Studio MAPPA’s 16 Best Anime Series of All Time

Les 16 meilleures séries animées de Studio MAPPA de tous les temps

From thrilling action-adrenaline spectacles to deeply poignant sagas that touch our deepest emotions, Studio MAPPA's diverse portfolio has left an indelible mark on anime. As we embark on a comprehensive exploration of Studio MAPPA's vast catalog, we strive to unearth the 16 best anime series produced by the company.

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Founded in June 2011 by Masao Maruyama at the age of 70, Studio MAPPA stands for “Maruyama Animation Produce Project Association”. The company's first representative director, MAPPA was created following the financial difficulties of Madhouse Studios. In 2016, Maruyama relinquished the role of CEO and took the position of President of Studio MAPPA instead. Animation producer and co-founding member of the studio, Manabu Otsuka, replaced him as CEO. Based in Suginami, Tokyo, the studio is behind some of the most popular anime series in the world today. But what is their best animated series?

We are aware of the major controversy surrounding Studio MAPPA and its work ethic, which was brought to light by Hisashi Eguchi. This animation veteran criticized the company's unreasonable remuneration, while its animators are overworked. The studio has denied the allegations. Despite this, they still have many hit shows. And if these claims are valid, these animators work way harder than they should to bring us these fantastic works. That's why we're going to show our appreciation by looking at their most popular and successful series. Of course, as this is a ranking, we can only include a certain number of titles.

So, without further ado, here are sixteen of the best Studio MAPPA anime of all time.

16. The God of High School

Based on the South Korean manhwa by Yongje Park, The God of High School was the subject of a mobile game and an original animation (ONA) before Studio MAPPA took charge of the adaptation. MAPPA's animated television series aired for three months in 2020, from July to September. The story follows 17-year-old Jin Mo-Ri, who is an expert in Taekwondo. He is invited to participate in the “God of High School” tournament to find the best fighter among Korean students. But, of course, it's not for nothing. The winner of the tournament is granted one wish, for which they can ask for anything.

Although Mo-Ri knows he's going to take part in some of the most ruthless fights he's ever taken part in, the idea excites him to no end. Of course, things aren't as simple as they seem, and he quickly realizes that the competition is about more than just testing his fighting skills. And becoming the “High School God” may not be what he initially thought.

15. Takt Op. Destiny

Studio MAPPA Takt Op. Destiny

Directed by Yuuki Itoh, this anime adaptation is a project of MAPPA and Madhouse Studios. The series will also be adapted into a mobile game in June 2023 under the title Takt Op. Symphony. Set in the United States, the anime follows the world after a meteorite falls to Earth carrying an invasive species known as the D2s. Since these creatures hated music, a public decree was issued prohibiting anyone from playing melodies. In 2047, this decree is still in force and the only way to fight against these creatures is to call on Musicarts and conductors.

The Musicarts are young women who present classical music, but it is the Conductors who control them. We follow a prodigy pianist named Takt Asahina, who becomes Conductor following an attack by D2. This journey leads him to his Musicart Destiny. The duo, accompanied by a woman named Anna, decide to embark for New York in order to reach Symphonica's headquarters and strengthen their pact as Conductor and Musicart.

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14. The Zombieland Saga

Studio MAPPA Zombieland Saga

In a collaboration between Cygames and Avex Pictures, Munehisa Sakai directed the series, while MAPPA Studios was responsible for the animation. The series won the Animation of the Year (Television) award at the 18th Tokyo Anime Award Festival in 2019. Additionally, it received much praise from critics, especially from Mamoru Miyano, who voiced by Kotaro Tatsumi and won the Best VA Performance (JP) award at the 3rd Crunchyroll Anime Awards in 2019. This comedy horror series follows a young girl named Sakura Minamoto who aspires to become an idol. This dream quickly ends when she dies in a road accident.

She wakes up in Saga Prefecture to find that ten years have passed; she has become a zombie and no longer remembers her past. While in disarray, she runs into Koutarou Tatsumi, who informs her that he has resurrected her and five other girls to form an undead idol group called Franchouchou. Anime fans around the world will love this hilarious, dark and entertaining series.

13. Rage of Bahamut: Genesis

Studio MAPPA Rage of Bahamut: Genesis

This dark fantasy adventure series received a solid 7.63 rating on MyAnimeList, and many fans were pleasantly surprised. As this is a video game adaptation, many expected it to be forgettable and bland, but instead we were treated to some great world building, fun adventure and adorable characters. Directed by Keiichi Sato, the series introduces us to Bahamut, an ancient dragon who had to be locked away after wreaking havoc in the country of Mistarcia. In this land where deities, demons and humans coexist, their forces can barely contain the beast. However, after succeeding, they agreed to share the key to Bahamut's eternal prison so that he would never escape.

Of course, in a now pacified country, bounty hunter Favaro Leone can continue to work in peace while escaping another bounty hunter who wants revenge on him. Until he finds himself caught in a clash between ancient forces after meeting a mysterious woman named Amira. Why is his life thrown into chaos because of her? Because she holds half the key needed to free Bahamut from his eternal prison.

12. Kakegurui

Studio MAPPA Kakegurui

If you haven't heard of this animated series yet, you are in for one of the strangest experiences of your life. Based on the manga series of the same name by Homura Kawamoto, MAPPA Studios was responsible for the adaptation of this anime. With Yuichiro Hayashi directing, the story follows the mysterious Yumeko Jabami as she transfers to one of Japan's most prestigious schools, Hyakkaou Private Academy. Only the rich can enter and she discovers that the school has a brutal system in place decided by the student council, which completely runs the school. This system is entirely focused on gambling.

The best players enjoy popularity, money and a peaceful school life, while the losers are destined to become pets, servants of the winners. As a new student, Jabami is the target of many players who see it as an opportunity to earn more money and get a new pet. However, unbeknownst to everyone, Jabami loves to play and the more reckless he is, the better. Although this is a psychological thriller, you may find humor in the characters' exaggerated reactions.

11. In this corner of the world (2016)

Studio MAPPA In this corner of the world (2016)

As the first and only animated film on this list, we present to you the reason why MAPPA Studios was created in the first place. And that was to complete this film after Madhouse had experienced financial difficulties. Unfortunately, MAPPA had difficulty finding financing and only managed to release this film five years after the originally planned date. Directed by Sunao Katabuchi, the film is based on the manga of the same name by Fumiyo Kōno and takes place in the 1930s-1940s, around the bombing of Hiroshima. Although mostly fictional, the film is based on real incidents and events from that period.

The film follows the life of a young girl named Suzu, who is good at drawing and lives in a town near Hiroshima. We follow her as she becomes an adult and marries a lawyer named Shusaku before they move closer to her family in Kure. Soon after, the Pacific War begins to affect everyone around her. This film provides a heartbreaking insight into what life was like during wartime and the devastating consequences it can have for civilians. Critically acclaimed, the film has won over sixty awards and prizes. The only reason it's so low on the list is because it's a movie and not a series, but it would undoubtedly have reached the top spot under other circumstances.

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10. Hell's Paradise: Jigokuraku

Studio MAPPA Hell's Paradise: Jigokuraku

Based on the manga series of the same name by Yuji Kaku, the animation studio has really outdone itself with this series. With a current rating of 8.31 on MyAnimeList, this will definitely change since the series is still airing. Falling into the category of dark fantasy, action and psychological thriller, the series will definitely impress many anime fans. Set in the Edo period of Japan, we follow a man named Gabimaru the Hollow. He is a ninja sentenced to death, but he cannot be killed despite all the efforts of the executioner. Although Gabimaru thinks he wants to die, Sagiri Yamada Asaemon, from a famous clan of executioners, thinks otherwise.

Convinced that his wife's love keeps him alive, Sagiri makes no move to kill him when she is given the role. Instead, she offers Gabimaru an opportunity: if he goes to the mysterious island known as Shinsekyo and obtains the Elixir of Life, all of his crimes will be forgiven. He accepts the offer and sets out on the journey with ten other death row inmates. But, unbeknownst to them, everyone who has ventured to Shinsekyo has never returned, as the island is said to be home to strange monsters.

9. Banana fish

Studio MAPPA Banana Fish

With Akimi Yoshida's manga being his most critically acclaimed work, it's no surprise that MAPPA chose to adapt the series into an anime. As a Shoujo series, the anime touches on many mature themes such as Westernism and violence, as well as topics relating to homosexuality and gender. Many anime fans highly recommend this series for its remarkable story. Directed by Hiroko Utsumi and spanning 24 episodes, the series follows a young boy named Aslan Jade Callenrees, who is taken in from the streets of New York by notorious mob boss Dino Golzine.

Going by the name Ash Lynx, he is 17 years old and leads his own gang. When he regularly hears about the mysterious “Banana Fish”, he begins to investigate to find out what it is. However, he learns that Dino is sending his men to attack Ash's hideout. This puts a damper on his investigation to shed light on the banana fish.

8. Hajime no Ippo: Rising

Hajime no Ippo: Rising

Based on the manga series by George Morikawa, the anime adaptation was directed by Jun Shishido. As a collaboration between Madhouse and MAPPA studios, it's no surprise that this is another anime with a steady 8.59 rating on MyAnimeList. In the first series produced by Madhouse, Ippo Makunouchi is a shy high school student who has difficulty making friends. Of course, this attracted the attention of the bullies, and after a particularly violent beating, a professional boxer takes him to a training room. This is where everyone discovers Ippo's talent for boxing, and we see him begin his career in the sport.

Hajime no Ippo: Rising is the second series and continues after Ippo defends his championship belt in the ring. Thanks to his characteristic but brutal special move, the Dempsey Roll, he remains champion. However, in a growing industry, Ippo knows that other challengers will come and that he will have to rise to the occasion to defend his place at the top.

7. The Chainsaw Man

The man with the chainsaw

Chainsaw Man was a highly anticipated series that did not disappoint fans. With a rating of 8.60 on MyAnimeList, this series is another MAPPA series to achieve such a high rating on the platform. Based on the hit manga series by Tatsuki Fujimoto, the first season was 12 episodes long, which was far too short for many fans. We follow a poor 16 year old boy, Denji, and his chainsaw demon, Pochita. The duo hunts demons on behalf of the yakuza in order to repay their father's overwhelming debts.

However, when the yakuza betray Denji and leave him for dead, Pochita merges with Denji's corpse and brings him back to life. But that's not all, as Denji resurrects with evil abilities similar to Pochita. Due to the danger posed by his new abilities, Makima, an elite demon hunter, recruits him into the Public Security Bureau. But he soon realizes that Pochita is much more than he initially thought when several demons start chasing him.

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6. Yuri! on ice

Yuri!!! on ice

Produced by MAPPA, this Japanese sports anime centers on figure skating. Directed and written by Sayo Yamamoto, the adaptation required a lot of effort from the studio. For example, the figure skating choreography was done by Kenji Miyamoto, who performed the sequences himself. The sound was later used for the actual performances in the series. This series, which has won numerous awards and other awards, is one of the best series from MAPPA studios. The story follows 23-year-old Yuuri Katsuki, one of Japan's most promising figure skaters. But after a crushing defeat in the Grand Pix final, he returns to his family home to pull himself together.

After a video of him performing a routine by five-time figure skating champion Victor Nikiforov goes viral, Yuuri finds himself in the spotlight once again. Things get even weirder when Victor shows up at her door and offers to be her mentor. Of course, he accepts and is eager to get back into the spotlight, but Victor's previous mentee, Yuri Plisetsky, is willing to do anything to get back into Victor's good books.

5. The children of the slope

The children of the slope

Kids on the Slope, one of MAPPA's first full-length anime series, was directed by Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo director Shinichirō Watanabe. Based on the manga series by Yuki Kodama, the series follows high school student Kaoru Nishimi who has just transferred to a new school in Kyushu for his first year. Since he moved around a lot, he didn't have much success when it came to making friends. Kaoru therefore prepares for a lonely year, anticipating that he will not fit in with any of his classmates. Until he meets the infamous delinquent Sentarou Kawabuchi.

A classical pianist, Kaoru quickly bonds with Sentarou when he discovers that the delinquent is passionate about jazz. Not only does Kaoru make his first friend, but he gets the opportunity to expand his musical journey by exploring jazz as a genre. The duo becomes a trio when they befriend another student, Ritsuko Mukae, whose family owns a music store.

4. Attack on Titan: The Final Season

Attack on Titan: The Final Season

Although Wit Studio was responsible for the first seasons of the series, MAPPA took over the animation for the final season. As a result, the final season was split into several parts, with the final one scheduled for later this year. Replacing Tetsurō Araki and Masashi Koizuka, Yuichiro Hayashi took his place in the director's seat. Based on the manga series by Hajime Isayama, this season of the series covers the “Marley” and “War for Paradis” arcs of the manga. After Eren and the Survey Corps cross the ocean, we are immersed in the history of the Marleyans across the sea.

Introduced to Gabi Braun and Falco Grice, we discover how Reiner, Bertholt and Annie attacked Paradise four years earlier. We then find out how they were treated and trained as Eldian warriors for Marley. Soon after, we learn that Marley is plotting to retake the Founding Titan from Eren Yeager, inevitably declaring war on Heaven to do so. These events lead us to the current narrative, which sees Eren as the Founding Titan, leading The Rumbling.

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3. Terror in resonance

Terror in resonance

Created and directed by Shinichirō Watanabe, this series is a MAPPA original that turns out to be another great psychological thriller. Naturally, the series received widespread critical acclaim, with many calling it impeccable while praising Watanabe's directing work. Additionally, the series has won several awards, such as Anime of the Year and Best Original Anime of the Year at the 2014 Anime Trending Awards. The series takes place in an alternate reality to the one we know today, and follows two teenagers named Nine and Twelve. They participate in a terrorist attack by stealing the prototype of an atomic bomb.

They upload a video in which they threaten to destroy Tokyo with this weapon if no one solves a cryptic riddle they provided them. Known to the public as “Sphinx”, the duo befriend a lonely high school girl who is drawn into their plans to expose a secret organization as part of their plot.

2. Dororo


Based on the manga series by Osamu Tezuka, MAPPA adapted the series into a 24-episode anime series. The 2019 series is also based on the original 1969 anime adaptation. MAPPA's adaptation deviates a lot from the original material, but sticks to basic plot points. The biggest change the studio made was making the main character, Hyakkimaru, weaker than he was in the manga and original series. Directed by Kazuhiro Furuhashi, the story is set in the Sengoku era in Japan and tells the story of a baby whose father sacrificed all of his limbs, senses and organs to the twelve gods in exchange for the prosperity of his people.

The baby is abandoned by his parents, believing he will die without his body parts. However, a doctor named Jukai, who specializes in prosthetics, finds and raises the baby, whom he names Hyakkimaru. As a teenager, Hyakkimaru kills a demon and regains his ability to feel pain. Hyakkimaru and the doctor realize that killing demons will allow him to regain his body. So he sets out on a journey and, along the way, meets a young child named Dororo, who accompanies him in his efforts.

Dororo is undoubtedly one of Studio MAPPA's best animated series of all time.

1. Jujutsu Kaisen

Jujutsu Kaisen

As the highest-rated series on this list of Studio MAPPA's best anime, it's only fitting that Jujutsu Kaisen takes the top spot. Of course, this ranking is not based solely on audience. Based on the manga written and illustrated by Gege Akutami, MAPPA produced a 24-episode anime adaptation in 2020, followed by the epic film Jujutsu Kaisen 0 (2021) and a second season scheduled to air in June 2023. We Let's follow the story of high school student Yuuji Itadori, who goes through life without doing anything. Every day, he engages in paranormal activities with the school occult club before seeing his grandfather bedridden in the hospital.

One day, things change when he encounters a special class cursed item. This sets off a series of brutal supernatural events that lead Yuuji into the world of cursed spirits, malevolent beings born of hatred after their death. After swallowing the cursed object (which turns out to be the finger of the King of Curses, Sukuna) and gaining special abilities, Yuuji is enrolled at Tokyo Metropolitan Jujutsu Technical High School and begins his journey as a sorcerer. The trap ? He must find and eat Sukuna's ten fingers, after which he will be killed.

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What is your favorite Studio MAPPA anime series?