A major part of an anime’s appeal is the animation. Animation is a great medium that sets it apart from the black and white format of the manga. This is why there are more anime watchers than manga readers. Some of the best animation studios in this decade include Ufotable, CloverWorks, Madhouse, Sunrise, TMS Entertainment, MAPPA, and the star of this blog, WIT Studio.
WIT Studio, inc. is a Japanese animation company founded in 2012. The studio can be considered a subsidy of Production I.G. since I.G. producer George Wada is the president. Tetsuya Nakatake, another producer at Production I.G., works as a director for WIT. Due to this reason, they don’t have trouble finding big projects.
The name WIT in itself is a brand image for the anime adaptation because you just know that you’re going to get something visually stunning. Fans may not like the story, but they can never complain about the animation quality. It is odd that it’s a subsidy of Production I.G., a company that often faces criticism for their works, can start something so good.
The list below is not a ranking. It’s just some personal picks from their best works. Most are well-known shows, while others are certainly worth looking into. Without further ado, let’s get into it.
WIT Studio’s Best Works:
1. Attack on Titan
We have to start with Attack on Titan because this show put WIT on the map. If you have read Attack On Titan manga, you can understand how WIT has elevated the illustrations and added some spectacular shots. They nailed the character designs and action sequences, along with moving through the streets via ODM gear. One notable feature among all this is the amount of intensity and life that WIT was able to bring to a character’s eyes.
They even added extra scenes to make the storytelling more compelling. This was also the reason why many fans were upset when the anime was picked up by MAPPA for season 4. Creative differences were stated, among other reasons for the change.
This is not to say that MAPPA is doing a bad job. In fact, it’s a worthy studio to take over the reigns of such a massive series. But WIT had a charm of its own.
2. After the Rain
Perhaps the most underrated work from WIT Studio is After the Rain. It won’t be surprising if many are not aware that WIT made this series. After the Rain or Koi wa Ameagari no Yō ni is an unconventional romance story where a high-school student named Akira Tachibana falls for someone much older than she is. Akira was a former track student, but due to an injury, she had to leave the team. She now works part-time at a family restaurant and falls for her 45-year-old Manager Masami Kondo.
The series has a unique animation style, and thanks to WIT Studio, it became quite screenshot-worthy. They were able to capture the wholesome characters and scenery perfectly and elevated the anime immensely. It’s a great watch overall.
3. Great Pretender
Great Pretender is a crime comedy and is a Netflix Original series. WIT did a stellar job with the animation and brought the characters to life in the best way possible. The series has shootouts, car chases, foot chases, and airplane races, all of which were fun and intense, thanks to the effort put in by the animators.
One season has been released, with 23 episodes in total. The episodes are categorized into cases, each having a different story with the same characters. Each case was released with a gap of one or two months on Netflix.
4. Seraph of the End
WIT Studio was able to bring their talented animators for the adaptation of this dark fantasy series. Seraph of the End tells the story of a world plagued by vampires and other demonic creatures. While it doesn’t stand out like other works, the animation is crisp, and the characters and story are compelling. WIT Studio shines at the continuous attack sequences where the camera follows a character as they cut down foes, and they managed to bring that to this series as well.
5. Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song
Vivy: Flurorote Eye’s Song is another anime where WIT truly showed its capabilities. The story took place in a world where AI existed. The scientists concluded that AI could only be functional if they’re given a single mission to dedicate their lives to. With that in mind, numerous robots were designed, and among them is the lead character, Diva. Diva was created as a songstress who can make people happy with her songs. However, Diva’s goals change when an AI from 100 years in the future named Matsumoto arrives and tells her that AI has hatched a plan to eradicate humanity.
Vivy has everything: interesting characters, a compelling story, action sequences, songs, and breathtaking animation. It should definitely be on your ‘to watch’ list.
6. Vinland Saga
Vinland Saga is a show that deserves to be on the ranks of Attack on Titan but sadly did not receive the same publicity. WIT did a fantastic job in animating this Viking story, which is also a coming-of-age story. It tells the story of an innocent child who is filled with vengeance when his beloved father is brutally murdered in front of him. He embarks on a journey with his father’s killers, learns to fight, and goes through the experience of a lifetime.
The story that begins in the snowy plains of Iceland, to the journey through the sea, to the mysterious place called Vinland, was a true sight to behold. WIT perfectly captured the sceneries, action, and characters’ emotions with their animation.
7. Ranking of Kings
Ranking of Kings or Ousama Ranking is another anime that does not give off the vibe that it was animated by WIT. But it’s very fitting at the genre it belongs to. The anime is about a little prince named Bojji who is deaf and mute. He is also seemingly naive, as he never seems to be affected by all the visible criticism he receives when he declares his dream – to become the greatest of kings.
It’s a fun and touching show to watch, and the animation and attention to detail that WIT has put in make all the difference.
8. The Ancient Magus’ Bride
This is a romantic slice-of-life story that takes place in a supernatural world. Orphaned Japanese High schooler Chise Hatori decides to sell herself at an auction in order to find a new home. She ends up being auctioned in London to a seven-foot-tall magus named Elias Ainsworth. He takes her in as an apprentice and decides that she will be his future wife.
The animation is every bit as beautiful as you can imagine, and WIT did a fantastic job. The characters are brought to life in scary, beautiful, and wondrous ways, and you will start wishing for more seasons. Fortunately, there are some OVAs.
9. Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress
Kabaneri is a series that feels similar to Attack on Titan in many parts. It can be compared with the Hollywood franchise Snowpiercer as well. The story takes place in a steampunk setting during the Industrial Revolution. A mysterious virus starts transforming humans into kabane, or corpses. The people who are infected are turned into zombies who cannot be killed unless their heart is pierced or their head is cut off. The lead character Ikoma gets semi-infected and becomes a kabane-human hybrid, earning the name kabaneri. When the virus takes over a huge population, a group of survivors aboard a train called the Iron Fortress and continuously on the move, stopping only for emergency supplies.
The series is filled with exhilarating action sequences and wonderful sceneries and is right up WIT’s alley. The series is a true feast for the eyes and is binge-worthy. Plus, the animation will blow you away.
10. The Empire of Corpses
Unlike the others, The Empire of Corpses is a movie based on novels written by Project Itoh. It’s a sci-fi adventure set during an alternate 18th century Britain. It tells the story of corpse reanimation discovered by Victor Frankenstein, but unlike the classic Frankenstein’s monster story, here, the reanimated corpse could think, feel, and speak. But his original creation is destroyed, and a new device called “Necroware” is used, but this made the corpses unable to talk, feel, or think. They are then used as labor forces by industries.
The movie has animation similar to Kabaneri and takes you across a fantastic and terrifying journey. The lead character is John Watson, who wants to resurrect a dead friend. Many historical figures appear in the story, and it is a globe-trotting adventure that takes you to multiple locations. The animation never fails once, and WIT Studio has done a wonderful job.