This Is What Makes Kyoto Animation DIFFERENT To Other Anime Studios!

yui hirasawa and ritsu k on
Written by Theo J Ellis

Kyoto Animation has gone through HELL and back in the last few months. And yet they’re still standing strong after the horrific incident that was intended to ruin the company.

And when you consider how they’re using 10.1 million dollars in donations to help the victims instead of using it for their business, it’s proof of why they’re unique in the industry.

YouTube video


So what makes Kyoto Animation so special?

Besides the personality of the CEO, and how he’s handling the situation with the recent incidents, there are a couple of things I wanna mention.

Let’s get to it.


1. They don’t rely on cliche “fan service” in their anime

tamako and dera tamako market

The ONLY anime that use fan service are:

  • Free! Eternal Summer.
  • Myriad Colors Phantom World.
  • Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid.

These are the only anime by Kyoani that use “fan service” that leans on the extreme side. Even if it’s tasteful and done better than 99% of what’s out there.

In general – Kyoto Animation is known for putting all their effort into making brilliant anime shows that don’t rely on cliches and nonsense to thrive and succeed.

  • Tamako Market.
  • Clannad.
  • Kanon.
  • Violet Evergarden.
  • A Silent Voice.
  • Hibike Euphonium.
  • Nichijou.
  • K-On.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya.

And the list goes ON. These are the anime Kyoani is known for in the anime industry, with plenty more I’ve missed out.

And each of these series has a fan base that respects the work put into these shows. The stories are great and it gives you something to relate to.

It’s not common for someone to hate or give Kyoani shows a “bad” rating because of their approach.


2. Happy Employees!

tamako market tamako kanna and midori

Kyoto Animation isn’t LIKE most anime studios.

Why? Because their employees are paid on a SALARY. This is a BIG difference.

It’s “unusual” for this to be the case.

They’re not paid per drawing like other studios where they’ll pay their employees dollars per drawing (or less).

Kyoto Animation has set the standard from the beginning and they’re serious about creating a happy environment for artists and workers.

That creates happy employees and artists who work with Kyoto Animation on projects and TV shows. Because they don’t have to worry about whether the money is rolling in or not.

3. Healthy working environment

kyoani anime wallpaper

Source: Pixiv Art

This image represents Kyoto Animation’s healthy working environment. The employees are happy in general.

Nobody’s being worked to death or having to worry about NOT being paid well (like other anime studios).

I guess it shows in the quality of Kyoani’s anime.

shirobako stressed anime

In comparison – this is what some anime studios look like.

Stress is high, the creators are frustrated and it’s generally not an ideal environment. Especially when they’re having to swallow their pride and work on a “per drawing/project” basis.

I’m obviously exaggerating the differences because it’s not like everyone’s hopping and skipping down the halls in Kyoto Animation’s offices everyday.

But even still – Kyoani’s a leading example in the anime industry and that makes them different for their working environment.

It plays a BIG role in the finished product we get to see.

4. Quality —>>>> Quantity

violet sad violet evergarden

Remember what I said before about fan service NOT being a common theme with Kyoani productions?

This plays into that fact.

Kyoto Animation doesn’t pump out too many anime on a yearly basis like other studios. They don’t give a F about what other studios are doing or playing “follow the leader”.

Ironically that’s why Kyoto Animation is a leader in the industry. They hop to their own beat.

Instead – they’re focused on creating GREAT anime. And as with all things of a high quality, it takes time.

It doesn’t happen by rushing and throwing everything at the wall hoping something will stick.

Their history doesn’t lie:

  • In 2010 they made K-On.
  • In 2011 they made Nichijou.
  • In 2012 they made Chuunibyou, Love & Other Delusions.
  • In 2013 they made Beyond the Boundary.
  • In 2014 they made Chuunibyou season 2 & Amagi Brilliant Park.
  • In 2015 they made Hibike Euphonium.
  • In 2016 they made A Silent Voice.
  • In 2017 it was Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid.
  • In 2018 it was Violet Evergarden.

I’ve skipped out earlier years and some seasonal anime, but without question – all of these anime are considered “good” “at the least by the fans who’ve watched them.

None of them have a rating lower than 7 on MAL (not even close).

kyoani 2019 2020

For the years that these anime released they dominated and they’re still remembered.

And objectively – each of these anime LOOK amazing compared to your average anime.

Kyoto Animation spends quality time on their anime and refuses to pump out a bullsh*t anime for the sake of it. And not many anime studios set this standard.

violet evergarden beautiful picture

That’s why Kyoani is still thriving today, regardless of the horrific arson attack back in July 2019.

They’re one of the few studios who aren’t killing themselves trying to release an anime every minute.

The success speaks for itself, similar to studios like Madhouse.


Are you a fan of Kyoto Animation?

What do you think makes them different to other anime studios?


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The beautiful art and emotional stories <3


I think it is the emotion that is in the stories of their anime. If you have seen “beyond the boundary” my favourite anime, you will notice that it makes you laugh, utterly surprised; or, though rarely, crying. Yes! I lovingly call it “emotion-changer” , you know. The best animators are there, probably.
What’s your opinion?

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