The beginnings of Studio MAPPA are intrinsically linked to Studio Madhouse. Indeed, at his 70th birthday Masao Maruyama retires from Madhouse. He had devoted 39 years of work to it as co-founder, producer and screenwriter. Yet in June 2011, he created his own studio: Maruyama Animation Produce Project Association whose first letters form MAPPA.
Kids on the Slope, Teekyu, and Hajime no Ippo: Rising were the studio’s first anime. Among his successes are also Dororo, Yuri !!! On Ice and Last Hero Inuyashiki. But it wasn’t until 2020, that MAPPA rose to fame thanks to Jujutsu Kaisen and the final season of Attack on Titan. These have raised him to the rank of the best in animation. Today, the studio led by Manabu Otsuka has a string of projects including Chainsaw Man, which is already qualified as anime of the year.
But summarizing MAPPA to Chainsaw Man, Jujutsu Kaisen and Hajime no Ippo would be a mistake for any self-respecting otaku. In this file, we offer you a list of ten anime from the lair of MAPPA.
This story is based on the life of the historical figure Yasuke. According to some Japanese texts, this former slave of African origin lived in Japan during the 16th century, and even became a samurai. He would have served Lord Oda Nobunaga, one of the unifiers of Japan.
In the anime, we are in a futuristic, war-ravaged feudal Japan. Yasuke is a samurai who has decided not to draw his sword anymore. But he is forced to renounce his promise, the day his path crosses that of Saki. The latter is the subject of a hunt by the lords of Japan, because she has powers that they covet.
9. Takt Op. Destiny
In 2047, music is strictly prohibited. Indeed, its execution attracts the “D2”. Appeared after the impact of a meteorite against the earth, these monsters are extremely sensitive to each note, which they hasten to destroy. Only the “Musicarts” of young girls possessing the power of music and their “Conductors” succeed in destroying them. The anime’s story is set in a dystopian America. Takt a conductor and Unmei a musicart team up to restore the music and defeat the D2s. And to get there, they have to reach New York City.
8. Zombie Land Saga
The anime begins in 2008. Sakura Minamoto like many young girls of her age dreams of becoming an idol. But her dream is interrupted by an accident that kills her instantly. A decade later, Sakura and six other girls are resurrected by Kotaro Tatsumi. With his new comrades, Sakaru will form the idol group Furanchouchou. Their objective: to make the prefecture of Saga attractive to tourists.
7. Kakegurui or Gambling School
Hyakkaō Private Academy is a special institute. Here are only admitted people from the richest and most prestigious families in Japan. Rather than evaluating his students on their ability to master a subject or sport, Hyakkaō rates their ability to be the best at gambling. In Hyakkaō, only one law prevails: gain or lose one’s social status. This game has advantages and disadvantages depending on whether you win or lose. The former live like true chosen ones, while the others live like their underlings.
But the monotony in Hyakkaō will take another turn with the arrival of Yumeko Jabami. This student who was recently transferred there is looking for thrills. She begins her journey by demanding a reform within the academy. One thing that the Student Council does not intend to let pass.
6. Rage of Bahamut: Genesis
MAPPA distinguished itself in the adaptation of the mobile game Rage of Bahamut. 2000 years ago, the dragon Bahamut threatened the world. Faced with such destructive power, all species put aside their desires to unite. Gods, humans and demons managed to seal the dragon and its power. In order to prevent such a threat from returning to hover over their heads, they divided the key of the seal into two parts. One was given to the gods and the other to the demons. But 2000 years later, the balance of the world will be called into question. Indeed, a human will steal half of the key held by the gods. What is his goal ? We will soon find out.
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5. The God of High School
This anime is the adaptation of the eponymous manhwa. The story centers on Jin Mo-Ri, a 17-year-old boy from Seoul. Very carefree and friendly, Jin practices renewal taekwondo. At the start of the anime, the young man is invited to a “The God Of High School” tournament. Even though the event is organized by a group that operates in the shadows, thousands of Koreans leave their regions to participate. It doesn’t matter to them, since the winner of the competition will see his wish, whatever it may be, come true.
Although he wonders about the reasons surrounding this event, Jin participates in it. At the event, he meets other candidates. With their personal stories, they take the gamble of participating in this crazy game. Jin befriends Han Dae-Wi, the karate expert, and Mira Yu-Ssi, a swordsman who wants to earn enough money to take care of her family. Along with Jin, they will be selected to represent their country for the global competition. But gradually, they will come to understand the extent of the trap in which they have been caught.
Days is a sports anime, specifically football. The story centers on the meeting of Tsukushi Tsukamoto and Jin Kazama. The former is shy and clumsy by nature, while the latter is rather bold and a football addict. Their meeting will come true when Jin defends Tsukushi when he was being harassed. After a game of football, the two teenagers become friends.
Later, Tsukushi learns that Jin enrolled in the same high school as him. More than happy with this meeting, he decides to join the same football club as Jin, that of Seiseki High School. What he doesn’t know is that this club is one of the best in the country. But through effort and hard work, the frail and shy boy will become unavoidable in this field. With Jin Kazama, they will revolutionize the world of football.
In a world plagued by chaos, living beings are separated into two spaces. On one side, that of Hole, the city-dump of the Humans, and on the other that of the mages. The latter endowed with a powerful magic manage to cross the two dimensions by means of magic doors. Cayman is a resident of Hole.
But he is not totally human, because his face is that of a reptile. He owes this appearance to a mage who transformed him. Despite severe amnesia, Cayman, helped by his friend Nikaido, sets out to find the person responsible for his physique. But En le chef des mages will put mages on their heels to kill them. Except that the strength of Cayman will rout them one after the other.
We are at the dawn of the 2000s. The war in Iraq is in full swing. While everything seemed to be going well within his unit, an American soldier grabs a weapon and starts shooting at his comrades. Fortunately, one of them managed to subdue him. But before falling into a state of lethargy, the soldier mutters “banana fish“.
Ten years later, we are in New York State. The story centers on Ash Lynx, a 17 year old teenager and gang leader. One evening, he will meet a man on the verge of death in a disreputable alley in the city. The dying man gathers his last strength, and hands him a medallion which would be linked to the enigma Banana Fish. These two words resonate in Ash’s head, because they are the ones his brother Griffin has been repeating tirelessly since his return from Iraq. In his investigation of Banana Fish, Ash’s path will cross that of Eiji Okumura, a Japanese photographer. A most intimate relationship will materialize between the two men.
When his son Hyakkimaru was born, Lord Daigo made a pact with twelve demons. In return for a power allowing him to become a respected lord, the demons took 48 parts of his child’s body. When he realized his son’s morbid physique, Daigo wanted to execute him. But the midwife took the child and left him in the river.
Fortunately, he was rescued by a prosthetist doctor. The latter treated his wounds and took care of him. He made her an artificial body, and later taught her how to wield a sword. As a teenager, Hyakkimaru discovered his powers. Accompanied by Dororo, an orphan pickpocket, he travels through Japan in order to find a haven of peace. On their way, they will come across spirits and forces of all kinds.