Founded a little less than a decade ago, WIT Studio has quickly and quietly established themselves as a studio that doesn’t mess around with their animation quality. With titles that range all the way from 2013’s Attack on Titan to 2021’s Vivy – Flourite Eye’s Song –, WIT Studio has become a force to be reckoned with in a very short amount of time.
WIT Studio was first established as a subsidiary of parent company IG Port by a former Production I.G employee, George Wada, in June 2012 along with Tetsuya Nakatake as the first representative director. The studio was created with only about $271,000 in initial capital investment from IG Port, Wada, and Nakatake.
Despite the studio opening halfway through 2012, the studio didn’t actually release any works until 2013 with the first season of Attack on Titan in April and the movie Hal in June, the latter of which served as the first original project from the studio.
This trend would continue into 2015 with the studio releasing their second original work, a television series titled The Rolling Girls, and then again in 2016 with the original work Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress. This would be the last original production from the studio until the 2020 series The Great Pretender which premiered globally on Netflix.
Scattered throughout these original works were various adaptations of manga titles, including Seraph of the End, After the Rain, and Ancient Magus’ Bride, along with co-productions and video games.
WIT Studio’s Notable Works
Attack on Titan
Love it or hate it, Attack on Titan was the perfect launchpad for a brand new studio that was itching to show off what they could do. Director Tetsurou Araki called back the tone that he established in other dark horror series such as Death Note and Highschool of the Dead to create a dark atmosphere that drew in viewers by the millions. Attack on Titan quickly turned into a household title in every corner of the world.
In this series created by Hajime Isayama, humanity has been forced into walled cities due to free-roaming, man-eating giants known as titans. After seeing his mother killed by one of these titans, a young man named Eren decides to join the defense regiment who defends the people of each town. Unfortunately, Eren is hiding a secret about himself that even he isn’t aware of until it’s almost too late.
Imagine if a demon who answers to Satan were the HR director at your job and you have a very good idea of what this series is about. Based on the manga created by Natsumi Eguchi, the series was directed by Hiro Kaburaki and written by Midori Goto. Another former Production I.G staffer, Kaburaki worked very hard to create a hilariously tedious atmosphere within the various hellscapes that get shown throughout the run of the series as the demon Hozuki just attempts to do his job properly while putting out literal fires everywhere he looks.
The Ancient Magus’ Bride
Years from now, experts will look back on the anime adaptation of Ancient Magus’ Bride as one of the finest works of WIT Studio’s first decade. The series showed amazing range in both animation and storytelling quality. This is even more impressive when you factor in the relative inexperience of the animation studio and director/series composition creator Norihiro Naganuma.
Within 24 episodes, however, this team had created a dark fantasy series that would become one of the most heavily praised of the year, even winning Best Drama at the 2017 Crunchyroll Awards.
In this fantasy, a young girl named Chise is bought at an auction by a mage named Elias with the intention of turning the young girl into his apprentice and eventually his bride. First and foremost, however, is to raise her into a confident young woman who can walk with her head held high and confidence in her voice.
With Vinland Saga, WIT Studio entrusted another big project to a relatively inexperienced director in Shuhei Yabuta along with writer Hiroshi Seko. Once again, the gamble paid off big with another hit series (which sadly didn’t find much of an audience at first in the west because of Amazon).
In this historical action series, the main character is Thorfinn, who sees his warrior father die in battle at the hands of another man named Askeladd. In order to seek revenge for his father’s death, Thorfinn joins the crew of the ship and constantly challenges his new captain to duels.
Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song
The most recent entry on this list, Vivy is the culmination of a decade of hard work and dedication to their craft. With every episode, fans were treated to absolutely beautiful artwork and a slowly unraveling story that takes the audience on a wild ride that successfully combined Hatsune Miku with The Terminator!
In this sci-fi series which spans a full 100 years, Diva is an AI robot working as a singer at an amusement park with the only mission being to make people happy with her voice. One day, a strange entity named Matsumoto appears and informs Diva that in a century, AI around the world will go berserk and attack humans, with casualties reaching the thousands within only a few minutes time. Only she can stop the attack from happening by changing key moments throughout the next few decades, otherwise, humanity is doomed.
No one outside of the walls of WIT Studio knows what the future holds in store for this company. I do know that at the end of only ten years of existence; the studio has already created some stellar works that will easily withstand the harsh test of time. It’s my fervent hope that WIT Studio continues producing fantastic series such as these for many years to come because if these works of beauty are what they produced within their first ten years, I can only imagine what we’ll see by the time their 25th anniversary rolls around!