Even if you’re not much of an anime fan, ‘Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood‘ and ‘My Hero Academy‘ are two shows you must have heard of. What’s common between these two great anime shows is that they are from the same animation studio. Apart from these two, you’ll be surprised to know how many of your favorite anime have been produced by Studio Bones. The studio was founded in 1998 by the staff of Sunrise and since then, it has taken the anime world by storm with some very well known titles that reflect the quality of content produced by the studio. Even to this day, many of their shows rank amongst the best anime of all time.
Every time they announce a new anime, most fans are willing to give it a shot knowing that even if the story is not good enough, the anime’s overall animation quality will always be top-notch. Now a studio that produces content so consistently cannot always come up with great shows. So considering that, we have jotted down some of their best works that should definitely be not missed out. You can stream most of these anime on Funimation, Crunchyroll or Hulu.
12. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (2009-2010)
‘Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood‘ is often referred to as the greatest anime show that has ever been made and all the hype around it is very well justified. It tells the story of two young brothers who try to use “human transmutation” to bring back their dead mother. But all of it goes freakishly wrong and in this taboo process of alchemy, Alphonse, the elder brother, ends up losing two of his limbs; while Edward, the younger one, loses his entire body and is forced to live as a trapped soul in a silver shield of armor. What follows is their journey to look for the Philosopher’s Stone which is the only thing that can help them regain their old normal life.
‘Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood’ proves that staying loyal to the source material can sometimes level-up an anime from being an above average show to becoming exceptionally great. It is one show that is almost close to perfection and can even be enjoyed by those who are fairly new to the world of anime. If interested, you can watch the entire series on Netflix.
11. Fullmetal Alchemist (2003-2004)
‘Fullmetal Alchemist’ may not be as good as ‘Brotherhood’ but it still deserves to be on this list because it has its own unique charm that may, at times, even overshadow certain aspects of the original one. This version of the show came out when the manga was yet to be published completely. Studio Bones adapted all the source material content they could lay their hands on and decided to continue the show with an original anime story.
In the end, this did work out well for them as even this one was highly acclaimed by most fans. But after ‘Brotherhood’ released, endless debates about which one is better were all over the internet. While ‘Brotherhood’ still remains to be a dominant choice for most viewers, if you don’t mind watching a darker ending to the anime, you should definitely check this one out.
10. My Hero Academia (2016-)
The “school of superheroes” is quite a popularized concept in western cinema mostly because of the ‘X-Men‘ franchise. ‘My Hero Academia‘ adopts a similar idea which might just seem a bit too cliched but its incredible cast of characters is something that makes it one hell of an anime show. It’s about a boy named Izuku who lives in a world where almost 80% of the population has superpowers referred to as “quirks”.
Unfortunately, Izuku belongs to the remaining 20% who do not possess any powers at all and because of this, he often becomes an easy target for bullies. But one day, an act of heroism where he saves the life of his bullies from a bad guy changes everything for him. This event even catches the attention of his idol, All Might, who then shares his own superpower with Izuku. But with this newfound “quirk”, Izuku must first set out on an adventure in order to learn to control his ability at the UA High.
9. Noragami (2014-)
‘Noragami‘ is the story of Yato who is the self-proclaimed “delivery god”. But despite being a godly figure, he has absolutely no worshippers and has no shrines dedicated to him. Desperate for money, he does odd jobs throughout the day and dreams of having millions of devotees someday. But his dreams are far from realized and things get even worse for him when his weapon partner gets tired of all of his failures and decides to leave him. One day, while crossing the road, Yato almost gets hit by a car when a girl named Hiyori saves his life by taking the hit herself.
Even though she manages to survive the accident, her soul is set loose and her spirit demands Yato to send her back to her body. When she finds out that Yato is looking for a new partner, she helps him find one and hopes that along the way, they will also be able to find a way to send her back to her own body. The best thing about this series is that unlike many other anime shows, it perfectly manages to adapt every single element of the story of its source material without even batting an eye. And what you’ve read above is only half of what its story offers; so to know more about it, you should definitely check it out.
8. Mob Psycho 100 (2019-)
‘Mob Psycho 100‘ is based on a web manga series that goes by the same name. It has an interesting story about a character named Shigeo Kageyama who often goes unnoticed in crowds because of his timid reserved personality. This earns him the nickname “Mob” from the few people who are aware of his existence. But it turns out that Mob actually possesses psychic abilities that he tries to suppress by controlling his emotions. He is aware that his powers could harm the ones around him and that’s why he tries his best to keep them in control. But as he grows older, his powers grow even more and this makes him question his ability to control them. This experimental project of the studio is truly remarkable and its Mob is one of the most fleshed-out anime characters of all time.
7. Soul Eater (2008-2009)
‘Soul Eater‘ is more like a modern shounen that has a wacky yet stylish animation style that reminds you of the music band ‘Gorillaz’. The first season of this anime was very well received in Japan and even abroad but its second season turned out to be a bit of a disappointment. But even then, it’s one of the best works of the Studio and overall, it has a very cool addictive vibe.
‘Soul Eater’ is about a famous academy called the Death Weapon Meister Academy which is led by the Lord of Death himself. His motive is to raise Death Scythes that can later be used by Shinigami. Any human hybrid who can transform his/her body into Demon Weapons can become a Death Scythe only if he/she is able to acquire the souls of 99 evil beings and the soul of one witch. The anime explores the story of Soul Eater Evans who aspires to be a Demon Scythe solely because he thinks it’s cool. He sets out on an adventure to devour evil forces in the world, along with his friends, to acquire the 99 souls that he needs.
6. Ouran High School Host Club (2006)
‘Ouran High School Host Club‘ was adapted from an already existing franchise that includes a live-action series, live-action movies and also a manga. But despite being a little late to the party, the anime has become one of the best comedies of the past decade. It is now a highly popular high school anime and is considered to be a parody of the whole Otaku Culture.
Fujioka Haruhi is a new student at the Ouran Academy and she feels really out of place and lonely amongst the rich kids of her new school. One day, she ends up breaking a very expensive vase that belongs to the Ouran Academy Host Club. The members of the club become furious and make her dress up as a man to please their female clients to work off the debt that she now owes them. What lies next is a series of ridiculously hilarious acts of perversion that will make you laugh out loud.
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5. Bungou Stray Dogs (2016-)
Atushi Najakima is cursed with the ability to be able to see supernatural beings. In his orphanage, a ghost tiger seems to be causing havoc but since he is the only one who can see it, everyone blames him for the damage that it causes. Soon, even the orphanage gets sick of him and decides to throw him out. Now all by himself, with no food or money, Atuhi wanders on the streets with the Ghost Tiger now chasing him. Luckily for him, he runs into a paranormal detective named Osamu Dazai who provides him shelter and seeks his help to find the Ghost Tiger who has been chasing him all this while. What initially seemed like a curse now turns into a blessing as Atushi gets the opportunity to work with an Elite detective organization that is responsible for solving cases that the normal police force cannot.
‘Bungou Stay Dogs‘ is not as flashy as the other entries on this list but it’s still quite an engaging mystery anime that is completely worth your time. After its release, it was so well received that a new season was announced right after the first season ended. Recently in 2018, even a movie adaptation of it was created. So you’ve got a whole lot of cool detective action stuff to catch up on.
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4. Space Dandy (2014)
Directed by the very well known Shinichiro Watanabe, ‘Space Dandy‘ is a visual treat that revolves around a bounty hunter whose job is to explore the depths of space and catch aliens. Along with his crew which includes a robot vacuum and an alien-like cat, Dandy’s job is to find all kinds of unregistered aliens and then enter them in his database. But during these space tours, things don’t usually go as planned and he even finds himself in far-off unknown galaxies. As much as its story might sound like that of ‘Cowboy Bebop‘, it does not even come close to the perfection of the 90s classic. But it is still a fairly good sci-fi show that most viewers will enjoy.
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3. Wolf’s Rain (2003-2004)
‘Wolf’s Rain’ is a masterpiece of an anime that not only excels with its animation but also has a well-rounded story with deep characters and some of the most beautiful soundtracks ever composed. Studio Bones has done an incredible job with this anime, especially the story which is completely original and has not been adapted from any novels or manga. Put this one right on top your “must watch anime list” as this slice-of-life fantasy is something no one should be missing out on.
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2. Snow White With the Red Hair (2015-)
‘Snow White With the Red Hair‘ is based on a very popular manga that goes by the same name. The anime has been doing really well so far and is another example of the Studio’s display of killer artwork. It is another one of those anime like ‘Akatsuki no Yona‘ that revolves around the life of a strong-willed female character who defies all the odds that are against her. If you’re looking for an uplifting story that has elements of romance and slice-of-life, then you should certainly check this one out on Funimation.
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1. Darker Than Black (2007-2009)
“Contractors” are humans who have acquired supernatural abilities after a Hell’s Gate had broken loose ten years before the present events of the anime. ‘Darker Than Black‘ follows the adventure of two such Contractors named Hei and Yin, who are sought out by several organizations of the world to carry out missions that no other ordinary human can. ‘Darker Than Black’ became so popular after its first season that though it is an original work of Studio Bones, a manga adaptation of it was also published later for fans who wanted to experience more of the story. It is by far one of the best shows produced by Studio Bones and if sci-fi–action anime are your thing, then you should surely stream this one on Netflix.
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