July 25, 2019

Kyoto Animation productions

Founded in 1981 by Yoko and Hideaki Hatta, Kyoto Animation didn't produce its first branded series until 2003. But it learned the ropes during those two decades. Beginning with Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu, a hilarious riff on the mecha genre, Kyoto Animation has become one of the most influential studios in series animation.

Like Studio Ghibli, Kyoto Animation established itself around a core group of in-house directors (Yasuhiro Takemoto, Tatsuya Ishihara, Naoko Yamada). It produces television series and films with consistent production values perhaps only matched by Studio Ghibli. Basically, everything Kyoto Animation does is worth a look.

Below are the Kyoto Animation productions I've seen so far and links to the main streaming sites (Crunchyroll, Funimation, and HIDIVE). Wikipedia has a complete list.

Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu (CR Fun).

Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid (Fun) After a bit of comic relief with Fumoffu, our team gets back to serious business of saving the world from a new mecha menace.

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (Fun) The modern cult classic about the hyperactive Haruhi, who just might destroy the universe if she gets bored, and her time-traveling classmates tasked with stopping that from happening.

Kanon (Fun) See my review here.

Clannad (HD) See my review here.

Clannad: After Story (HD) See my review here.

K-On! (HD) When Yui joined the Light Music Club (kei-on in Japanese), all she thought she had to do was listen to music. But it's a very talented rock band, and now she's got to master the guitar fast. K-On! pretty much defined the "look and feel" of the slice-of-life genre.

Hyouka (Fun) See my review here.

Tamako Market (HD) An adorable slice-of-life series about the daughter of a mochi merchant in the Tamako Shopping Arcade and a snooty talking bird who quickly develops an unhealthy fondness for mochi.

Beyond the Boundary (CR HD) See my review here.

Amagi Brilliant Park (CR HD) After Seiya Kanie gets roped into saving the local amusement part, he discovers that the costumed mascots aren't wearing costumes. They're creatures from another world (watch for the crossover character from Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu).

Myriad Colors Phantom World (CR Fun) Ghostbusting is a high school club activity in this parallel universe where Shinto spirits and deities have a habit of raising havoc in the real world.

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid (CR Fun) As if working sixteen hour days as a computer programmer isn't tough enough, Kobayashi's new roommate turns out to be a fire-breathing dragon.

Tsurune (CR HD) Hanging out with a bunch of alternatively obnoxious and overly angsty teenagers is actually tolerable when they're members of the high school kyudo team (the martial art of Japanese archery).

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