I am of the mindset that an opinion should be made based on research in any situation. I hate to hear people bitch that ‘all mecha sucks’ when they’ve seen exactly two shows from the genre (this seems to be the case for many.) I am sick of people calling a show ‘cliche’ when the show is intended to be homage or parody. These are all things that a little research would show to anyone. Whether or not you like the show is based all on you, but before you open your mouth to the world, you’d best know what you’re talking about. That’s why I’ve gotten rather tired of people making uneducated remarks about studios, especially those that supposedly ‘suck.’
EVERY studio has fuck-ups. EVERY studio has some ‘less-than-good’ or even outright horrible shows. Some of them may have more dramatic portions of their production than others, and some studios may have absolutely no good shows to speak of. However, every studio has a shitty show. The trouble is that they have no way of controlling which shows will become popular – the shitty shows or the good ones – and when the shitty ones get popular, they begin to represent the studio in the minds of fans, regardless of whether or not the studio merely produced a fluke.
See exhibit A: J.C.Staff. We are at a time where there are more new anime fans than ever, and two of the big popular shows among new anime fans and old ones alike are Shakugan no Shana and Zero no Tsukaima. Those who’ve seen both shows can probably tell you that, while they may have some merits, these shows are pretty fucking terrible. As a result, it seems as though people have become ‘wary’ of J.C. Staff releases. Now, I can see how this was with Toradora since it really did look like the next of kin to those shows, but J.C. Staff should hardly at all be a studio to be worried about.
In case you’ve forgotten, here are some J.C. Staff shows that can show you just how great the studio is: Azumanga Daioh, Cat Soup, Excel Saga, Ghost Hunt, Gunparade March, Honey and Clover, Loveless, Nodame Cantabile, Potemayo, Revolutionary Girl Utena, Yamamoto Yohko, Yomigaeru Sora, and, of course, Toradora.
Now, that’s not to say the studio hasn’t done a LOT of shitty anime. But dude, there is no way that you can name even ONE of your favorite shows that is done by a production company that hasn’t produced a number of shitty anime. Gainax? He is My Master, Mahoromatic, This Ugly Yet Beautiful World, Melody of Oblivion – okay none of them are that bad but none of them are that good (def not Ugly Yet). Madhouse? They may look like a powerhouse of amazing anime, but dude they did motherfucking Tenjou Tenge, one of the shittiest things I’ve ever bore 10 minutes of, as well as shit like (leaving out IMAGIN shows) Biohunter, Devil May Cry, Hitsuji no Uta (not bad but a studio fucking failure), and Princess Resurrection. Production I.G. makes the highest budget shows in the universe yet they still managed to produce one of the SHITTIEST ANIME EVER MADE, Kai Doh Maru.
Knowing this, it bothers me to hear people bitch about a studio making a few bad anime when they’ve got others that are fantastic. GONZO is, of course, the prime example. After a chain of immensely shitty shows, and not even all that long of one really, people just lost all faith in the studio and started parading it as some hell-spawn studio. Dude, they didn’t even fall that hard. Dragonaut is the shittiest anime ever made, but beyond that, it’s not some giant loss.
Gonzo has produced a number of absolutely amazing series. Kaleido Star, Last Exile, Blue Submarine no. 6, Welcome to the NHK, Red Garden, Gankutsuou, and those are just the ones I’m a personal fan of, not including many that are hugely popular like Hellsing, Seto no Hanayome, Chrono Crusade, Saikano, Kiddy Grade, and FullMetal Panic. Pre-Dragonaut, the studio only had the amount of less-than-good shows one would expect from any studio, and post-Dragonaut there was only really Rosario to Vampire which was no worse than your average fanservice shit-romp. By the next season, people were avoiding them like the plague, while those that stuck around seemed to find Tower of Druaga exceptionally good for a video game adaption, and everyone who passed a few eps of Blassreiter ended up loving it. People cried foul when Strike Witches was arriving, but the show turned out to be excellent, which flipped all that bullshit on it’s head. There is really no reason to be expecting the next great failure from Gonzo when, aside from Dragonaut, they are doing pretty much par for the average studio course.
I think it’s pretty reasonable to believe that if a studio has produced a number of good shows, they are going to produce a number of good shows in the future, and a few shitty anime here and there doesn’t mean the ruin of the studio. Instead of cowering in fear every time J.C. Staff gets a light novel adaption, people should be looking at their good shows and getting excited.
That all said, Kyoto Animation has not produced a shitty show to date. People are going to bitch like hell when they do, and I’m going to be beating my head against walls.