Bones was founded by three members of Sunrise studio members in 1998. Starting with a bang, the studio’s first work was a collaboration with Sunrise’s Cowboy Bebop movie. Despite being a relatively new studio, they’re responsible for some of the most popular works of anime of the last 15 years, including Full Metal Alchemist and Eureka Seven.
Here’s another top 10 which looks at the works of anime which were most important in getting Bones to where it is today. As usual it’s only anime made by Bones as the prime contractors. To start us off is Tokyo Magnitude 8.0!
10. Tokyo Magnitude 8.0
- Episodes: 11
- Aired: Jul 2009 - Sep 2009
When Mirai and her little brother Yuuki visit a robot exhibition, the last thing they expect is a huge earthquake to hit the city. The two children meet a delivery woman called Mari, and slowly make their way home through the destroyed city. What follows is a heartfelt coming of age journey.
Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 is an experimental piece from Bones. Though not a massive commercial hit, it’s an engaging piece that shows anime doesn’t have to be all super-transformations and mecha suits. It was a critical success, and is similar to Studio Ghibli pieces which portray real-life situations with a hint of magic realism.
9. Akagami no Shirayuki-hime (Snow White with the Red Hair )
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jul 2015 (ongoing)
When forced to become the concubine of the foolish Price Raiji, Shirayuki cuts her hair and flees the land. On the way she meets Prince Zen, and follows him and his aides to the neighbouring kingdom of Clarines. In the meantime, Raij sends his henchmen to retrieve Shirayuki. The story follows Shirayuki as she attempts to make a new life in Clarines.
Based on a popular shoujo manga, Snow White with the Red Hair is a fun and fresh series from Bones which is currently airing. Shirayuki is similar to other strong-willed female leads like Yona from Akatsuki no Yona, and features another of Bones killer displays of artwork. The first season has been pretty popular, and a second season has already been announced for next year!
8. Space Dandy
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Jan 2014 - Mar 2014
Space Dandy is the story of Dandy (you might have guessed it), an alien hunter who tries to discover new alien species for huge rewards. Join Dandy, his robot assistant QT and the cat-like alien Meow, for the wacky adventures of the best-dressed-space-adventurer out there!
Space Dandy is director Shinichiro Watanabe’s return to science fiction. This created insane hype for this Bones production, though in the end it didn’t rival the popularity of Cowboy Bebop. For Bones Space Dandy was something fun and fresh, and spawned a manga adaptation and a second season.
7. Ouran Koukou Host Club
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Apr 2006 - Sep 2006
Fujioka Haruhi is a scholarship student who feels a little out of place amongst the rich elite students at Ouran Academy. After accidentally breaking an expensive vase belonging to the Ouran Academy Host Club, Haruhi is forced to dress as a man and entertain female clients to work off her debt. What follows is a hilariously perverted high school riot!
Ouran Koukou is a parody snapshot of otaku culture. If you haven’t seen it you’ll probably have heard of it, as it’s one of the most popular high school anime out there. For Bones this was their entry into an already extensive franchise, with the anime taking its place among the manga, live-action show, and live-action movie.
6. Soul Eater
- Episodes: 51
- Aired: Apr 2008 - Mar 2009
Set in Death City, Soul Eater follows three groups within the Death Weapon Meister Academy. Each group consists of a weapon meister and a human weapon, trying to collect the souls of 99 evil humans and one witch, allowing them to transform the human into a powerful Death Weapon. Soul Eater takes place as the characters study and defend Death City from powerful supernatural creatures.
Soul Eater is a shounen which has a really cool vibe to it; the animation is stylish, and the characters are fun and wacky. It’s another of Bones’ most well-known anime, and was popular in Japan and abroad. The original run was followed by a second adaptation called Soul Eater Not! though it wasn’t as well received.
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Jan 2002 - Sep 2002
Tokyo is the last bastion of humanity, and home to 17 year old Ayato Mishima. When the alien civilization knowns as Mu attack, he comes into contact with TERRA, an organisation intent on protecting humanity from the invaders. It soon becomes clear to Ayato that all he knows isn’t as it seems, especially when he finds out that he is somehow the only one who can control the giant robot known as RahXephon.
RahXephon is often called the “better” version of Evangelion, and shares a lot of themes. At its heart is a teenager who’s forced to make tough decisions for the sake of the world, while holding on to their own humanity. RahXephon was incredibly popular in Japan and overseas, and was followed by an OVA and a movie, both made by Bones.
4. Wolf’s Rain
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Jan 2003 - Jul 2003
At the end of the world Paradise will open, but only wolves can find it. As the end of the world draws near, it’s thought that wolves have been hunted to extinction. A pack of wolves posing as humans are inexplicably drawn together, and they set out into an unforgiving world on an epic journey to find Paradise.
Wolf’s Rain pushed the boundaries of anime, as one of a handful of anime which feature animals as main characters. Wolf’s Rain has the hallmarks of Bones’ best anime; unique artwork, superb characters, and a rousing soundtrack. In this case it’s Yoko Kanno who’s taking us for this emotional journey. Wolf’s Rain was a critical success for Bones, and also spawned a manga release, though this itself was nowhere near as successful as the anime.
3. Darker than Black
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Apr 2007 - Sep 2007
Darker than Black follows two “Contractors” called Hei and Yin. After the appearance of Hell’s Gate ten years ago, the duo, like many others, manifested psychic powers. Though they are kept secret by the world’s governments, Contractors are sought out by organisations worldwide to perform tasks which no ordinary human can.
The interesting feature of Darker than Black is the price that Contractors have to pay for their powers, whether it be eating a certain food or writing a poem! One of Bones’ most well known anime, Darker than Black is another showcase of the studio at its best. It featured another soundtrack composed by the wonderful Yoko Kanno, which had a successful chart release in Japan. Darker than Black was followed by a second season and its own manga.
2. Eureka Seven
- Episodes: 50
- Aired: Apr 2005 - Apr 2006
Renton Thurston is a dreamer, obsessed with joining the anti-establishment group Gekkostate. Led by the charasmatic Holland, Gekkostate fight against the government in LFOs, giant robot suits which can fly by harnessing energy waves called Trapar. Gekkostate seems far beyond his reach, until a chance encounter with its most mysterious member, Eureka.
Eureka Seven is the story of Renton’s coming of age, and is packed with incredible shounen feels. One of the highlights is the LFO design, with some seriously cool customised suits duking it out in the clouds throughout the series. For Bones, the anime has lasting popularity, and spawned a manga, a movie and a second season set in an alternate timeline.
1. Fullmetal Alchemist
- Episodes: 51
- Aired: Oct 2003 - Oct 2004
Edward Elric is a talented alchemist who attempts to bring his mother back from the dead. The result is a terrible accident which takes Edward’s right arm and left leg, and leaves his brother Alphonse bound inside a suit of armour. Fullmetal Alchemist follows the story of the two brothers as they search for a way to get their bodies back.
Everybody knows about Fullmetal Alchemist! The anime was a huge success for Bones, though many fans were dissatisfied with Bones departure from the manga. That is until Bones adapted the manga again, delighting fans by following it much more closely. Not to take away from the original series, both were hugely popular, and were a massive earner for Bones, with movies, OVAs and a soundtrack being part of Bones’ FMA universe.
That’s all folks! Personally Eureka Seven is one of my favourite anime of all time. Usually as a rule I don’t watch anime over 26 episodes, but I was hooked from the get-go for one of the most emotional series I’ve ever watched! What do you think? Put your comments down below!