P.A Works / Animation Studio
P.A Works is a Japanese animation studio which was established on November 10, 2000. It is located in Nanto, Toyama in Japan.
The president of the company Kenji Horikawa used to work in :
-Production I.G (Guilty Crown, Psycho-Pass)
-Bee Train (.hack//Sign, Tsubasa Chronicle)
-Tatsunoko Production (Sket Dance, Gatchaman Crowds)
before founding P.A Works in 2000. The main office of the studio is located in Toyama where drawing and digital photography take place while production and directions takes place in the office in Tokyo. Before P.A works started working on anime they were involved with the animation of video games. I guess most of you definetly heard about Proffessor Layton before ? They were working on the animation of the game. Besides games they were also involved in movies like Sword of the Stranger or Evangelion.
But then it finally happened. Their first own anime was True Tears. True Tears was released in 2008 and was the first anime series P.A Works released. True Tears is a romance anime and a quite good one too. So they had a great start.
Their next work was Canaan which released a year later in 2009. This is the only anime of P.A Works I haven’t watched yet so I can’t say much about it. But Canaan was also a success in Japan and the DVD Volumes were selling quite good and even received 2 Awards (one for the seiyuu and one for the anime itself).
Moving to the next series the loved series Angel Beats. I guess Angel Beats is actually one of my least favorite anime from P.A Works. This doesn’t mean I didn’t liked it though it was just not as good as their other anime imo. Anyway Angel Beats was one of the anime which made the studio more popular. The critics were generally posotive and P.A Works was praised a lot for their animation.
Their next work was Hanasaku Iroha which is one of my all time favorite anime. The animation was fantastic as it could be expected from P.A Works and the anime itself was very enjoyable. Just like the anime before this also received a lot of positive critics on the animation and the characters. Many different reviewers view Hanasaku Iroha as one of the best anime in 2011.It was so popular that it even got a live action movie.
2012 Another was their next project. Another work of them that everyone knows about. But as expected from P.A Works they managed to adapt the great manga into a great anime. Great animation and pacing which makes it one of the most popular horror anime even today. The sales were great and it gained a lot of popularity worldwide.
In the same year they also released Tari Tari which is another great Slice Of Life after Hanasaku Iroha. P.A Works popularity keeps rising and all of their works so far had great critics and sold fantastic.
Red Data Girl released in 2013 and was the first anime of P.A Works which received rather negative critics. While the animation were praised it was way too rushed. It wasn’t selling as good as the anime before either.
Koitabi : True Tours Nanto is a short special series with short eps and 6 episodes and I just heard for the first time about it lol. *puts it on the watchlist*
The Eccentric Family also in 2013 was one of the hidden gems of the year. It wasn’t as popular as the previous anime they released but it was one the anime which received the best critics and was generally praised a lot. I also think that this anime was really fantastic and everyone should check it out.
Here it comes. Glasslip. The worst anime by far of the studio. While the animation here stays also fantastic the plot and the characters were just incredibly boring and bad. I don’t even want to talk about this anime anymore and I pretend this never happened.
And then we reach the next big hype anime Nagi no Asukara, This released in 2014 and was another very popular anime in 2014. The setting and characters were praised a lot. I also liked the idea behind the story even though the romance in this anime was a bit too much in my opinion. Still overall a great anime and (yes I keep saying it) the animation was top notch. The water was so beautiful and overall the world of it was visually just beautiful.
Shirobako has been their latest anime and probably also my favorite anime of the studio. An anime about making anime. In Japan it was considered one of the most popular anime in the fall and winter season (24 eps) and is also for me one of my all time favorite anime.
Overall you can see that P.A Works is a successful anime studio with (almost) mainly good anime. The studio is not only known for the good anime but also for their great animation I was praising the whole time. It’s always great and every single anime has atleast this one Scenery Porn. Those are scenes were you just know that the animators put more effort into this single scene.
It’s mostly a background with great details and amazing lighting. Moments were you just feel like taking a screenshot. Like the most Animation Studios P.A Works has also something where you just know that it’s from this studio and this is the eyes. The characters have usually big eyes which are hard to miss. If you watched a few anime from the studio you will be able to tell it just from the character designs too
P.A Works is one of my favorite anime studio. They (almost) never fail to impress me and be it Horror, Slice of Life or Romance it’s always good. I can’t wait for Charlotte in the Summer Season.