That may be my personal observation, but I noticed that anime produced by the production company Madhouse have somewhat-consistently high-quality animation.
Even if the anime itself may not be a hit, the quality of drawings seems to be higher than most other production companies.
To list a few of their recent productions:
- One Outs - a sports anime were lots of movements and running characters without the usual quirks of inconsistent body part movements.
- Death Note - Brilliant drawings of characters with excellent usage of colors to illustrate different personalities.
- Akagi & Kaiji - somewhat weird looking characters with bold black outlining, but still manage to fit perfectly into the overall anime atmosphere.
- Btooom! - a short (and maybe unknown to many) anime, but still has still with excellent presentation.
The list could really go on and on with HunterXHunter, Trigun, Parasyte, Hajime no Ippo, Ninja Scroll, ...etc.
Is this just a case of a big studio that has lots of money (although I hear that the anime production companies are always running on limited budgets)?
Do they hire only the best illustrators?