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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?

  • 3
    I disagree with the votes to close as "primarily opinion-based". There are semi-objective metrics (awards, sakuga analyses, and so forth) on the basis of which one could assert that "Madhouse produces anime with consistently high-quality animation" (I haven't bothered to check whether the assertion is true, but the point is that it is falsifiable). One can then deliver a factual answer to the question either of the form "your premise is false because X" or "your premise is true, and these [hiring practices, proprietary technology, directorial genius, etc.] are the contributing factors". – senshin Sep 22 '15 at 16:01
  • Maybe it's just because, they're one of the few companies that would spend seven years to make anime Fast and Furious. – Suman Roy Apr 3 '17 at 12:58
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There seem to be a few points that have or could have led to high-quality anime coming out of Madhouse.

  • It is a relatively old company. Having been started in 1972, it has had time to grow and figure out its style, at least compared to many anime studios which are from the 1990s or 2000s.
  • "Unlike other studios founded at this time such as AIC and J.C.Staff, their strength was and is primarily in TV shows and theatrical features. Expanding from the initial Mushi Pro staff, Madhouse recruited such important directors as Morio Asaka, Masayuki Kojima, and Satoshi Kon during the 1990s. Their staff roster expanded in the 2000s to include Mamoru Hosoda, Takeshi Koike, and Mitsuo Iso, as well as many younger television directors." (x) That shows a relatively strong set of directors.
  • They have a subsidiary company that focuses on computer graphics and a Korean animation studio that they have invested in and outsource to. Those show effort put into having work being done by those who specialize in it and are good at it.
  • They've collaborated with a number of big names in manga like CLAMP and Naoki Urasawa.

While the studio itself doesn't seem to be huge (about 70 employees, compared to 130 from Kyoto Animation, 120 from Production I.G., and 2010 from Nippon Animation), it has been a subsidiary since 2011 of Nippon Television, which is a massive television network in Japan. That may give it access to additional funds that would allow them to invest more into animation.

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It's because they never produced many Animes with episodes over 120 or lets say even 55~60 episodes. They mostly do just Movies, OVA's and animes with just 1~25(with few exceptions going upto 35~40) episodes at the max. Movies and OVA's usually have a larger and a different budget than anime series. So, they are going to look better and more beautiful than a typical lower budget anime series.

If you also notice Madhouse doesn't produced many(almost none) animes which largely involve fast paced fighting or martial arts. They have done just a very few of them. And even if you take the ones that they have done there are either,

  1. Movie
  2. OVA
  3. Anime with <= 25 Episodes
  4. Anime with > 25 episodes but fighting or martial arts is present only in a few specific episodes. (A good Example : Hunter x Hunter).

In other words Madhouse is able to produce "Consistent High Quality Animation" only because they don't take "risks" or come out of their "Safe Zone". That is Madhouse produces animes which has mostly static/background animation or less animation.

Also, you just gave 9 examples out of about 187 or more titles which they worked on. Which is just about 5% of all their titles. I am wondering Based on just about 5% of their work how can come to that conclusion that it produces "Consistent" High quality animes?

  • Please give links to the references you used to write this answer. Other than that, this is a good answer. +1 after you add the references. – 絢瀬絵里 May 15 '17 at 14:20

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