe, but also plays a part in a future World War 3. While he attempts to move past his life as a scientist, a meeting with two of Kurisu’s colleagues leads him to helping them out with an AI they’ve been working on called Amadeus. Amadeus has stored the memories of Kurisu to create an AI version of her and Okabe’s rekindled relationship with AI Kurisu will open old wounds he’d tried to forget.
Steins;Gate is the series that put WHITE FOX on the map. Based on the visual novel of the same name, the time travel thriller is largely regarded as one of the finest anime out there. This year, WHITE FOX released Steins;Gate 0, an alternative take on the original story. The original Steins;Gate was already a psychological thriller, but Steins;Gate 0 goes even deeper down that route, particularly with the tragic premise. If you enjoyed the original Steins;Gate, then you’re probably already checking this one out, and if you haven’t watched it yet, then we urge you to watch both of these iconic shows.
WHITE FOX has been around for just over a decade but it’s already a studio strongly associated with quality. WHITE FOX’s shows tend to blend ideas that are tonally opposites and emerges with something that few studios have done before, if ever. Furthermore, you’re just about guaranteed to have some great animation sequences in every one of their offerings. WHITE FOX is only getting bigger with two Peacemaker Kurogane movies coming out this year, their on-going Steins;Gate 0 series, and the hotly anticipated adaptation of the Goblin Slayer manga. Even if you get through this list, you’ll undoubtedly have more awesome anime from WHITE FOX to check out once you’re through.
Despite being a newcomer in the anime industry, WHITE FOX has managed to make quite a name for itself since it’s founding in 2007. It’s modest back catalogue features several strong entries, some of which have been hailed as anime classics.
WHITE FOX grew out of OLM., Inc., an animation studio probably best known for giving us the Pokémon anime adaption. In fact, WHITE FOX has also been primarily occupied with adaption during it’s brief existence, and all of the eleven anime produced by the company are adapted from manga, video games or light novels, with no original anime released so far.
The studio has gained a reputation for making solid series, which probably reflect a decision to opt for quality over quantity, and have also been noted for good animators and use of Sakuga (moments where no corners are cut and every single frame is animated).
In terms of financial success they’ve had a few box-office bombs, namely Katanagatari and Akame ga Kill, but nearly all of their series has been well-received by critics and fans alike. The themes of their anime ranges from comedy to adventure to sci-fi – they even produced a short video for the Japanese Space Agency.
Though not as well known as other studios, you’re definitely familiar with some of the names on this list: let’s take a look at the top anime by WHITE FOX!
- Episodes: 4
- Aired: Dec 2014
The anime follows Koyomi who has always bee avoiding reality, until one day, has no choice but to face the facts of life.The months go bye, college exams are fast approaching and on top of that, her body begins to change that cannot be overlooked. This begins the story of one girls youth as an oddity is taking place in the modern world!
The fact that a company like Shaft, whose trademark is crisp-clear, stunning visuals, is willing to let White Fox handle the second key animation on one of it’s most beloved franchises, says a lot about WHITE FOX’s standing in the anime community.
Tsukimonogatari is the fourth installment in the much-beloved Monogatari franchise directed by Shinbou Akiyuki, and is one of many examples showcasing WHITE FOX’s second key animation skills (another being the same series previous entry, Bakemonogatari).
9. Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki (Wolf Children: Ame & Yuki)
- Episodes: 1 (movie)
- Aired: Jun 2012
Even though WHITE FOX probably played a minor role in this 2012 production, it was responsible for in-between animation alongside major studios such as MADHOUSE, with Studio Chizu, GAINAX and Toei Animation doing the main animation production.
A story about a student that falls in love with a ‘wolf man’, and birth two half breed children with the female student having to struggle to take care of the kids after the wolf man dies one day. Wolf Children was met with almost universal critical acclaim, and although you might not be able to spot any traces of WHITE FOX’s involvement, it is another good example of how the studio is involved in big productions, in which it might come to play the main role in the future.
8. Tears to Tiara
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Apr 2009 - Sep 2009
This is anime takes place in a world that resembles the middle-ages, where a girl is scheduled to be sacrificed to appease the demon lord of the land, Arawn. The girls brother makes an attempt to rescue her, Arawn resurrects and frees the girl from the people holding her captive, solely on the fact that they resurrected him, which he despises. Now, Arawn admires the girl and the soon find their way taking part in an adventure group with Arawn as the leader.
Tears to Tiara was WHITE FOX’s first anime production, released two years after the founding of the company, and was also the first collaboration between WHITE FOX and director Kobayashi Tomoki, who would later become closely associated with the studio.
Based on a Windows adult tactical role-playing game from 2005, the series features a Middle-ages fantasy setting and a soundtrack by renowned composer Hattori Takayuki. It was generally well-received, and marked the start of WHITE FOX’s so far short career.
7. SoniAni: Super Sonico The Animation
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jan 2014 - Mar 2014
Sonico is a girl who wakes up every morning to huge ideas and a bright future for herself, until she realizes the reality she is in and is then focus what is in front her for the day. Which is a good since she stay positive and works hard to stay in the game of her very busy life. Although, when she begins to be over worked, things tend to get out of hand, but her friends are there to save the day with lsome positive vibes!
Super Sonico was originally created as a mascot for a music festival sponsored by the visual computer software company Nitroplus, who also developed the Steins;Gate visual novel. Characterized by her curvaceous body and pink hair, the eighteen-year old unsurprisingly plays guitar in her own band, First Astronomical Velocity, as well as appearing a gravure idol.
The choice of WHITE FOX (or, alternatively, WHITE FOX’s choice) to direct the anime adaption of the light-hearted SoniAni franchise surprised some, as the studio had mostly been associated with ‘deeper’ and ’cleverer’ anime like Katanagatari and Steins;Gate, but it was eventually praised as a faithful depiction of Super Sonico’s daily life.
6. Akame ga Kill!
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: July 2014 to December 2014
Tatsumi has ambitions of succeeding in life in order to provide for his starving village. He and two friends from the village set out to the Capital to do just that. After being separated along the way, Tatsumi finds out the Capital isn't as glorious as people make it to be. He quickly sees the corruption that exists in the city and becomes victim of said corruption.
Not only does he finds out his friends weren't so lucky, they were killed by those who influence corruption. An assassination group seeks atonement for the corrupt and recruit Tatsumi in the process. This begins the adventure of fighting against corruption and avenging those who have suffered.
Even though it was controversial with some fans of the 2010 manga, the anime adaption of Akame ga Kill! was praised for it’s high production value, which has become somewhat of a trademark of WHITE FOX animation.
Director Kobayashi Tomoki, who also directed another WHITE FOX anime, Tears to Tiara, puts the tale of a group of assassins fight against the corrupted kingdom they live in to the screen with great precision, giving a brutal portrayal that still manages to shy away from more blatant violence.
5. Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka?
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Apr 2014 - Jun 2014
Cocoa arrives at the Rabbit House cafe one day (yes you guessed it, there are rabbits), to live and meet new people, which includes a tiny girl named Chino, tough girl, Rize, Sci-fi girl, Chiyo, and straight edge girl, Sharo.
Every self-respecting anime studio needs at least one slice-of-life packed with cute, wide-eyed girls with different hair colors, and Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka? is WHITE FOX’s take on this genre. The story revolves around a group of teenagers working at Rabbit House café, with the characters all named after different kinds of coffee and tea.
It’s raison d’etre is fundamentally different from that of most of the other entries on this list, but while it may not break any new ground, it delivered the goods as promised, offering the aforementioned cute girls, a cozy setting and a fair share of innocent comedy.
4. Hataraku Maou-sama!
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Apr 2013 - Jun 2013
Hataraku Maou-sama! is probably the funniest entry in the WHITE FOX catalogue, with a lighter tone than some of the other anime on this list, perhaps due to the fact that is was written by Masahiro Yokotani, who also worked on Toradora! and Maria†Holic.
The prince of darkness (Satan, that is) suffers a staggering defeat in his own kingdom, prompting him to leave him to leave his dimension and travel to earth, where he and his Demon general Alciel has to adjust to one of the of the most difficult situation: life in modern Tokyo, Japan. The hero that defeated Satan follows him to earth, and under these new circumstances their relationship changes significantly.
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Apr 2012 - Jun 2012
Jormungand follows a ruthless individual who is an arms dealer on a chaotic quest for peace. World peace! Also following a child raised as a soldier in this chaotic world, their lives cross as they journey through the lands together in the underground world of the arms market, the black market. They search for peace as well as those responsible for the death of the child soldiers family.
Jormungand, which shares a few similarities with the Black Lagoon franchise, is about an arms dealer Hekmatyar Koko’s paradoxical quest for peace on earth, and child soldier Jonah, who joins her team.
WHITE FOX employed the talented screenwriter Kuroda Yosuke (Please Teacher!, Mobile Suit Gundam 00) to write this action-adventure, resulting in an interesting story that offers both satisfying action as well as thoughts on more serious issues such as the politics of war and peace. WHITE FOX’s venture into the action genre proved a successful one, for action anime, look no further.
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Apr 2011 - Sep 2011
In a twist somewhat resembling that of 2004’s indie sci-fi Primer, a team headed by a self-proclaimed ‘mad scientist’ named Okabe accidentally discover a time machine that allows them to send text messages to the past, which of course has profound consequences. Oblivious of the consequences of their actions, Rintaro and his friends end up creating modifications of grievous proportions. He must then try to find a way to return as close as possible to the original timeline in order to save his precious lab members.
Originally a visual novel for the Xbox 360, in terms of genre Steins;gate mixes thriller with sci-fi, and also features a significant love-story. It has been noticed for it’s exiting story and memorable characters, and is often cited as one of the best thriller anime made. No wonder why Stein;gate remains WHITE FOX’s biggest commercial success, and also is also held in high regard by fans.
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jan 2010 - Dec 2010
The title, ‘Katanagatari’, couldn’t have better choice for the series.. It translates to ‘Sword Story’, which is exactly what it’s about: an epic adventure to collect 12 legendary swords. The anime revolves around military strategist Togame’s quest to avenge her father, for the sake of which she partners up with sword-less swordsman Yasuri Shichika, setting out on a long journey filled with action, comedy, and also a fair share of tragedy.
Katanagatari was adapted from a light novel series written by Nisio Isin, who some might recognize as the author of another superb anime, Bakemonogatari. Director Keitaro Motonaga, who also directed the aforementioned Jormungand, manages to create a beautifully animated adventure with fascinating characters and brilliant pacing – the unusual long episodes reflects the epic ambitions of Katanagatari, which it manages to live up to.
Despite the fact that is was somewhat of a box-office bomb for WHITE FOX, it has later been described as one of the best anime created in recent years. Part period piece and samurai adventure, part love story, Katanagatari is arguably WHITE FOX’s finest.
Utawarerumono Itsuwari no Kamen
WHITE FOX is still a growing anime studio, and there’s surely going to be a lot of high-quality anime coming from them in the future (might we even dare to hope for an original anime?).
A new anime adaption of the fantasy franchise Utawarerumono and a sequel to Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka? are both scheduled to be released October this year, and a follow-up to Steins;gate has also been announced, something we all should be looking forward to.