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A lot of the time when we are casual fans, several behind-the-scenes processes that go into the creation of our favourite titles. However, as time goes on, we start to recognise the entities behind the art and even begin to recognise them through the work that they put out. Anime production houses take on several projects, bringing our favourite characters to life every season – the famous J.C. Staff is no stranger to this. Having covered the top anime to come out of J.C. Staff before, we at Honey’s considered bringing fresh recommendations to the table. So if you’re a fan of J.C. Staff and just casually want to binge J.C. Staff titles, check the article below this one for ten more!
10. Selector Infected WIXOSS
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: April 2014 – June 2014
WIXOSS is a popular trading card game which has amassed quite the following, but things are not quite what they seem. Kominato Ruuko is a high schooler who quickly realises something is off about WIXOSS when she receives her first deck of cards and finds a girl trapped inside her avatar card. Ruuko soon finds others in the same situation and discovers that she has become a “Selector”, WIXOSS players who experience a special version of the game in which players can battle each other for a chance to have their deepest wish come true. However, there is a catch: being defeated three times leads to a player’s life being thrown into ruin.
Deceptively light-hearted at first, Selector Infected WIXOSS is a card game anime which closely follows the very well-lit path paved by other card game anime before it (hello, Yu-Gi-Oh!) in how it quickly develops into a dark sinewy watch with psychological elements that make it an incredibly jarring watch if you go in expecting happy times with trading cards. The contrast between the bright and peppy artistic direction and the manner in which things quickly deteriorate into full-blown pandemonium for individual characters makes it a memorable watch too.
9. Shimoneta to Iu Gainen ga Sonzai Shinai Taikutsu na Sekai (Shimoneta: A Boring World Where the Concept of Dirty Jokes Doesn’t Exist)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 2015 – September 2015
Japan has clamped down on all that is considered to be obscene through the implementation of morality laws which subdue the public. Using special collars to enforce the policy, the Japanese government has all but ensured themselves a chaste society. Okuma Tanukichi is the son of an infamous criminal known for opposing the chastity laws, and he has just entered high school and gotten involved with the student council in order to get closer to his childhood crush, the Student Council President, Nishikinomiya Anna. Okuma soon realises that the vice president, Kajou Ayame, has been leading a double life, donning a mask and assuming the identity Blue Snow, a criminal dedicated to spreading obscene material to the general public. With his father being such a notorious terrorist, Okuma soon becomes the subject of Kajou, no, of Blue Snow’s attention. He is soon dragged into her secret organisation, SOX, and forced to spread lewd material which will stir the public and allow them the chance to destabilise the society the Japanese government created. How will Okuma deal with having to support a movement which clashes with his values?
Shimoneta is hilarious because of its absurdity. From the very first scene we are shown the lengths to which the Japanese government is set to suppress the sexual curiosity of the average Japanese citizen. However, maybe there is something to be taken away from the way in which they frame sexual learnedness as an oppressed quality to which society is entitled. Maybe Shimoneta is just fun because we get to live vicariously through the main characters who dish out social justice while wearing underwear on their heads.
8. Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan (The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.)
- Episodes: 120
- Aired: July 2016 – December 2016
Saiki Kusuo has a wide range of supernatural abilities which range from telepathy to x-ray vision. Most people would consider these a major asset; however, Kusuo is adamant that his powers have only ever made his life difficult. All he wants is a normal life, but his psychic powers consistently attract strange characters who together create a whirlwind of inconveniences which further drive home Kusuo’s opinion on his abilities: a curse.
Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan is a show with individual episodes of a fairly short runtime of only 5 minutes; however, don’t think they don’t pack their fair share of wacky psychic-powered excitement! The comedy is the main attraction to this anime, as Saiki’s life continues to become entangled in wackier and wackier scenarios alongside several eccentric and humorous characters.
7. Kimi to Boku (You and Me)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: October 2011 - December 2011
Four high school boys who have known each other since they were children hang out together at school every day. The Asaba twins, Yuuki and Yuuta; the quiet Matsuoka Shun and the calm Tsukahara Kaname have grown used to a dreary, boring life; however, the entrance of half-Japanese, half-German transfer student Tachibana Chizuru might prove to be the spark which ignites the excitement in their lives again as his energetic personality and stories of life abroad breathe new life into the dynamics of the group.
A solid slice of life when you need one, Kimi to Boku is a calming title which can go unnoticed even on the J.C. Staff roster. With a character dynamic somewhat reminiscent of Kyoto Animation’s K-On!, Kimi to Boku is the show you need when you want a little bit of high school comedy to liven up your day. The anime is simple and covers all the bases if you want something funny and a little romantic on your watchlist.
6. Hayate no Gotoku! (Hayate the Combat Butler!)
- Episodes: 52
- Aired: April 2007 – March 2008
So many things have gone wrong in Ayasaki Hayate’s short, miserable life, but the word “mishap” would be a gross understatement when describing how his parents accumulated a debt of over 50 million yen and abandoned him, leaving him with no choice but to sell himself off to the Yakuza. One night he runs into a girl named Sanzenin Nagi and tries to kidnap her in order to pay off his family’s debt, but Nagi misunderstands their interaction to be Hayate’s confession of love for her. When he saves her from actual kidnappers, Hayate is hired to be Nagi’s personal butler as she is revealed to be part of one of the richest families in Japan. With his horrible luck but great skills, Hayate must navigate the task of serving his employer while living through the mishaps which plague him daily!
A fairly well-known title, Hayate the Combat Butler is a show within which, fun fact, we can find a fairly great example of an archetypical tsundere. Back to the anime itself, the premise is outlandish and really serious, but when you get down to watching the show, you realise just how funny Hayate the Combat Butler can be. With its recurring theme of Murphy’s Law in Hayate’s life, the anime blends in a fair amount of comedy, romance and a bit of drama into each episode.
5. Prison School
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 2015 – September 2015
Hachimitsu Private Academy is an elite all-girls boarding school on the outskirts of Tokyo, known for its disciplined students and high quality education. However, upon the revision of school policy, male students are now being accepted at the school, with the school’s first ever crop of boys being a meagre five individuals. This places the girl-to-boy ratio within the school at a whopping 200: 1. The five, Kiyoshi, Gakuto, Andre, Shingo and Jo quickly fade away into the background as none of them are able to talk to girls. Unable to talk to their female peers, the five decide to peep into the girls’ bath instead. Their plan is thwarted by the Underground Student Council, who promptly throw the five boys into the school’s harsh prison for an entire month.
Prison School is an artistic beauty with the art style which leans closer to more realistic features, especially where faces are concerned. The show has a marked darkness to it due to the use of shading and shadows on the characters themselves, giving it an incredible amount of depth. The show is outrageous and can even get somewhat uncomfortable with how far it goes with the banter; all while satirically exploring the hilarious day-to-day struggles of the five main characters.
4. Golden Time
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: October 2013 – March 2014
After surviving a freak accident, Tada Banri suffers from extreme amnesia, which completely suspends all memories of his past somewhere in the recesses of his mind. After befriending Yanagisawa Mitsuo, Banri decides to move to Tokyo in order to attend law school. His steady college life is rocked when he meets the beautiful Kaga Kouko in a dramatic meeting. Banri’s college experiences continue to offer him a sense of belonging and purpose; however, discovering who he is and discovering who he used to be can prove to be more difficult than he could have anticipated.
The show deals with the issue of identity, using Banri’s amnesia and the possibility of the imminent return of the Tada Banri who existed prior to the accident. While being a pleasant romantic slice of life in some aspects, Golden Time can get fairly dark at times, and attempts to grow its closely-knit protagonists together in intensely dramatic ways. At the same time, those who love J.C. Staff anime will also note how Kaga Kouko looks like an older Aisaka Taiga from Toradora, in case you weren’t already convinced to catch the show.
3. Toaru Kagaku no Railgun (A Certain Scientific Railgun)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: October 2009 – March 2010
Academy City is a city at the forefront of scientific discovery and the location of the esper development program. There are seven “Level 5” espers in Academy City, the strongest in town and Misaka Mikoto is ranked third among them. Known for her powerful electricity manipulation powers, Mikoto’s abilities have earned her the nickname, “The Railgun”. When strange things start happening throughout the city, Mikoto investigates and discovers it all to be connected to “Level Upper”, a device allegedly capable of increasing an esper’s level. With more investigation, Mikoto soon realises that the Level Upper case goes further beyond anything she imagined and that Academy City isn’t quite what it claims to be.
Railgun is an anime in the same universe as another J.C. Staff title, A Certain Magical Index. Index’s protagonist, Kamijou Touma, sometimes appears in the Railgun series, albeit as a supporting character. Characters in Railgun have incredibly flashy powers which are incredibly well animated in the scenes with combat. Overall, the “A Certain” series have been incredibly beautiful from an art perspective, with its backgrounds often being incredibly intricate and breathtaking.
2. Kaichou wa Maid-sama (Maid Sama!)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: April 2010 – September 2010
Ayusawa Misaki is her school’s first ever female Student Council President, given that the school was very recently an all-boys high school. Misaki’s strong presence and her disciplinarian attitude have earned her the nickname, “Demon President” by the boys at her school, and she will stop at nothing to ensure that the female students have a good school experience. However, under all that authority, Misaki is hiding the fact that after school, she works at a maid café in order to help her family get by. She has managed to keep it a secret for a long time, but a chance encounter with Usui Takumi, the most popular boy in school, leaves her reputation in his hands. With so much power over her life, Usui could destroy her reputation forever... or he could use this chance to get to know Misaki better.
Straight-forward shoujo tropes in Kaichou wa Maid-sama bring us a healthy dose of romance and slice of life elements, as well as a fair bit of drama. Coming from the highly successful manga series of the same name, Maid Sama’s anime adaptation by J.C. Staff is a humorous and highly enjoyable anime title to watch, with the romance aspect taking centre stage in the story progression.
1. Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka (Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: April 2015 – June 2015
Life in the city of Orario is exciting, especially for Bell Cranel, a young man who hopes to become the greatest adventurer. After a fateful encounter with the goddess Hestia, Bell is inches closer to achieving his dream. With her support, he delves deep into the city’s dark monster-filled catacombs, where death lurks around every corner. Survival is not guaranteed and many don’t make it out of “The Dungeon”. Be that as it may, Bell is convinced he will one day be the greatest.
DanMachi, as the show is affectionately called, is a beautifully animated tale about a young man who wishes to achieve greatness and J.C. Staff pulled out all the stops with character and world design, making the expansive fantasy land of Orario feel full and fleshed out. The fight scenes are beautiful, particularly the dramatic final fight against a particular entity which shall not be named… Watch DanMachi for fantasy and RPG elements nicely put together into a brief yet exciting story.
J.C. Staff is a studio that has been around for several years and continues to bring to life a multitude of different shows. Their work is beautiful and their colours vibrant, each J.C. Staff piece can almost be guaranteed to look nice. Their animation is often smooth and seamless – perhaps we can be excited that they’ll be working on the second season of One-Punch Man! Are there any other J.C. Staff titles worth checking out? Drop a comment below and tell us all about them!
Chances are high you have at least watched one or two shows produced by J.C.Staff. The infamous production studio might not belong to the most successful production houses, but has made itself a name with high quality anime that gain a big fanbase in a short period of time.
J.C.Staff was founded in early 1986 and quickly turned into a well-established animation studio. Their first release Youtouden, a three episode OVA, followed one year later and since then J.C.Staff has managed to release numerous hit shows. The list of anime, OVAs and even movies produced by J.C.Staff goes on and on and even bigger hits can be expected in the near future.
Today we want to present you with a quick Top 10 List of anime produced by J.C.Staff as a prime contractor without other sub-contractors. This list represents both the most successful shows that made a significant impact on the anime industry as well as some of our personal favorites that we want to share with you. This being said, here are our Top 10 recommendations. Enjoy!
10. Azumanga Daioh (Azumanga Daioh: The Animation)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: April 2002 - October 2002
Let’s start this list with an anime including comedy, romance and more: Azumanga Daioh.
The six girls of Azumanga Daioh couldn’t be more different from each other. We have a young genius, a loud-mouthed ball of energy, a jock, an airhead, an animal lover and a hot-tempered girl. What they do have in common though is the fact that they experience the everyday insanity of high school life together. This show is about everything that these girls encounter as a group between homework, quizzes and club activities.
The story of Azumanga Daioh is told episodic, consisting of 130 small segments compiled into 26 different episodes. The Slice of Life show – an adaptation of a manga written by Kiyohiko Azuma – became a big franchise for J.C.Staff, resulting in an original net animation, an anime film as well as several soundtrack albums. The day-to-day encounters of the six high school girls are combined with great comedy that will fill your eyes with tears of laughter.
9. Shokugeki no Souma (Food Wars!)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: April 2015 - September 2015
Food Wars! is the most recent anime on this list and a hit of the spring season 2015.
As the name suggests, this anime revolves around food - more precisely the best possible preparation of food. Protagonist Yukihira Souma only has one goal on his mind: working at the restaurant of his father and eventually becoming a better chef than him. After his father abandons the family restaurant and travels to Europe, Souma's only chance of achieving his goal is enrolling in one of the most prestigious culinary schools of the country. The cooking academy is highly competitive and Souma has to give his best in order to last until graduation.
Food Wars! is a great example of a show where everything fits together. The plot is interesting, the characters evoke sympathy and the comedy suits each situation instead of feeling too forced or misplaced. Like any good Slice of Life show, Food Wars! gives a lot of insight into the lives of the apprentice chefs without trying to make the plot unnecessarily action-filled or dramatic. Food Wars! is a highly popular anime of the spring season 2015 and thus one of J.C.Staff’s most recent accomplishments.
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: April 1995 - September 1995
Based on a light novel series, Slayers has managed to become one of the most popular anime series of the 1990s.
It is the story of wandering sorceress Lina Inverse and swordsman Gourry Gabriev traveling through a fantastic universe while fighting evil. What should have ended as a quick alliance between the two turns into a great adventure where the duo encounters new friends and old enemies alike. This journey becomes the adventure of their lives.
Slayers has shaped and influenced many anime following the 1990s. It gained enough popularity to get multiple seasons, several OVAs and movie adaptations. What makes Slayers so special is most likely the combination of a great adventure story and an amazing fantasy universe. The viewers will find lots of evil spirits, epic fights and magical spells while being entertained by the interactions of the main characters. Slayers is a timeless classic that marked one of the first major successes of J.C.Staff.
7. Hachimitsu to Clover (Honey and Clover)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: April 2005 - September 2005
Moving on to another infamous Slice of Life show, next up is Honey and Clover, an anime revolving around college life.
The story is told from the perspective of a group of friends, all students at a local university. They are at an important part of their lives where they struggle with issues like love, friendship and slowly becoming an adult. Even though their personalities differ greatly they are more similar than you might expect and together they face the hardships of everyday life.
Honey and Clover is a classic that was adapted into a television drama and a live action movie in 2006. The two anime seasons first aired on Fuji TV and were later broadcasted by Animax, not only in Japan but also other parts of Southeast Asia. Honey and Clover brought J.C.Staff in contact with lots of sponsors, for example clothing brands like Adidas or WE. As a Slice of Life show it focuses primarily on the character development and interactions of the main cast. The plot highlights the little joys of life and what it means to face the struggles of everyday life.
6. Shoujo Kakumei Utena (Revolutionary Girl Utena)
- Episodes: 39
- Aired: April 1997 - December 1997
Next up is a classic from the same time period as Slayers. Revolutionary Girl Utena is a surreal anime including gender-bender and darker elements – a pioneer in the world of anime.
Utena Tenjou’s parents died when she was a small girl and in this time of grief a mysterious prince consoles her and gives her a special ring with a rose seal. Utena is moved by this experience and decides to become a prince herself. Years later, as a student at Ohtori Academy, she dresses in boys clothes and never steps away from a fight. Her life is about to change when her ring grants her access to a dueling arena where an unusual ceremony around a mystic “Rose Bride” takes place. Soon Utena discovers the dark secret of Ohtori Academy.
Revolutionary Girl Utena truly is a revolutionary anime. It is one of the first shows to display a female character as a strong and independent protagonist. One of the reasons behind its grand success might be the determination of writer and director Kunihiko Ikuhara, one of the producers of Sailor Moon, who expected this anime to be his final piece of work. The universe of Revolutionary Girl Utena as introduced by J.C.Staff became a big international franchise including anime movies, video games and even stage shows and granted the production house international recognition.
5. Nodame Cantabile
- Episodes: 23
- Aired: January 2007 - June 2007
Nodame Cantabile is a classic when it comes to romance stories as well as anime revolving around classical music.
The story focuses on the unlikely love story between Shinichi Chiaki and Noda Megumi or Nodame, two musicians at Japan’s most renowned music university. The quirky and eccentric Nodame couldn't be more different from the cold and always composed Chiaki, but life seems to push them closer and closer together. Together they face the struggles of their careers and aim to fulfill their musical dreams.
Even if you are not a fan of classical music you will be able to appreciate the great comedy and hilarious characters of Nodame Cantabile. Once again, J.C.Staff managed to successfully adapt an original manga into a show that got popular enough to last for three anime seasons as well as receive an award-winning live-action drama in 2006 and two movie sequels in 2009 and 2010. If you haven’t already, give Nodame Cantabile a try and see for yourself what the reason behind its great success is.
4. Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo (The Pet Girl of Sakurasou)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: October 2012 - March 2013
Are you ready for a show that is as charming as it is hilarious and moving?
Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo revolves around the high school students living at Sakurasou, a student dormitory for all the outcasts and misfits of the school. This spring, Mashiro Shiina moves in and even though her beautiful appearance might suggest otherwise the weird girl fits right in in her new environment. Together with protagonist Sorata Kanda and the other tenants she makes friends for life and discovers what it means to work restlessly to make one’s dreams come true.
This anime starts out as any other romance comedy with high school setting. As the story moves along, however, you will realize that Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo slowly turns into a drama that questions the meaning of natural talent and endless determination. This anime is often received as J.C.Staff’s successful comeback into the world of Shoujo anime after being away from the window for some time. Fans worldwide appreciate the amazing character design and emotion-filled plot.
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: October 2008 - March 2009
Moving on to our Top 3 choices, next up is the infamously hilarious Toradora!.
At the center of the story stands one of the most unlikely couples imaginable. Ryuuji Takasu looks like a tough delinquent due to his small and evil-looking eyes. Taiga Aisaka on the other hand seems to be a kind girl with delicate looks. Who would have thought that Ryuuji has a kind soul and Taiga has one of the most brutal characters imaginable? Together they get caught up in an adventure of high school crushes and true love. Get ready to be entertained by their story.
Toradora! is often claimed to have one of the best comedy in anime – a big accomplishment for J.C.Staff. The director of this show is Tatsuyuki Nagai who already proved his capabilities in the production of Honey and Clover II. The jokes and plot of Toradora! have a refreshing feeling to them even though the storyline might not sound too special at first. Toradora! is a show that will slowly grow on you if you give it a chance and might even turn into one of your favorite anime.
2. Shakugan no Shana
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: October 2005 - March 2006
What would you do if one day a mysterious girl told you that you are already dead and only a shadow of your former self?
That’s the question high school student Sakai Yuuji has to find an answer for. His life gets turned upside down when he meets “Flame Haze” Shana. The young girl hunts demonic creatures and ends their existences using a blazing sword. Yuuji gets drawn into her world and has to be witness of an ongoing war between the world he is used to and the realm of the supernatural.
Shakugan no Shana is a show that surprises many viewers. The storyline sounds like the summary of a common action anime. However, J.C.Staff once again proves that its main strength is the great execution of an interesting idea – a talent many critics praised upon release of the first season. Shakugan no Shana tells its story at a slow pace to allow animation, storytelling and character development to interact perfectly. It is an anime that will keep haunting you even after the last episode.
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: October 2010 - April 2011
Bakuman is one of my favorite Slice of Life anime of all times. It tells the story of high school students Moritaka Mashiro and Akito Takagi who aim to become established mangaka by the time they graduate.
The story starts with a simple promise: Mashiro confesses his love to long-time crush Azuki Miho and asks her to marry him if he succeeds in producing a manga popular enough to be turned into an anime series. The aspiring voice actress agrees and this is the beginning of their great journey filled with determination, joy, failure and success.
Being able to produce an anime for a hit manga like Bakuman is already an accomplishment in itself; after all, nearly 4.4 million copies of the manga series were sold in 2011 alone. The anime adaptation tells a story of endless persistence and the passion of youth. Almost everything I know about the daily lives of mangaka and Japanese voice actors I have learned from Bakuman. It is an all-time classic and must-watch for manga fans as it gives a lot of background information. After watching this show you will see the Japanese entertainment industry in a whole new light.
It is hard narrowing J.C.Staff's creations down to ten choices. A lot of other great and well-known anime come from their dream factory, such as the Excel Saga, Alien Nine or Zero no Tsukaima.
Personally, I enjoy their Slice of Life shows the most since the producers of J.C.Staff do a great job at depicting the daily lives of their characters. The viewer is presented with lots of information and details while still being entertained. A tremendous love for details as well as the ability to slowly capture the hearts of the viewers is noticeable in all of their shows. That might be one of the biggest reasons for their success.
What is your opinion on J.C.Staff? Which of their shows belong to your personal Top 10 list? Share your opinions and recommendations down below.