Top 5: Anime by Studio J.C.Staff (updated)

Tuesday's Top 5

Another studio list. So far I’ve done fun titles by Bones and favourite works by P.A Works but today I turn my attention to Studio J.C.Staff mostly because while they aren’t my favourite studio and I find their work a bit hit and miss, they’ve produced a fair number of solid titles in my anime collection at this point. That said, other than sequels I haven’t found a lot of shows I love from them in recent years (though watched a number of them).

I’ll even forgive them for season 2 of One Punch Man.

I’m ranking these titles purely on the number of times I’ve rewatched them.

What are your favourite anime from studio J.C.Staff?

Please Note: There may be some spoilers for the anime below.

Honourable mentions this week go to Kaichou wa Maid Sama and Golden Time. I love both of these stories but they just haven’t had the same amount of rewatches as some of the other anime on the list.

Number 5: Bakuman


The story of the two guys who think they are going to become famous mangaka and have an anime is actually really compelling. There are some issues that come up with how females are represented and the like, but mostly this is just a really interesting look at the industry as we follow the two main characters through a fairly gruelling journey.

On paper this story shouldn’t work given how long we spend watching the characters brain storm and work in their studio. It should be boring, and yet it is fascinating and they give the entire thing a very shonen feel without going too far into the crazy and unbelievable. However, more than just being a story of trying to become the best, this is a story about the characters and they really sell the work as you become deeply fixated on whether they succeed or fail and their relationships with the other characters.

Number 4: A Certain Scientific Railgun


The whole franchise with A Certain Magical Index seasons 1 and 2 and Railgun 1 and 2, really should hold this place together. I like these stories but they are riddled with problems so I tend to start a season and then get distracted and that stretches the watch time out.

However, once I’m done I always remember the series fondly which is why I’ll rewatch it again in a few months time because I seem to forget about the pacing and character issues. That said, A Certain Scientific Railgun season 1 is my favourite so far and a lot of that comes down to the four main girls who manage to really charm without being overly cute and annoying.

Number 3: Heaven’s Memo Pad


Apparently I’m yet to review this anime so I’ll definitely have to fix that. I love Heaven’s Memo Pad. That isn’t actually saying it is a good anime, but it just hits a certain spot when I’m in the right mood for it. Pretty much you know the feeling you used to get as a teenager where you want to just shut yourself away and right bad poetry for a day or two, that’s the mood you need to be in to truly appreciate Heaven’s Memo Pad.

It is heavy dark melodrama that takes itself very seriously but it manages to bring about some really great character moments and force the audience to confront some fairly heavy issues. It is trying really hard to hit you with feels and when you aren’t in the right mood it just kind of comes off as trying too hard, but when you are in the right frame of mind it is kind of perfect. Be prepared for issues involving suicide, social isolation, betrayal, drug use, gang violence, and so on and so forth as well as an overly cutely designed detective at the centre of the story.


Number 2: Ghost Hunt


I love Ghost Hunt but I will admit the reason it does get rewatched so often is the episodic nature of the story. Each case only covers a handful of episodes so you can just pick a case to watch without watching the entire anime.

Plus, the English dub works really well for most characters (John the apparent Australian priest is another story) so this is an anime I can watch when I’m really tired and don’t want to deal with subs or trying to pick up the Japanese.

Its your basic introduce a mystery, send in the team and investigate, figure out the cause and solve kind of thing but the cases are quite diverse and they usually manage some genuinely tense moments along the way. I also really like the characters in the story, or at least I like watching them given I think most of them would be really annoying in real life.

Number 1: Is it Wrong to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon

Anime by Studio J.C.Staff - Is It Wrong to Try to Pick up Girls in a Dungeon.

This is definitely a newer title for my collection but it is one I very quickly became addicted to Is It Wrong to Try To Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon. As in I watched it through, told my friend they had to watch it, and immediately binged the entire thing again over two or three days. It is a regular title for me to select when I need a pick me up. It is fun, energetic, has some awesome fight sequences, and it is really hard to feel bad about things when watching Bell run about so determined to reach his dreams.

I absolutely love this silly little adventure story and will happily watch it over and over again, and with season two and three out now there’s even more to love. I’m also not even going to touch why the spin-off was an incredible waste of time.

Anyway, that’s my list this week. Feel free to tell me your favourite titles from Studio J.C.Staff in the comments below.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

53 thoughts on “Top 5: Anime by Studio J.C.Staff (updated)

      1. When I read the post, I thought of making my own list, but JC Staff is so expansive that even going through all their shows on MAL, I wasn’t sure what to choose. Joshiraku was the one show I knew would be on the list. It’s not necessarily my favourite JC Staff show, but among those that I remember are from that studio, it’s definitely my favourite.

        It’s a cute girls do cute things show with a rakugo gimmick. It’s not set in school. Every episode follows the same formula: Rakugo performance – backstage talk – Tokyo hotspot tour – backstage talk – Rakugo performance. A lot of the jokes went over my head (very culturally specific), but the ones I got were exactly my humour. It’s an adaption of a Kumeta manga (Zetsubou Sensei, Kakushigoto), and it’s really well done.

  1. For my picks I’d probably go with Toradora, Flying Witch, Revolutionary Girl Utena, Hi Score Girl, and DanMachi. JC Staff is very hit-or-miss for me. They’ve obviously put out some absolute classics over the years, but they’re also probably responsible for more DVDs that I’ve watched once and permanently buried on the back of my shelf than any other studio.

  2. Certainly an interesting list! I have only watched DanMachi from your list and while it’s not my favourite I can’t deny that there is a lot of entertainment value there. Just wasn’t for me. I can tell by your brief description of the spin-off from this year that it probably won’t change my mind much XD. My favourites from the studio so far would be shocking or confusing to some people. My favourite from JC Staff is either Amanchu or Selector Infected WIXOSS, both of which garnered mixed reception.

    I have been meaning to get around to Bakuman and the Railgun and I can’t say I have heard of Heaven’s Memo Pad before but colour me interested by your description of it. Might need to check that one out at some point soon!

    1. I enjoyed the Selector Infected WIXOSS anime and various follow on versions but it just didn’t land in the top of the list.
      Yeah, the spin-off of DanMachi was… I think bad is the best description. I only stuck it out as many episodes as I did (and I still dropped before the midseason mark) because I kept hoping I’d see some of the fun I’d had with DanMachi. Nope, not there.

  3. JC Staff… Excel Saga, Azumanga Daio, Slayer Next/Try, Honey and Clover, Nodame Cantabile – my favourites. Thinking of watching Bakuman – but the number of episodes looks a bit scary

  4. Mt favorite JC Staff anime?

    1: Toradora
    2: Excel Saga
    3: Azumanga Daioh
    4: Slayers Next
    5: A Certain Scientific Railgun

    I agree with you that Railgun is the best of the To Aru franchise. I’ve always thought Misaka made a much more interesting and compelling protagonist than Toma.

      1. Misaka is an active hero who enters conflicts for her own defined reasons. Toma is more reactive, and his only real motive is preserving the status quo.

        Have you seen my review of Toradora? I gave it a 10.

  5. I like Railgun (not so much Index), but in terms of favs by JC Staff… Flying Witch and Alice & Zouroku are head and shoulders above the rest.

    Golden Time was pretty good and I enjoyed it… But somehow it doesn’t feel right to classify it as a fav. But it also feels wrong to exclude it.

    1. That’s why I gave it an honourable mention. I really enjoyed it but saying it is a favourite… not so much. Flying Witch is fantastic but just too slow for me, however I fully understand why it would be high up on other people’s lists.

  6. Ghost Hunt’s definitely my favorite from them but it is more because of my attachment with the manga. I wish they would make a second season of this.
    I didn’t even know something like Heaven’s memo pad exists but I want to try it, since I’m in the mood for some dark melodrama.

    1. A second season of Ghost Hunt would be awesome because there’s so much more to learn about the characters, and the individual cases can literally continue forever.
      Hope you enjoy Heaven’s Memo Pad.

      1. Yeah! The original author has published multiple side stories on the characters and if they could incorporate those with remaining cases, it would make such a great anime!

      1. And the episodes are stand alone stories. * I don’t have the last season , though….. or there isn’t anymore ? ” The last episode I have is that one where the TV star girl, the main girl’s rival , has been taken captive in an old mansion.

          1. No, I haven’t seen that. I wonder if there’s a disc copy of the next episodes. There’s none at Amazon. I checked it out already.

  7. I saw Railgun and I just instantly had to reward you with a like.

    Mikoto Misaka is by far one of two favourite waifus (I have 37 so that’s saying something) #TsundereTooCute, the series just had that perfect dose of badassery action and carefree girls fun .

    I’ve really enjoyed Bakuman and Dungeon with the others mentioned on ‘my to watch’ list.

  8. While I don’t agree whatsoever on your number one, the rest are series commonly seen as J.C. Staff’s better series. One surprise, however, is Heaven’s Memo Pad. I damn near cleaned my glasses after seeing that. Didn’t realize you felt so strongly about it, as I also think it’s a decent series (some bias due to it being among the first anime I ever watched).

    But I can’t help but feel… there’s something missing from here… something… extraordinary… Hrmm… ; ]

    1. I can’t believe I just noticed that you changed your blog name. When did that happen?
      I’m always surprised by how much I enjoy watching Heaven’s Memo Pad given when I sit back and think about it, there really are a lot of issues with the story and pacing. Still, it hits the spot and I keep coming back to it time and again.
      I’m really trying to get your hint about what is missing and I’m drawing a complete blank.

      1. I changed it about three days ago. Been planning to change it for a month, but wanted to come up with a good name.

        And the hint was assuming you know what my favorite anime is and that it was produced by J.C. Staff, but no worries. Shouldn’t have presumed.

          1. Ah. Now that you mention it, I do remember reading that you liked it. I keep forgetting because I haven’t watched it all the way through (it was one of those I didn’t dislike but wasn’t really into so I let it go to come back to and never got back). I guess I will have to ensure it goes back on my list of shows to finish.

    1. Railgun is fantastic fun to watch. Probably my real concern wit hit was the retelling of a story arc we’d already seen in Index. They did a good job of it by giving us far more insight into what was actually happening and some much better characterisation, but it was still a retell of a storyline.

      1. I can certainly understand people not enjoying seeing the same story a second time. For me though I really enjoyed that story arc and loved that you got to see it done from 2 perspectives. For me that story arc is among the best I have seen in anime. Though I would admit that the two separate arcs could have just been presented as one larger story without losing anything.

  9. Great post. I’m saving this one as (sorry, shame shame 🙈🙈), I haven’t seen any of these. I have heard great things about your number one, so I hope to check that one out ASAP. Luckily it is available in my country (breathes big sigh of relief 😂).

    1. It is great fun. A ltitle generic in places, but generally just a good fun anime to watch. Though, the minotaur fight mid-season is truly spectacular.

      1. Minotaur fight huh? Okay…now I an intrigued. This just went up on my list by a great number of digits 😊 Gotta finish Ergo Proxy first though 😀

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