Studio MAPPA was founded on June 14th, 2011 – exactly 10 years ago. Throughout this decade they became a well-known name in the anime industry and produced many popular anime titles, becoming a fan-favorite. To mark the occasion, we’ve come up with a list of some of the best MAPPA anime titles. All of them are series you won’t regret watching, because each one offers something unique.
Kids on the Slope (2012)
Kids on the Slope was co-produced with Tezuka Productions, and it’s based on the manga by Yuki Kodama. It’s a 12 episode anime, perfect for the fans of music. In addition to music, you’ll be able to experience a wonderful coming-of-age story.
The story of Kids on the Slope really starts rolling when the classical piano-trained Kaoru encounters Sentaro and falls head-over-heels in love with jazz. One thing to look out for is the performance scene of an excellent jazz piece in every episode. Up-and-coming young jazz musicians are employed here, with Takashi Matsunaga (Kaoru) on piano and Shun Ishiwaka (Sentaro) on drums. Yoko Kanno produces the sessions, which are then used directly for the anime.
– via Crunchyroll
Terror in Resonance (2014)
Terror in Resonance has much darker themes than the Kids on the Slope, which was mentioned above. It’s a psychological thriller, packed with action and some interesting characters. Shinichiro Watanabe directed the anime, while Yoko Kanno composed the music.
Tokyo has just been decimated by a shocking terrorist attack, and the only hint to the identity of the culprit is a bizarre video uploaded to the internet. The police, baffled by this cryptic clue, are powerless to stop the paranoia spreading across the population. While the world searches for a criminal mastermind to blame for this tragedy, two mysterious teens who shouldn’t even exist masterfully carry out their heinous plan. A determined detective is hot on the culprit’s heels, but to catch them he must navigate a tangled web of riddles and false leads. Can he stop them before they carry out their plan to wake the world from its slumber – and pull the trigger on this world?
– via Bluray synopsis
In This Corner of the World
At the moment, In This Corner of the World is MAPPA’s only movie that isn’t tied to a franchise. A gentle, touching and emotional story about an ordinary woman caught up in the hell of World War 2 won’t leave you with dry eyes.
Suzu marries into a family living outside of Hiroshima and quickly settles into her new life, until World War II challenges her ability to survive.
– via Netflix
Yuri!!! on Ice (2016)
MAPPA is a versatile studio and Yuri!!! on Ice is a perfect example of that. If you never cared for ice-skating, now is your chance to get into it. Amazing animation, complete with a beautiful soundtrack won’t leave anyone disappointed. Even though it’s not a BL story, fans of the genre will surely enjoy it. The story is an original work, and among the best MAPPA anime.
Yuuri Katsuki carried the hope of all Japan on his shoulders in the Figure Skating Grand Prix, but suffered a crushing defeat in the finals. He returned to his hometown in Kyushu and hid away in his family’s home, half wanting to continue skating and half wanting to retire. That was when the five-time consecutive world champion, Viktor Nikiforov, suddenly showed up with his teammate, Yuuri Plisetsky, a young skater starting to surpass his seniors. And so the two Yuuris and the Russian champion Viktor set out to compete in a Grand Prix like none the world has ever seen!
– via Crunchyroll
Kakegurui is one of those weird stories that you can’t stop watching. A story about an elite high school where students gamble in the most extravagant ways. It first aired in the Summer of 2017 and has 2 seasons. It’s also a Netflix original.
High roller Yumeko Jabami plans to clean house at Hyakkaou Private Academy, a school where students are evaluated solely on their gambling skills.
– via Netflix
Inuyashiki: The Last Hero (2017)
Hiroya Oku’s manga Inuyashiki is a Sci-Fi drama with an interesting concept and a unique setting. Anime adaptation aired in Fall of 2017. It poses some interesting questions about life and morals, and definitely makes for a good watch.
Ichiro Inuyashiki was a boring office worker living a life shunned by his family and coworkers. One night, a UFO crashed into him, and his body was rebuilt into a powerful robot. A high school student named Hiro Shishigami was also involved in the same accident, and he begins to use his new powers to enable his darkest impulses. Is man’s true nature good or evil?
– via Amazon
Banana Fish (2018)
Banana Fish manga first came out in 1985, with the anime adaptation coming whopping 33 years later. It’s a dark and violent story about a gangster who stumbles upon a conspiracy that will threaten his safety and life. Fans of BL will enjoy it, seeing as a lot of the plot revolves around Eiji and Ash’s relationship. Hiroko Utsumi directed the anime, with Shinichi Osawa composing the OST. The anime also has great opening and ending themes.
Ash Lynx, a 17-year-old boy, is the boss of a street-kids gang in New York. One day, a man who was murdered before his eyes entrusts him with something. And the last words uttered by that dying man was the phrase, “BANANA FISH”. That is the word his brother, Griffin, often mutters. Ash has a destined encounter with Eiji, a kind Japanese boy who comes to New York as a cameraman assistant.
– via Amazon
Zombie Land Saga (2018)
Zombie Land Saga is a fun anime, with a ridiculous premise. A story about a zombie idol band, that in addition to fighting for success also has to keep the members from falling apart, literally. To make things even better, Mamoru Miyano voices their manager, and he truly gives it his all. It’s nothing more than lighthearted fun, so make sure to enjoy it. Season 2 is currently airing.
A typical morning. The usual music. Their normal lives.
The peace these seven girls experience will suddenly be destroyed.
By the living dead… zombies.
A reality that they never wanted a part of, an amazing and terrifying zombie world.
They all share one wish:
“We want to live.”
These girls will struggle through this saga, in order to achieve a miracle.
– via Crunchyroll
Dororo is another older manga, but the anime MAPPA made is actually a remake. The original anime aired in 1969, and MAPPA’s adaptation gives it a fresh spin. Even though the story is older, it aged pretty well and it presents us with some interesting characters. Keep in mind that the anime is pretty dark and violent.
In Japan’s Warring States period, Lord Daigo Kagemitsu makes a pact with 12 demons, exchanging his unborn son for the prosperity of his lands. The child is born malformed and is set adrift in a river, while Kagemitsu’s lands thrive as promised. Years later, young thief Dororo encounters the mysterious “Hyakkimaru”, a boy whose arms are blades and whose visionless eyes seem able to see monsters.