For old anime fans, Studio Madhouse’s status as one of the powerhouse anime studios can be compared to moviegoers seeing the lion in the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer logo at the start of a movie. Founded in 1972, the legendary anime studio has since become a reliable source for anime newcomers given its impressive body of work.
While the studio’s presence has been significantly dominated by up-and-coming companies like MAPPA and Ufotable, Studio Madhouse has produced classic anime series of almost every genre, delighting fans with quality animation and intriguing stories tailored to different demographics. .
Death threat (2006)
Psychological, Supernatural, Detective
Beginning is an equally legendary anime that launched a new reign of pop culture and laughable memes. Aside from a much-loved 2006 live-action adaptation, Death threat is surely the one that most fans recommended when first tested in anime waters.
The suspenseful series follows 17-year-old Japanese student Light Yagami on his quest to perish the evils of the world with his new Death Note, a notebook that grants anyone whose name is written on it instant death. Yagami’s divine power and his dubious use of it attract the curiosity of an eccentric but meticulous detective, L. Thus, the daunting game of cat and mouse begins.
black lagoon (2006 – 2011)
Action, Adventure, Crime
black lagoon begins when a self-effacing Japanese businessman, Rokurou, is captured by a group of modernized sea pirates, The Lagoon Company. Feeling betrayed by his former employer, Rokurou decides to join the gang and must quickly adapt to a whole new lifestyle of blood, sweat and bullets.
In addition to featuring colorful characters from diverse cultural backgrounds, black lagoon stands out among others seine net anime to have female characters that not only have rich backstories, but also kick ass while looking awesome doing it. Especially Revy, a cynical and talented gunslinger who steals the show from her team, and the entire show largely made up of men.
Cardcaptor Sakura (1988 – 2018)
Fantasy, Magical Girl, Comedy
Another bold entry into challenging gender conventions, Sakura card sensor not only makes the magical girl genre appealing to audiences of diverse demographics. The show isn’t shy about including LGBTQ+ subtext and making some main characters feel weird.
Alongside the show’s mascot Kero, 10-year-old Sakura Kinomoto is given the mission to collect all the Clow Cards, cards created by a wizard and each with magical powers. While some are relatively harmless, others can pose a danger to the world. In this fantasy anime, Sakura must learn to reconcile her studies and her peaceful family life with her secret identity as Cardcaptor.
Monster (2004 – 2005)
Psychological, Mystery, Suspense
Still waiting Benicio Del Torothe live-action version of the psychological horror anime, Freak is undoubtedly a slower paced series with 74 episodes. Nonetheless, it lives up to all the praise it deserves as a Freak deftly questions the distinction between good and evil, whether society created the monster known as Johann Liebert, or whether humans can be inherently evil.
The dilemma not only remains doubtful for the audience, but also for the main character of the anime series, Dr. Kenzou Tenma. Realizing that Johann, the boy he once saved, has become a manipulative sociopath causing serial murders, Dr. Tenma embarks on a journey of redemption.
Ultimate Hellsing (2006 – 2012)
Vampire, Action, Horror
Interested in seeing a nearly 600-year-old vampire take on an entire army of Nazi soldiers? The infamous anime anti-hero Alucard and his sidekick Seras Victoria must battle not only the undead, but also the Millennium Organization who are fighting for world domination and erasure.
Ultimate Hellsing is a reboot of the animated franchise, with a 2001 adaptation previously produced by Studio Gonzo. While the latter suffers from the inclusion of fillers like manga was not finished at the time, Ultimate Hellsing not only remains faithful to the now completed manga source material, the quality of the animation and the execution of the character development excels tremendously over its predecessor.
Cyberpunk, Comedy, Adventure
For plebeians and bounty hunters, Vash The Stampede is a ruthless killer who leaves a trail of death and destruction in the cities he has visited, thus a bounty of $60,000,000,000 is awarded to him. In reality, Vash is just an optimistic guy with an obsessive love for donuts and sticks to his principle of not killing any of his opponents during battles.
Despite his clumsy and approachable exterior, “The Humanoid Typhoon” is also a lonely and tormented being as he is constantly betrayed by those he trusts due to his notorious reputation. In the midst of all misfortune, Vash holds hope for the world as evidenced by his catchphrase: “The world is made of love and peace.”
Josei, musical, romance
The poignant story of two girls with the same first name, girl makes no effort to deliver tearful blows to the hearts of viewers with touching tales of friendships and heartaches. The Josei The series also features some of the best music anime has ever brought to the world.
Nana Komatsu is a naïve and dependent 20-year-old whose life thrives on romance and relationships. She travels to Tokyo on a train to meet her then-boyfriend when her path crosses that of Nana Osaki, an ambitious punk rock singer from the Black Stones. Undeterred by their seemingly opposite personalities, their fateful meeting leads to a chain of events that not only deepens their bond but simultaneously tests the longevity of their friendship.
One-Punch Man (Season 1 – 2015)
Action, Comedy, Parody
In order to become a superhero, ordinary businessman Saitama quit his job and went on an extreme physical training regimen for 3 years, losing all of his hair in the process. As a result, Saitama attained omnipotence, a power so overwhelming that he could defeat his opponents with a single punch. His divine power brought him fame, but also the unexpected result that he was easily bored in battle due to his winning streak.
One of the best anime series streaming on netflix, A punch unmistakably borrows from many superhero tropes and many can predict battles would become stale. The 2015 anime series edgily adds its spin on the flat genre with overpowered yet relatable characters and great animation, especially during the fight sequences, in addition to the ongoing dry humor it champions.
Hajime No Ippo (2000 – 2014)
Sports, Comedy, Shounen
High school student Ippo Makunouchi is a timid, timid boy raised alone by his mother, whom he helps with her fishing boat rental business. Due to his withdrawn personality, he is often bullied by others until one day an up-and-coming boxer named Mamoru Takamura helps him chase the bullies away. Thanks to Takamura, Ippo becomes obsessed with boxing and his powerful punches provide him with the opportunity to train in the boxing gym as well as legitimate boxing matches.
Hajime No Ippo chronicles Ippo’s boxing journey where he defeats opponents from various walks of life and secures championship titles. What’s exciting about this underdog story is not just the varied characters that Ippo encounters, but also Ippo who hasn’t changed for the worse, but is constantly improving for the better.
The Tatami Galaxy (2018)
Mystery, Comedy, Slice of life
Audiences may be amazed or feel overwhelmed by the beautifully intricate animation style, the piles of monologues delivered quickly, and the multiple parallel worlds depicted, The Tatami Galaxy does not disappoint anime fans and rookies alike with its unique take on high school life.
The creators pull off a “Clint Eastwood” when they didn’t give the main character a name, just letting the young man refer to himself as “I”. Instead, the series focuses on his journey to make friends when he is given multiple chances to re-choose how he lives each life in groundhog day-the fashion.
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