Studio SHAFT is known for its:
- Camera angles
- Head tilts
- Quirky,memorable characters
- Art and animation style
The studio knows how to make their anime distinctive and unique from the style of your average anime.
They also focus on what they already have, and tend to produce variations (follow up seasons, OVA’S, etc) instead of brand new anime so frequently.
Here’s some their BEST works so far, and the most important anime you should watch from Shaft.
Here it is.
1. And Yet The Town Moves
This anime is one of SHAFT’S hidden gems. It’s golden, a bit quirky, and not talked about too much.
It’s about Hotori, an absolute airhead who ends up working in a café as a maid. The cafe is in danger of shutting down and lacks the spark it needs.
That’s where Hotori and her friend come into the picture. They bring life to the cafe.
Not to mention the art.
It’s a short series, and is aimed at
2. Denpa Onna
Denpa Onna is another weird-ish anime. But still a golden series from studio shaft. It’s more accurate to say it’s eccentric.
The main female character is Touwa Erio, the cousin of Makoto.
She’s a self proclaimed Alien. The truth is she’s a shut-in Otaku who’s given up on school, is awkward, and walks around wrapped in a blanket up to her eyeballs.
Naturally this leads to comically odd scenarios and some progression as you go through the series.
Other characters like Maekawa love to dress up and cosplay, even to the point of doing it on a regular day.
Not for everyone, but the anime is a must for SHAFT fans.
3. Puella Magi
anime of all time. Hands down.
It’s a magical girl series that avoids being overly cute. In other words, unconventional.
That plays into why the anime is suited for not just female fans, but male fans as well more than other comparable shows.
The anime is about the dark side of living the magical girl life, and the friendships between the main characters along the way.
It gets dark fairly fast, and is one of the originals when it comes to
Nisekoi by definition means “fake love”. This plays into the plot of the anime, but goes beyond it.
Raku Ichijou and Chitoge have families who are gangsters and at war with each other. They’re forced to be in a “pretend” relationship with each other as a way of stopping the drama.
As you’d expect, the anime becomes more than this despite the complications. And it has the signature “head tilt” Shaft is known for.
It’s one of the few anime that’s classified as Harem and
The characters feel relatable and realistic, and the cliches aren’t too heavy like you’d expect with these genres.
Needs a 3rd season!
5. Ef: A Tale Of Memories
Whether you’ve watched Clannad, Your Lie In April (or not) is something I can’t say. But this anime is a bit like both.
Chihiro, the main female character who wears an eye patch, loses her memory every 24 hours.
She records her day with a journal to keep up with her “past” self she forgets everyday.
It’s tragic in a way.
Everyday she wakes up she doesn’t even know who she is or who the people she met are.
This is the main focus of the series, with other character stories and troubles being highlights as well.
Be prepared for the potential waterworks later down the line.
This anime is about Araragi, and his perspective on the world of Monogatari which is full of vampires, Yandere’s, and curious characters.
That’s the simple way of putting it without making it confusing for those who haven’t watched it.
One thing that’s common here is the dialogue and the lengthy conversations characters have with each other.
Each episode has clues and mysteries.
In fact sometimes you might have to “pause” the anime to catch something you might have missed.
Monogatari, like SHAFT is known for, is a weird series. There’s no way around it. It’s strange and definitely eccentric.
This is a good thing and one of the reasons it’s so distinctive. But it will depend on your tastes.
7. Arakawa Under The Bridge
Arakawa Under The Bridge is another series that has eccentric traits from SHAFT.
First of all, the main character, a business man, ends up meeting a random girl who lives….. under a bridge.
They end up living together here. The reason being is he owes her (and similar characters) a debt.
From start to finish this anime will make you think deep about certain topics. And the chemistry between the main characters makes it entertaining.
8. March Comes In Like A Lion
March Comes In Like A Lion is a popular one. One of SHAFT’S most popular series even.
It’s a slice of life series with a different take on anime art. It’s completely unique and unlike most anime shows.
The main plot focuses on Rei and his career in Shogi. He’s an elite player and one of the few to reach that status worldwide.
To gain some independence and get away from the pressure that comes with his status, he moves into an apartment in Tokyo.
This is where his journey starts to change and become somewhat more warm and
9. Hidamari Sketch
The giveaway is in the title of this series. Hidamari Sketch is about art, drawing, and self expression.
Yuno the main character is accepted into an arts school and lives in a dorm by herself.
While art is the crux of this series, the friendship and
It’s a story of going from being alone and pursuing what you love, to building friendships along the way.
Other Studio Shaft anime:
- Paniponi Dash!
- Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei
- Kubikiri Cycle: Aoiro Savant to Zaregototsukai
- Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei