Looking back at the most iconic anime from Studio Madhouse’s 50-year journey


Studio Madhouse was founded on October 17, 1972, which was 50 years ago. The number of great animes this studio has produced since its inception is simply astounding. Most fans probably know the animation company for some of the 2000s animes they’ve worked on, which included titles like Death Note and Black Lagoon.

The 2000s were the peak of their popular works, but the studio continues to produce animations even in 2022. Their line of work doesn’t appear to be stopping any time soon either, so there will be plenty of more shows to analyze in the future.

Until then, it’s worth looking back at some of their most iconic animes in the past 50 years since the animation studio debuted.


Some of Studio Madhouse’s best animes in the last 50 years

【お知らせ&感謝】
1972年10月17日の設立より、マッドハウスは50年目を迎えました!
数えきれない方々のおかげで本日を迎えられております。感謝申し上げます。
またこれを記念し、来年1月には特設サイトを公開致します。詳細は続報をお待ちください。
今後とも、どうぞよろしくお願い致します!

【お知らせ&感謝】1972年10月17日の設立より、マッドハウスは50年目を迎えました!数えきれない方々のおかげで本日を迎えられております。感謝申し上げます。またこれを記念し、来年1月には特設サイトを公開致します。詳細は続報をお待ちください。今後とも、どうぞよろしくお願い致します!

The above Tweet is from the company’s official Twitter account. On translation, it it reads as:

“[Notice & Thanks] Founded on October 17, 1972, Madhouse celebrates its 50th anniversary! Thanks to countless people, we are here today. Thank you. In commemoration of this, a special site will be released in January next year. Please wait for the next report for details. Thank you for your continued support!”

It isn’t known as of yet about what the special website will feature, but it is something for anime fans to look forward to in the near future. The studio has certainly created numerous great animes for viewers to enjoy, so let’s take a look at some of their iconic shows.


The early days

Aim for the Ace! was a good sports anime (Image via Madhouse)

Studio Madhouse was founded on October 17, 1972, when some ex-Musi Production animators got some funding to start their own studio. Their first-ever project was Aim for the Ace! The debut anime was co-animated by both this studio and Tokyo Movie, which is a common motif for several other early projects, including:

  • Gamba no Bōken
  • Nobody’s Boy: Remi
  • Treasure Island

Their first solo television show was Yawara! A Fashionable Judo Girl!, which happened back on October 16, 1989. From that point on, a majority of Madhouse’s works would be solo projects, although there would be the occasional co-animation with other studios.

Some other iconic anime worth mentioning prior to 2000 include:

  • Bomberman B-Daman Bakugaiden
  • Cardcaptor Sakura
  • Di Gi Charat
  • Trigun

Many of these shows might not be in the limelight for the younger generation, but they’re still great in their own right. Some shows even got sequels that this studio worked on, most notably Di Gi Charat.

However, some of these shows returned under a different studio decades later, like Reiwa no Di Gi Charat under Liden Films or Trigun Stampede under Orange.


The 2000s

A critically acclaimed show (Image via Madhouse)

The animation studio’s peak was arguably in the 2000s, and that’s when they worked on several dozen different animes. Both the quantity and the quality were present. Examples of iconic animes during this time period include:

  • Beyblade
  • Black Lagoon
  • Death Note
  • Hajime no Ippo: New Challenger
  • Hajime no Ippo: The Fighting!
  • Kirby: Right Back at Ya!
  • NANA
  • Paradise Kiss
  • Paranoia Agent
  • Sakura Wars

Death Note was by far Studio Madhouse’s most popular show. As a reference, it has over 3.5 million members on MyAnimeList. By comparison, Madhouse’s next most popular show, One Punch Man, only has over 2.8 million members. Death Note only had 37 episodes, but it is worth mentioning that the studio would also work on the animated movies for the series.

Readers should also know that many of these shows were easily accessible in the western world, which was notably different from many of the pre-2000s shows that this studio animated.


The 2010s

One of their most iconic works (Image via Madhouse)

The animation studio didn’t work on as many animes in the 2010s as they did from 2000 through 2009. However, there are still plenty of great shows, such as:

  • Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card
  • Chihayafuru
  • Hajime no Ippo: Rising
  • Hunter x Hunter
  • One Punch Man (Season 1 only)
  • Overlord
  • Parasyte -The Maxim-

It is worth mentioning that Studio Madhouse also worked on the One Punch Man: Road to Hero OVA. J.C. Staff also replaced Madhouse as the primary studio in season 2. Besides that, heavy hitters like Hunter x Hunter and Overlord are still widely talked about to this day.


2020~2022

As of right now, the only projects confirmed under the studio are:

  • Bibliophile Princess
  • Chi: Chikyū no Undō ni Tsuite
  • Loving Yamada at Lv999!
  • Police in a Pod
  • Sonny Boy
  • Takt Op. Destiny
  • The Vampire Dies in No Time

The most recent news surrounding this company is that they will work on the anime adaptation for Loving Yamada at Lv999!, also known as My Love Story With Yamada-kun at Lv999. It’s scheduled for a 2023 release date, but no specific dates are planned at the moment.

It’s been 50 long years, but Studio Madhouse animation studio has made quite a name for itself in the industry. Even if the modern shows aren’t as well-known as their earlier works, many fans are still looking forward to what the company has in store for them in the future.

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Edited by Abhipsa Choudhury






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