Whenever a discussion about the elite studios in anime arises, usually it is Toei, Madhouse, Ufotbale, A-1 Pictures, or any other major studio that is spoken about. But recently, there is a new studio on the rise. That is the MAPPA studio. And now, with the announcement of Attack on Titan’s final season being produced by them, MAPPA studio has grabbed more attention from the anime community. Here’s an article about the rise of the studio named MAPPA.
Origin of MAPPA studio
‘MAPPA’ is an acronym for Maruyama Animation Produce Project Association. This studio was established on the 14th of June in 2011. A former producer in Madhouse studio, Masao Maruyama is the founder of this studio. Being established just 9 years ago, this studio has already produced 35+ anime TV series, Movies, OVAs, and ONAs.
How is MAPPA studio’s animations?
Masao Maruyama founded the MAPPA studio to produce challenging shows which would be acclaimed by the audience. In all their projects till now, the animation and the visuals have been done very well. Their projects include a wide range of genres. Dororo, Yuri on Ice, Zankyou no terror, and their other projects speaks for the versatility of the animes they produce. But the animation and art-style are pretty much generic.
The animations are fluid and smooth, the action scenes are well choreographed and the BGMs have added value to their shows. The visuals do stand out in their animes. ‘Garo: Vanishing Line’ and ‘Listeners’ are 2 of the shows produced by MAPPA which aren’t ‘that’ great (at least in my opinion). But, their animations and visuals are the positives you could find in these rather poor shows. Therefore, we can’t really point out many negatives in MAPPA studio in terms of animation.
MAPPA studio’s journey so far
Established just 9 years ago, MAPPA studio’s works speaks volumes. Intending to produce challenging and unique anime projects, the studio has done so with their different projects. ‘Kids on the Slope’ was their first project, directed by the legendary Watanabe Shinichiro himself. Their first anime that was critically applauded as well as being popular among the audience was probably ‘Zankyou no Terror’, again directed by Watanabe Shinichiro. Kakegurui, Yuri on Ice, and Inuyashiki are some of the popular animes produced by this studio. The anime adaptation of the classic manga ‘Dororo’ was a landmark project done by MAPPA.
Banana Fish, Zombieland Saga, Dorohedoro are some of their animes that are worth watching. Currently ‘The God of Highschool’ anime is one of the top animes of summer 2020 and is adapted from the popular webtoon of the same name.
Fall of Studio Madhouse
If you didn’t know, both Madhouse and MAPPA are found by the same person, ie Masao Maruyama. Madhouse is without a doubt one of the most iconic studios of the anime industry and also a fan-favorite. Even though established in 1972, The ‘90s and 2000s could be regarded as the golden age for Madhouse. They produced some of the great animes like Deathnote, Hajime no Ippo, Trigun, Monster, etc during that time. But by the end of the ‘00s and start of 2010s, they almost went bankrupt and were bought by NTV. And their co-founder Masao Maruyama left and created another studio of his own, named MAPPA.
Even though Madhouse was in a bad condition, they still produced some great animes like One Punch Man and Death Parade. But their number of animes produced declined as year went by. The reason the decline of Madhouse lead to the rise of MAPPA is that many workers and works of Madhouse were now part of MAPPA. For example, Hajime no Ippo franchise was exclusively produced by Madhouse until the latest season of Hajime no Ippo: Rising which was taken up by MAPPA.
Also, Satoshi Kon’s last movie ‘Dreaming Machine’ was originally a Madhouse studio product. But after his unfortunate demise, the movie was completed by the MAPPA studio under Masao Maruyama’s production. Studio Mappa started getting more projects as the year went by, whereas Madhouse produced less. Even with their financial situations, Madhouse still continues to produce very good animes once in 2 to 3 seasons
So what’s next for the studio?
Even after founder Masao Maruyama’s departure in 2016, MAPPA continues to produce quality animes. This year they already released three anime series including Dorohedoro. The God of Highschool anime is currently being aired and is one of the top animes of this season. Even though Listeners wasn’t really successful, no questions were raised about its quality in animation and sound effects. Their upcoming projects are the ones that have everyone’s focus on. That is Jujutsu Kaisen and Attack on Titan: Final Season
Jujutsu Kaisen being a popular manga, expectations for its anime is naturally high. It is scheduled to be released in this year’s Fall season. Based on the manga written by Gege Akutami, the trailers and PVs of the anime look really promising.
Attack on Titan: The biggest challenge yet
Attack on Titan: Final season is the real big challenge the studio have ahead of them. They have taken up to produce the most important and exciting part of this huge franchise called Attack on Titan. In recent years, we can see discontent among fans when there is a studio change. That is the case with ‘One Punch Man’ and ‘Nanatsu no Taizai’. Even with a small drop in quality of Attack on Titan anime, the studio might have to face backlash from the fans, just like how Studio Deen received after their Nanatsu no Taizai blunders.
However, they recently released the visual and trailer for the final season and has got the fanbase more than excited. With Wit studio having done such an excellent job in previous seasons of Attack on Titan, the bar is surely raised very high and studio MAPPA will surely put in all their efforts to reach and outclass the previous studio. Here’s the trailer for the final season
From ‘Zankyou no Terror’ to ‘Attack on Titan: Final season’, MAPPA have surely come a long way and have only risen upwards till now. It is safe to say that the rise and success of MAPPA studio hereafter depends mainly on the Attack on Titan: Final season’s performance. Being a huge fan of the AOT franchise myself, I hope they overcome the hurdles and really make the final season a huge success. With the passionate and talented staff they have, there is little to no doubt that they will succeed in becoming elites in anime industry.