Top 10 Anime Companies That Don't Exist Anymore



Top 10 Anime Companies That Don't Exist Anymore

VOICE OVER: Ashley Bowman WRITTEN BY: Alex Crilly-Mckean
For better or worse, these studios helped define anime for a whole generation. Join Ashley as we count down our picks for the anime companies that have since been dissolved, including the likes of "4Kids Entertainment", "Arms", "A.D Vision", and more!
Script written by Alex Crilly-Mckean

Top 10 Anime Companies That Don’t Exist Anymore

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we are going to be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Anime Companies That Don’t Exist Anymore.

For this list, we’re looking over the anime studios and producers that are no longer with us, but left a legacy, nonetheless. Think we missed An industry veteran? Let us know in the comments!

#10: “Topcraft” (1971-85)

Before there was Studio Ghibli, there was this king of hand drawn animation. Out of their vast library of productions, their most notable is without a doubt Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, whose elegant yet horrifying visuals continue to astound to this day. What you may not realise is that Topcraft also had a hand in shaping plenty of western animation, and was a frequent collaborator of Rankin/Bass. Remember The Flight of Dragons and The Last Unicorn? They're doing! At least their successor would go on to become a cinematic juggernaut!

#9: “Artland Studios” (1978-2015)

They certainly had a good run of things! Alongside dipping their toes into the Macross and Legend of the Galactic Heroes franchises, Artland’s real claim to fame is the vastly underrated shonen romp that is Hitman Reborn, along with everyone’s favourite anime indie darling Mushishi. Neither of which are slackers when it comes to action scenes as well as evocative, mystical imagery. Can’t exactly say the same of their final anime venture in the Seven Mortal Sins, but if you’re going to make a graceful exit, might as well do it with a flood of oppai.

#8: “Triangle Staff” (1987-2002)

Established by former members of animation giant Madhouse, it looked like this new studio was on track to do great things, and while they didn’t exactly break new ground, they did accumulate quite a catalogue. While contributing to long established franchises such as Macross and Captain Harlock, Triangle Staff’s greatest achievement is without a doubt Serial Experiments Lain. The haunting, mind-bending thriller with a scarily prophetic commentary on the likes of social media is still a superstar of the anime scene, and Triangle animated it beautifully. Still can’t unsee that alien.

#7: “Geneon Entertainment (USA)” (2003-07)

While its Japanese counterpart still somewhat exists under the banner of NBC Universal, Geneon USA is well and truly gone. Which is a shame, given the amount of anime they licensed, dubbed and shipped to the west over the years. Without their helping hand, we may not have been introduced to the likes of Hellsing Ultimate, Higurashi, Black Lagoon, My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU, and yes, even Highschool of the Dead. We don’t want to live in a world without Saeko’s bullet-time bosom.

#6: “Arms” (1996-2020)

Everyone stand up and salute for the passing of the de-facto animation studio behind pretty much all of your favourite ecchi and hentai series. We’re not even joking. These mad lads are the ones behind the laughable Ikki-Tousen, busty fantasy Queen’s Blade, off the chain Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid, as well as…Elfen Lied? Yeah, somehow these guys were also responsible for one of the most gruesome and soul-destroying examples of animated prejudice and violence. Not sure how they found the time to create such a downer in-between all that time drawing cleavage!

#5: “A.D. Vision” (1992-2009)

Also known as ADV Films, this Texan based distributor and producer helped deliver some absolute classics back in the day. For those lucky enough to already be encroached in anime, they helped deliver the likes of Grave of the Fireflies, Gurren Lagann, Rurouni Kenshin: Trust and Betrayal, and the masterpiece that is Neon Genesis Evangelion. While later liquidated, the majority of their licensed work can be found via Sentai Filmworks, so in some little way their work is still going strong.

#4: “Xebec” (1995-2019)

One of the most prolific animation studios, for over two decades these guys helped create a myriad of series that, while not all quite reaching the bar in quality, certainly struck a chord with fans. Tackling basically every genre, Xebec’s most notable contributions include Love Hina, Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs, DNAngel, the original Shaman King and To Love Ru. Basically, an eclectic mix of slice of life, romantic goodness, and the occasional bit of action. As of now, the remnants are working for Sunrise on new projects, so hopefully a lot of them are well-versed in animating mechas.

#3: “Bandai Entertainment” (1999-2013)

Talk about pedigree! Before finally shutting its doors, this North American branch of the monster corporation that is Bandai licensed some of the greatest anime of its day, not to mention some killer dubs! The Haruhi Suzumiya franchise, some of the greatest Gundam entries out there, including 00 and the 08th MS Team, Eureka Seven, the Girl Who Leapt Through Time, as well as the Big Two; Code Geass and Cowboy Bebop. Just on the merit of those two alone, we can’t help but give Bandai credit!

#2: “Manglobe” (2002-15)

While tragically fumbling across the finish line with shows such as Gangsta and Samurai Flamenco, it’s fair to say this animation studio had one hell of a career start. How do you top kicking things off with original shows like Samurai Champloo and Ergo Proxy? Apparently with three seasons of The World God Only Knows. While it’s a shame they weren’t given the chance to reach new heights, at least that made a solid imprint in the industry with their earlier efforts!

#1: “4Kids Entertainment” (1970-2017)

You know what, in some weird, weird way – we miss 4Kids. They provided 90s youngsters with some of their earliest exposure to anime, even if the dubs were admittedly atrocious at times. We’re looking at you One Piece. However, they were also responsible for giving us the early dub of Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh: Duel Monsters. Say what you will about quality, they still hold a special place in the hearts of fans for the nostalgia value alone. While we're happy they didn’t get their claws into other animated properties, we can’t help but look back on them with some measure of fondness.
It was actually 2010 when 4Kids starting ceasing to exist.