Thorfinn holding a knife
(Wit Studio)

The Best Wit Studio Anime

Before there was MAPPA, there was Wit Studio.

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MAPPA has been getting a heck of a lotta credit lately in the anime world, with blockbusters like Attack On Titan‘s final season and Chainsaw Man. They’re basically the A24 of anime these days. But let’s not forget that pedigree titles like Attack On Titan actually STARTED at Wit Studio before switching over to MAPPA. There would be no A-O-T without W-I-T. And not only that, the studio has had some banger standalone titles throughout the years, so I would be remiss if I framed them as standing in MAPPA’s shadow. To celebrate the success of Wit Studio, I’m ranking their top seven anime titles of all time.

Rolling Girls

the rolling girls on a roll
(Wit Studio)

Rolling Girls is about four girls who live in a fictionalized Japan where the country is divided into four different prefectures, each with its own unique culture and customs. The prefectures are ruled by a leader known as the “Best,” but when the “Best” disappears one day … the shit hits the fan. The country descends into violence and chaos, but these four girls are gonna do their damnedest to restore order. How, you ask? Why, with the power of a mysterious stone, of course!

Seraph of The End

Mika from Seraph of the end with a sword
(Wit Studio)

Ya like vampires, kid? Well, this series is lousy with ’em. Owari no Seraph takes place in a world where vampires rule and humanity drools. Then bleeds and dies. Well, dies then bleeds, I guess. See, most of the population died out due to a deadly virus. The few surviving humans have been captured by the vampires and are used as blood juice boxes. But hope is not lost! A young orphan boy named Yuichiro Hyakuya has vowed to destroy the vampires after they killed his family, and he happens upon a mercenary group called The Demon Moon Company who are hellbent on doing the same. Don’t you just love meeting like-minded people?

Girl From The Other Side

Shiva flinging open a door while holding a basket in "Girl From The Other Side"
(Wit Studio)

While Girl From The Other Side may only be 10 minutes long, it packs an emotional punch that lesser anime series can only dream of delivering. The story centers around a cute little girl who befriends a spooky spirit from beyond! Similar to Wit Studio’s Ancient Magus Bridge, the sinister-looking spirit hides a tender heart and becomes the protector and father figure of the little girl. Rendered in beautiful watercolor animation, this anime is perfect for a little binge. A bingette, if you will.

The Great Pretender

The cast of THe Great Pretender
(Wit Studio)

Ya like crime? Stunning locations? Bright colors? Sexy thieves? Do I have a show for you. The Great Pretender is about a group of con artists who pull off elaborate heists around the world. Their targets? The worst of the worst. Skeevy Hollywood producers and misogynistic princes are financially crushed under the slippery heel of the group, who always manage to make a glorious getaway. It’s a departure from the more action-oriented work that Wit tends to put out, but we all need a vacation sometimes, don’t we?

After The Rain

Tachibana and Kondo stand under a tree in artwork for "After The Rain"

After The Rain is a romance, albeit a slightly screwed-up one. It’s about a depressed track and field student-athlete who falls for an equally depressed restaurant manager while working at the restaurant part-time. Sounds like they’re perfect for each other, right? They would be if the restaurant manager wasn’t 45 years old. Despite the age gap, the pair begin to form a romance. While their love is obviously doomed, the circumstances of their lives lead them to seek out comfort in one another, resulting in an ending that’s as sweet as it is bitter.

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

Ranking of Kings

The little boy Bojji sits smiling while wearing his little crown in "Ranking of Kings"
(Wit Studio)

Ranking of Kings is about an adorable little boy named Bojji who will someday become the king of his realm. However, his deafness leaves those around him doubtful of his ability to rule effectively. Does that stop him? HELL NO. Bojji resolves himself to become the GREATEST of all kings. But to do that, this little fella is going to have to grow up quickly, or else fall victim to the political machinations of his detractors.

Spy x Family

The cast of the anime series 'Spy x Family.' (l-r): Yor Briar (woman with long dark hair), Anya (young girl with a pink bob and bangs wearing a school uniform), and Loid (man with short blond hair wearing a 3-piece suit) are standing at a railing (Anya is sitting on the railing) looking out at something.
(Wit Studio)

Spy x Family is one of the anime world’s current leading comedies. It tells the story of Lord Forager, a young spy who must masquerade as a family man in order to accomplish his clandestine goals. He ends up finding a wife, surrogate daughter, and even a family dog in order to conceal his identity, but little does he know that his new family has secrets of their own. His wife is a master assassin, his daughter can read minds, and his dog can tell the future! To make things more complicated, he’s falling head over heels for all three of them!

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress

mumei and ikoma from Kabaneri
(Wit Studio)

Now we’re getting into the big guns. And these guns shoot bullets made out of raw iron. Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress is one of the best anime ever made. It takes place in a post-industrial world where a unique virus has turned most of humanity into nasty zombie-like things called kabane. What makes Kabane different than other zombies? These zombies are FAST and VICIOUS. And to make things WORSE, you can’t decapitate them. You gotta shoot them in the heart. And to make things worse, their hearts are encased in an internal sheet of iron that cannot be pierced by conventional weaponry. But a clever young train engineer figures out a workaround by attaching an industrial RAILROAD SPIKE DRIVER TO HIS ARM. He then teams up with a group of samurai badasses who intend to solve the Kabane problem once and for all.

The Ancient Magus Bride

Chise and Elias from ancient magus bride
(Wit Studio)

Do you like magic? Romance? A surprising amount of violence? You’re gonna love this one! Ancient Magus Bride is about a young orphan girl named Chise Hatori with the power to see magical beings that are normally invisible to humans. Left with nowhere to turn after the loss of her parents, she sells herself at a magical auction and is bought by a kindly, deer-skull-headed mage named Elias. Elias becomes Chise’s caretaker and begins to teach her the ins and outs of magic. The pair must also protect Chise from magical criminal elements who wish to abuse the girl’s latent magical abilities. As dark as it is beautiful, this show is a must-watch for anyone with a beating heart who craves love and blood.

Vinland Saga

Thorfinn holding a knife
(Wit Studio)

It’s a Viking anime. A Viking. Anime. HOW COULD THIS GO WRONG? Answer: it doesn’t. IT ONLY GOES RIGHT.

Vinland Saga centers around a sweet little Icelandic boy named Thorfinn, whose chieftain father is murdered by Askeladd, the leader of a group of Danish warriors. Sweet Thorfinn decides to not be so sweet anymore, and vows to kill Askeladd for his crime. When Thorfinn tries, he is easily defeated by Askeladd. However, Askeladd is impressed with the boy’s natural killing talent and hires him as a mercenary. In return, he will allow Thorfinn to challenge him to another duel to the death after a few years of service. The warriors then set out to conquer England. No joke. Expect gloriously violent action sequences with a surprising amount of political intrigue.

Attack On Titan

No surprises here. Attack on Titan is a global phenomenon. If you don’t know it, you must live under a very big rock. A boulder, even.

This anime is set in a world where humanity is confined to a kingdom surrounded by three high walls. What do the walls do? They keep out hordes of man-eating giants called Titans. Humanity has enjoyed one hundred years of peace behind the walls, but one day a COLOSSAL Titan shows up and quite literally kicks the kingdom’s door down. The Titans pour into the city, and a young boy named Eren Jaegar suffers a tragedy at the hands and teeth of the horde. He vows to become a soldier and destroy every last Titan on the planet. But do it, he may just have to access the power of the Titans himself!

This series features some of the greatest fight sequences in anime history. Like Vinland Saga, it was spearheaded by Wit Studio until MAPPA took over the project. Without Wit Studio’s work, Attack On Titan would not be the household name it is today.

(Featured image: Wit Studio)

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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.