Eren Attack on Titan promo art
(MAPPA)

The Best MAPPA Anime, Ranked

So you’re sick of waiting around for more Chainsaw Man, too, huh?

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Or maybe Attack On Titan? Same, honestly. I’ve been curled up in the fetal position in the corner of my room rubbing my chest and whispering, “You’re safe, Pochita. It’s me. It’s just me. We’ll make it out of this, I swear.” Waiting is hard. Really hard. So hard that I’m actually catatonic. I can barely type. I dictated this article to my cat. It took us ten years to get it right.

So I figure the least I can do is give you some other MAPPA anime while we wait.

Days

Two boys stand with their arms around each other on the soccer field in "Days"
(MAPPA)

If you played sportsball in high school, Days is for you. If you had absolutely zero athletic talent in high school, Days is ALSO for you. The series begins with Takashi Tsukamoto, a protagonist just like you: talentless. He’s just not good at anything. Well, except for one thing: trying REALLY hard. The kid wins an A+ for effort. Eventually, he is invited to play in a soccer match by the talented athlete Jin Kazama. Although Takashi has no soccer skills to speak of, Jin is impressed by his tenacity, and the pair form a close bond.

Takt Op. Destiny

A pale young girl with a flower in her hair stands in the moonlight in "Takt Op. Destiny"
(MAPPA)

Do you like music? Well, this is the WRONG series for you. Take Op. Destiny was developed by MAPPA in conjunction with Madhouse Studios and is about a group of music-hating aliens known as D2s. After falling to Earth in a meteorite, the D2s decided to give everyone the D-blues by banning … the blues … and every other genre of music out there. Except for noise rock, which isn’t a genre but a war crime. So how will the human race ever overthrow their captors? With music, of course!

Hell’s Paradise

A closeup of a women 's eye, with a katana across her face. Reflected in the blade is the eye of a white haired man in "Hell's Paradise"
(MAPPA)

Set in Japan’s Edo period, the dark fantasy thriller Hell’s Paradise follows the exploits of Gabimaru the Hollow. If the name was any indication, Gabimaru is not exactly a happy camper. He’s a ninja who has been sentenced to death. After Sagiri Yamada Asaemon—a warrior from a famous executioner clan—fails to kill Gabimaru, Sagiri decides to offer Gabimaru a deal. If Gabimaru goes to a mystical island where it is said the Elixir of Life can be found and brings it back to the mainland, he will be pardoned for his crimes. Little does Gabimaru know that no one who has gone to the island has made it back alive.

Banana Fish

A blonde boy in a hood glares while standing in the street in "Banana Fish"
(MAPPA)

Set in New York City, Banana Fish follows a street gang leader named Ash who is struggling against a criminal conspiracy to introduce a dangerous drug called “banana fish” into his turf. As he investigates the drug, he ends up forming a relationship with Eiji Okumura, a Japanese photographer’s assistant who is also on the case. And before you ask, yes it is THAT kind of relationship. A gloriously queer series, Banana Fish will not disappoint.

Hajime No Ippo: The Rising

A young boy stands in a boxing ring with his dukes raised in "Hajime no Ippo: Rising"
(MAPPA)

A collaboration between Madhouse and MAPPA, Hajime no Ippo: The Rising haymakers its way to critical acclaim. The series centers around Ippo Makunouchi, a shy high school loner who soon becomes the target of bullies. After a professional boxer watches Ippo stand up to the bullies and take a beating, the guy decides to take Ippo to his gym and train him to hit people in the face to earn a living. And boy does he earn a living.

Related: Here’s the Best Anime from Each Decade on We Got This Covered

Kids On The Slope

The kids from kids on the slope
(MAPPA)

This beautiful anime is from the mind of Shinichiro Watanabe, the same man who directed Cowboy Bebop and, my personal favorite anime, Samurai Champloo. Kids On The Slope is the story of two high school boys in 1960s Japan who are bonded together by their love of jazz. While less action-packed than its predecessors, the story features the same complex characters and beautiful animation for which Watanabe’s work is known.

Zombieland Saga

the girls of zombieland
(MAPPA)

This is why I love anime. What’s the plot of Zombieland Saga? A group of zombie girls decide to band together to form a … well, band. To save their town from bankruptcy with the power of music. How’s that for a premise? Who wouldn’t want to watch this? The anime has been praised for its unique blend of comedy and horror. Also, the songs are total bops.

Terror In Resonance

title card for terror in resonance
(MAPPA)

Terror in Resonance centers around two teenage boys who carry out a terrorist attack in Tokyo to expose government corruption. I mean, they probably could have just followed a couple of politicians around with an iPhone and gotten the same result. But that’s a little less exciting now, isn’t it?

Kakeguri

Horny anime antics in Kakeguri
(MAPPA)

Kakeguri appeals to the budding gambling addict in all of us! It’s about a group of kids who attend a high school where they bet both their fortunes and their futures in high-stakes gambling competitions. What happens in high school, stays in high school. Didn’t you learn that in … well, high school?

Dororo

Hyakkimaru from 'Dodoro 'pulling a sword
(MAPPA)

Dororo is an equal parts adorable and violent anime about a young orphan trans boy named Dororo. He accompanies a teenage ronin, Hyakkimaru, on his quest to reclaim his body parts, which were stolen by demons. Whenever Hyakkimaru kills a demon, he gets a part back! But how does he fight demons with no body parts? Simple! He uses prosthetic limbs filled with knives! The anime is set in the Sengoku period of Japan, where warring states clashed in a chaotic struggle for control of the country.

The God of High School

the boys share a fistbump in God of Highschool
(MAPPA)

The God of High School started as a South Korean webcomic before being adapted into a full series! It follows a group of high school students who are competing in a martial arts tournament to save the world. So no pressure. Listen, I get it. High school can be overwhelming. I was there once! I could barely make it past Algebra II. How the hell was I supposed to study martial arts and save the world on top of that? These kids better figure it out.

Yuri!!! On Ice

Drunken dance in Yuri!!! on Ice.
(MAPPA)

This anime is GAY and I LOVE it. Yuri!!! On Ice is about a young Japanese figure skater named Yuri who is defeated at the Grand Prix Final. In order to mount a comeback, he enlists the help of the famous Russian figure skater, Viktor Nikiforov. And then they fall in looooooove. This anime is groundbreaking for its overwhelmingly positive portrayal of a MLM relationship. It’s a huge win in a genre where queer characters are often missing, marginalized, or outright mocked.

Jujutsu Kaisen

Teacher and student in Jujutsu Kaisen
(MAPPA)

I’m gonna come out and say it. This show is a Naruto clone. And a good one. Jujutsu Kaisen centers around a knucklehead kid with a demon inside of him, a brooding dark-haired prodigy who serves as his friend/rival, and a girl who wants to beat both of them over the head with a hammer. They attend a high school where they are trained to use the dark art of Jujutsu sorcery. Jujutsu is very useful for defeating evil creatures called cursed spirits. Okay, so it ain’t quite Naruto, but it’s damn close. Nevertheless, the action sequences are stunning.

Chainsaw Man

Characters sit in a movie theater in the opening of 'Chainsaw Man'
(MAPPA)

The man. The myth. The ripcord-chested legend. Chainsaw Man … chainsawed its way into the hearts of fans across the globe within the past year. The story centers on a boy named Denji, who is indebted to the yakuza after the death of his deadbeat father. He decides to make some extra cash hunting devils, which are evil beings who personify human fears. After being mortally wounded in battle, he forms a bond with his pet Chainsaw Devil, Pochita, and becomes a human/devil hybrid called Chainsaw Man! He is then picked up by a group of government-sanctioned devil hunters who operate out of Tokyo. His mission? Do what he does best: kill devils.

Attack On Titan

Armin and Mikasa looking distressed in 'Attack on Titan' season 4, part 2
(MAPPA)

What did you expect? Of COURSE this show is gonna be number one on this list. Attack On Titan cemented its status as a pop culture phenomenon about a decade ago and has been going strong ever since. Granted, the first three seasons were made over at Wit Studio. But MAPPA’s been animating the hell out of the (very long) final season.

The show begins with a young boy named Eren Yeagar, who lives with his friends and family in a walled city. Why does the city have walls? Because there are man-eating giants roaming the countryside who would totally devour humanity otherwise. One day, a pair of powerful and seemingly intelligent Titans break through the outer wall of the city, resulting in the death of thousands of people—including Eren’s mother. Eren makes a vow to eradicate all Titans from the planet, and volunteers to join the Titan-fighting regiment of the military in order to do so.

However, as the series progresses, he and his friends find out the dark secret origins behind the titans and the very city they live in! Eren’s priorities change a bit!

(Featured Image: MAPPA)


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Author
Image of Jack Doyle
Jack Doyle
Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.