As we’re almost at the halfway mark of 2022, it’s time we take a look back on the first half of the year and give credit to some of our favorite anime studios that have done a marvelous job. With the Summer 2022 season just around the corner, let’s dive into which anime studios are having the best 2022 so far!
7. Shin-Ei Animation
Shin-Ei Animation deserves the recognition it deserves at the halfway mark of the year. While a lot of fans may not be aware of the studio, it has some bigger titles under its belt. The first is Teasing Master Takagi-san Season 3 back in Winter 2022 and a movie for the same series this spring. Shin-Ei Animation is also animating A Couple of Cuckoos this spring in collaboration with SynergySP, which has received a positive reception and will continue into the summer with 24 episodes in total.
Put all of that on top of continuation anime such as Doraemon and Crayon Shin-chan, Shin-Ei Animations is having a good year at the halfway mark. With Chimimo and kids anime Iii Icecrin Double set to air this summer along with A Couple of Cuckoos, Shin-Ei Animation will be at seven total projects for the year already, matching the number of projects they had in all of 2021.
6. A-1 Pictures
Since the studio has just one anime series that’s currently airing and two episodes from another that were delayed for three months, A-1 Pictures is probably the most questionable one to make this list. But after the two-episode spectacle to end the first season of 86 Eighty-Six back in March, and now Kaguya-sama: Love Is War – Ultra Romantic (Season 3) for the Spring 2022 season, A-1 Pictures has delivered high-quality anime this year—minimal as it may be.
86 Eighty-Six was the only anime to dethrone Attack on Titan The Final Season Part 2 of its #1 spot in our Winter 2022 weekly polls. Not only did 86 Eighty-Six dethrone the hit series, but it did it in back-to-back weeks. Now, during the Spring 2022 season, Kaguya-sama has dominated the charts, sitting comfortably in the top-5 every week since the first episode of the new season aired. The series is also currently the second highest rated anime of Spring 2022 on both MyAnimeList and Anilist.
A-1 Pictures has already announced future projects for later this year. The original TV anime series Lycoris Recoil released a trailer recently and will begin airing in July along with other original TV anime series Engage Kiss, which also released a trailer.
5. J.C. Staff
J.C Staff doesn’t have a widely popular title so far this year like the others on this list do. But they’ve animated an all-around solid lineup in both the Winter 2022 and Spring 2022 seasons respectively. With The Strongest Sage with the Weakest Crest and How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Part 2 to start the year, the studio gave anime fans two fantasy-themed anime that both managed to attract respectable followings. Then during the Spring 2022 season, we received the more popular The Executioner and Her Way of Life and the lesser-known The Demon Girl Next Door 2—both receiving fairly positive reviews.
All in all, J.C. Staff hasn’t given us anything that would blow audiences away as of yet. But their lineup has noticeable depth at the halfway mark that deserves to be acknowledged. And now the studio will be releasing its first major title this year with DanMachi Season 4 airing this summer which will surely bump it up the list by the end of the year depending on how it goes.
OLM has sneakily been one of the best anime studios this year. Having animated 11 projects in 2022 (14 in 2021), the studio has taken on a lot of work recently. The only reason they’re not higher on the list is due to being very top-heavy. After Komi Can’t Communicate Season 2, Summertime Render, and Life With an Ordinary Guy Who Reincarnated Into a Total Fantasy Knockout topping their big projects this year, and Love All Play adding a little more depth to the lineup, the rest isn’t much that would turn heads—at least at the halfway mark’s sake.
And despite not getting the reviews the hit original anime series did, OLM also released the Odd Taxi Movie: In The Woods film this spring. All in all, OLM’s lineup at this point undoubtedly earns the studio a rightful spot on this list.
OLM has not announced any further projects at this time for the summer and fall. But seeing as how Summertime Render will continue into the Summer 2022 season, much like A Couple of Cuckoos with Shin-Ei Animations, OLM could be focusing solely on the supernatural thriller series during the summer.
Sometimes less is more. While many have the perceived notion that MAPPA is now the studio that takes on too many projects, they currently have just two series that have aired so far this year—Attack on Titan Final Season Part 2 and Dance Dance Danseur. But seeing the impact that Attack on Titan Final Season Part 2 left, MAPPA deserves to be on this list. Dance Dance Danseur is nowhere near the same level of popularity, but it still managed to build a decent following and an average overall rating.
After setting Anime Corner weekly chart records, and trending on social media with every new episode, MAPPA’s work with Attack on Titan Final Season Part 2 carried the studio to third on this list, and rightfully so.
MAPPA has announced future works coming out in 2022 including Kakegurui Twin during the summer and Chainsaw Man later on in the year. MAPPA also released a trailer for the upcoming adaptation of Yuji Kaku’s manga Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku. No official release date has been announced.
Coming into 2022 swinging for the fences, CloverWorks has delivered some notable anime this year, including two strong Anime-of-the-Year candidates in back-to-back seasons with My Dress-Up Darling (Winter 2022) and Spy x Family (Spring 2022, collaboration with WIT Studio). CloverWorks also animated the absolutely stunning slice-of-life anime Akebi Sailor’s Uniform in Winter 2022 as well. However, the studio hit a bump in the road when Tokyo 24th Ward ran into production issues. But the original TV anime series ended on a high note and managed to still be an enjoyable watch.
Other series by CloverWorks this year include In the Heart of Kunoichi Tsubaki (Spring 2022) and the continuation of kids anime Norimono Man: Mobile Land no Car-kun. CloverWorks has yet to announce any future projects for 2022 at this time. However, Spy x Family is officially listed for a second cour following the first 12 episodes.
1. Wit Studio
What’s left to be said about Wit Studio that hasn’t already been said at this point? Since passing the Attack on Titan torch over to MAPPA, Wit Studio has kept the ball rolling and hasn’t skipped a beat, especially in 2022. Starting off the year with the latter half of the first season of Ranking of Kings, Wit Studio has managed to give us one fantastic project after another this year. From Ranking of Kings in the winter to Spy x Family, Bubble, and Vampire in the Garden in the spring, Wit Studio is arguably having the best 2022 so far in comparison to any other anime studio.
What some might have missed, Wit Studio also co-animated an absolutely gorgeous three-minute commercial for Magic: The Gathering earlier this year that’s garnered over a million views on YouTube. As previously mentioned, Spy x Family will have a second cour that will also be co-animated by CloverWorks. Otherwise, no future projects for this year have been announced by Wit Studio. However, the series Moonrise has a time slot at Netflix’s upcoming GEEKED WEEK on June 8. The anime original sci-fi series hasn’t received any news since its official series announcement in 2018. So it’ll be interesting to see what will be announced regarding the series.
In the meantime, do yourself a huge favor and watch an anime that was animated by Wit Studio this year. Ranking of Kings, Spy x Family, Bubble, Vampire in the Garden, or The Girl from the Other Side OVA, you can’t go wrong with any of them.
Your Favorite Anime Studio So Far?
So what anime studios this year have been your favorite so far? Was there a studio that should’ve undoubtedly made this list? Be sure to let me know in the comments! Don’t forget to constantly vote for your favorite anime of the season over at our weekly seasonal polls.
Thumbnail image created by @erichimmelheber
©Shinichi Fukuda/SQUARE ENIX, Kisekoi Committee
© Hajime Isayama, Kodansha/”ATTACK ON TITAN” The Final Season Production Committee
©Tomohito Oda, Shogakukan／Itan Private High School