First the distinction between the producer/distributor and the anime studio: anime is created by production companies (anime studios) such as GAiNAX. However, in Japan the initiative to create the work generally comes from the producers/distributors (who presumably have the ultimate control and funding of the project) such as Sony/Aniplex (that is, Aniplex doesn't actually create the anime itself, but contracts with an anime studio to do the animation). Gradually, some of the anime studios are gaining more power in the production process, however. Some producers/distributors, such as Bandai and Toei, will have the anime studios within their corporate group, and so are able to carry out both manufacture and distribution of an anime in-house.

At times the producer/distributor will instruct the anime studio as to the anime to be made, on other occasions the anime studio may put a proposal for an anime to the producer/distributor.

As will be seen below, many large anime studios had their origins with one of two anime studios, Mushi Pro (created by Tezuka Osamu) or Tatsunoko Pro (another old studio), being established as independent studios by staff from those two old anime studios.

More recently, some businesses wishing to get involved in anime-related businesses have been eyeing the anime studios with interest. For example, earlier this year, mobile phone content provider Index Corporation took a 67% take in anime studio Madhouse.

Below is a list of some of the producers/distributors of anime:

Below is a list of some of the anime studios which have relationships with other studios or with producers/distributors of anime:

Below is a list of the main anime studios and an example of anime they have worked on. In the case of some of the lesser anime studios, the studio may have only worked on several of the episodes of the anime named. Other studios concentrate on particular aspects of animation, such as Kusanagi or Green which deal with cel backgrounds:


Source: Animation Grand Prix magazine (published by Shufunotomo Infos Jouhou Sha).

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