WIT Studio may be one of the youngest studios active today, but it's already racked up an impressive resume. Aside from its most famous work Attack on Titan, the studio has also produced Rolling Girls, Owari no Seraph and others you're about to read on this list.
Being as new as it is, however, WIT Studio has only produced a handful of original works (excluding prequels, sequels, specials and OVAs). As a result, this list will also contain upcoming works, as well as those where the studio assisted with "in-between animation." That's why you'll see notes like "Upcoming" and "In-Between Animation" beside each entry. If the entry isn't marked, that means the studio had a major role in the production of the work. Only the top four entries weren't subcontracted to third parties.
10. Koutetsujou no Cabaneli (Knocking on the Walls of the Armored Fortress) - [Upcoming]
- Episodes: Unknown
- Aired: Scheduled for 2016
So far, we don't have much info on this one. All we know is that (1) it's an original show, i.e., not based on an existing manga/light novel/video game/other source material; (2) it'll premiere in 2016 on Fuji TV's Noitamina block, and (3) director Araki Tetsuro (Attack on Titan) and writer Okouchi Ichiro (Code Geass) will be part of the team behind the show. Knowing the people at the helm, though, we're pretty hyped up!
9. Harmonie – [In-Between Animation]
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: Mar 2014
This 25-minute short revolves around Honjou Akio, a high school student who gets drawn into the "worlds" of his classmates. The most interesting for him, however, was Makina Juri's, who's always surrounded by her pretty friends in their own little corner of the classroom.
Harmonie is a sweet story about how everyone has a world inside them, and how these worlds intertwine with each other (like Honjou's and Juri's). The man behind this is Yoshiura Yasuhiro, who was also responsible for Eve no Jikan, Kikumana, Mizu no Kotoba, Nihon Animator Mihonichi, Noisy Birth, Pale Cocoon and Sakasama no Paterna. If you enjoyed any of those, maybe Harmonie will pique your interest too.
8. Sore Ike! Anpanman: Ringo Boy to Minna no Negai – [In-Between] Animation
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: Jul 2014
Based on the popular Anpanman series, this was the first movie released since the death of creator Yanase Takashi. Here, Anpanman and his rival Baikinman work together to help Ringo Boy, who's on a mission to plant apple trees everywhere he goes.
Like its predecessors, this movie has a nice blend of comedy and fantasy, both of which appeal to children. It ranked No. 5 on its opening week in Japan, and raked in 71,515,985 yen. A year later, the second half of the movie was shown on NTV, and had an average household rating of 3.2. As for the TV show, it's still ongoing with over 1,250 episodes to its name. Now that's a lot to watch!
7. Haikyuu!! – [In-Between Animation]
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Apr 2014 – Sep 2014
Along with Production I.G., WIT Studio worked to make this one of the most popular sports anime today. In this show, the main character Hinata Shouyou decides to form a volleyball team after watching a championship match on TV. At first, he struggles to recruit members, and when he finally gets his team into a tournament game, they totally get whooped by Kageyama "King of the Court" Tobio. Ever since, Hinata vowed to become stronger and turn the tables on Kageyama.
The series did so well commercially, it inspired several spin-offs. As of this writing, the 25-episode Season 2 is still ongoing (which WIT Studio also worked on, by the way), and a Jump Festa Special will be released in November 2015. In the meantime, treat yourselves to the Jump Festa Special 2014, the two movies and the Quest Picture Drama.
6. Shisha no Teikoku (The Empire of Corpses)
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: Oct 2015
This movie is set in an alternate 19th century, where humans are reanimated into "Frankensteins" to be used as industrial workers. They play a major role in the development of the civilized world, but at what price? That's what medical student John Watson wants to know, as he's recruited as a secret agent to uncover the truth behind the Frankensteins.
Debuting in Japan at No. 13, the film was also shown in festivals around the world. Shisha no Teikoku's art and music really stand out, as well as its interesting premise. If you enjoy homages to Victorian works like "Frankenstein" and "Sherlock Holmes," this one should be right up your alley.
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: Jun 2013
Don't let the film poster fool you. This film deals with some pretty heavy themes, like loss and grief on the part of Kurumi, who becomes a shut-in after her boyfriend Hal dies in a plane crash. To help her, a scientist creates a lifelike robot designed to be Hal's replacement. Using clues from Kurumi's house, the robot tries to become more like Hal, and understand what it's like to be human.
The idea of romantic robot-human relationships isn't new in anime (think Chobits and Plastic Memories). However, this film gives it a whole new spin, with its constant use of the Rubik's cube as a metaphor for the complexities in Kurumi and Hal's relationship. Viewers also appreciate the mellow tone, the great animation and the twist at the end, which is surprising yet satisfying.
4. Owari no Seraph (Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Apr 2015 – Jun 2015
In the world of Owari no Seraph, there's a virus which kills every infected human older than 13. Also, vampires appeared, and murdered every human they could get their hands on — including Hyakuya Yuuichirou's family. Trapped in an orphanage, Yuuichirou swears to take revenge and wipe out the vampires one day.
This was one of the most hyped-up anime of Spring 2015, and it mostly lived up to expectations. The animation was great, and the exploration of human/vampire morality is intriguing enough. Also, the second season Nagoya Kessen-hen is ongoing, and there's a 9-episode special bundled with the Blu-ray and DVD releases.
3. Rolling Girls
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jan 2015 – Mar 2015
Rolling Girls is set a decade after the Great Tokyo War, which fractured Japan into several independent nations. One of these nations is Saitama, where our heroines — Misono Chiaya, Moritomo Nozomi, Hibiki Ai and Kosaka Yukina — reside as part of a group called "Mob." As such, they travel all over the country to mediate battles between the nations as they break out.
In spite of the serious-sounding premise, Rolling Girls is a cracktastic show that'll have you ROFLing at all the right moments. The animation style is reminiscent of Kill la Kill, and goes well with the absurdity. Overall, it's a bit uneven in places, but manages to be an entertaining watch nonetheless.
2. Hoozuki no Reitetsu (Hoozuki's Coolheadedness)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Jan 2014 – Apr 2014
This is, by far, the most "Japanese" show on this list. It's about a demon named Hoozuki, who makes sure that everything in Hell goes swimmingly — or, at least, he tries to. Most of the time, though, he just causes more trouble for his boss King Enma, and stumbles in all sorts of hilarious situations that only have a chance in hell (pun intended).
The show was a commercial and critical success. It was a regular on "Best Anime of 2014" lists, and the humor was endearing to English viewers in spite of heavy references to Japanese culture. The Blu-ray and DVDs also did well, consistently placing in the Top 10 bestsellers on Oricon's weekly chart. If these can't convince you to try this show, we don't know what will!
1. Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Apr 2013 – Sep 2013
Seriously, who hasn't heard of Shingeki no Kyojin? Here, humanity was driven to near-extinction by mysterious, man-eating giants called Titans. As a result, the survivors built walled cities, and hid behind them. Every now and then, they'd send out military units to survey Titan-infested territory (hence the unit name "Survey Corps" or "Scouting Legion") and uncover the mysteries behind them.
Meanwhile, a young boy named Eren Jaeger dreams about becoming part of the Survey Corps. When his home Shiganshina falls to a Titan attack, and his mother is killed, Eren becomes even more determined to join the Corps, and — along with his adopted sister Mikasa Ackerman and best friend Armin Arlert — vow to rid of the world of Titans, so that humanity will finally be free.
Because of its gripping story and universal appeal, the show became a smash hit all over the world. The demand for SnK/AoT material was so great, WIT Studio had to pump out several OVAs, specials, movies and other media as fans eagerly await Season 2. And speaking of which, Season 2 is scheduled for a 2016 release, so it's only a matter of time.
WIT Studio seems to be a promising one, yes? We look forward to what it can come up with in the next few years. Meanwhile, let's hear your thoughts on this piece in the comments!