Founded in 1984note
, Studio Gainax
is one of the better-known anime
studios, having created such series as Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water
, Neon Genesis Evangelion
, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
. Which caused the creation of terms such as Gainaxing
and the Gainax Ending
Gainax is known for impressive visuals, gripping storylines, confusing plot points, and running out of money before the series is finished. This last tendency has been a particular problem in the past; the last episodes of Gainax series tend to be lower in quality
and take a lot of shortcuts. The last two episodes of Evangelion
were produced when the studio had been cut off by the main sponsor, and mostly reused clips from previous episodes
with different dialogue. Still shots are frequent as well. The final episode of Top o Nerae!
(also known as GunBuster
) is due to the black and white presentation often thrown into this bin, a common misconception as the black and white animation was actually more expensive. Thankfully, they seemed to have learned their lesson by Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
(see below).A crowd picture◊
for some of the many characters created by Gainax over its lifetime is available.note
As a small note, they have a good relationship with Production I.G
, who did quite a lot of work on End of Evangelion
. The director of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
, Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt
, and one episode of FLCL
also worked with Production I.G
on Dead Leaves
However, Gainax is not what it used to be. Most, if not all of their best animators have moved on to other studios like Studio Trigger
and Studio Khara
. Others have left the studio to do work for themselves. Gainax has since switched to doing manga and light novel adaptations, as well as anime shorts.
Studio Gainax has created the following:Daicon Film era (pre Gainax).
- Two original animated introductory films for Daicon III and Daicon IV, both iterations of a major science fiction convention in Japan. These were their first creations, before they had really formed the studio. Due to the truly staggering amounts of shoutouts to both anime and American science fiction in both, plus the latter using Electric Light Orchestra's song "Twilight", any release above and beyond a laserdisc version in the early '80s have been vetoed by pretty much every license holder.
- Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnęamise, Gainax's first feature film. Like the Daicon shorts, the short pilot version of this was animated and shot on 8mm film in Hiroyuki Yamaga's garage.
- Top wo Nerae! (Aim for the Top!), a.k.a. GunBuster- Produced in cooperation with Studio Fantasia.
- There is also a sequel - Top wo Nerae 2! (a.k.a. DieBuster or GunBuster 2) which was released 16 years after the original.
- Appleseed - The original 1988 OVA. Produced in cooperation with AIC.
- Sakyo Komatsu's Animation Theater - Produced in cooperation with AIC.
- Beat Shot!!, a one shot OVA based on a Manga of the same name. Also produced in cooperation with AIC.
- Circuit no Ohkami II: Modena no Tsurugi
- Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, animation co-produced with Group TAC and Korean studio Sei Young.
- The Princess Maker videogame series, which had the player take responsibility for raising an orphaned girl to adulthood.
- The anime Petite Princess Yucie was an adaptation of several of the games in the series. Also produced in cooperation with AIC.
- Gainax also released variations of the game focused around Evangelion characters, such as The Rei Ayanami/Shinji Ikari Raising Project.
- Otaku no Video, a mockumentary-style look at otaku in Japan interspersed with an animated story about the life of one budding Otaking (Otaku King), whose company is a parody of Gainax itself.
- Otaking is a real person — Toshio Okada, one of the Gainax founders, who left the studio in The Nineties for academia and now is a moderately renowned anime scholar (and an epic troll to boot).
Golden Age GainaxPost-Trigger Gainax
- Route 20 - Galactic Airport - An unfinished movie based on a Manga of the same name. Originally set for 1993, the only thing ever released was a three minute trailer.
The company has also done minor work in the following:
- Dot Hack (Franchise Collaboration)
- A Letter to Momo (In-Between Animation)
- Afro Samurai: Resurrection (2nd Key Animation)
- Agent Aika (In-Between Animation)
- Ah! My Goddess: The Movie (In-Between Animation)
- AKIRA (Animation Cooperation)
- Alisia Dragoon (Art and Story)
- All-Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku (Animation, OVA)
- Angel Beats! (2nd Key Animation)
- The Animatrix (In-Between Animation for Studio 4°C's Second Renaissance and Beyond)
- Arpeggio of Blue Steel (In-Between Animation; Digital Paint)
- Avenger (In-Between Animation)
- Bastard (In-Between Animation)
- The Big O (In-Between Animation)
- Black Cat (In-Between Animation)
- Black Lagoon (Key Animation for Second Barrage)
- Bladeof The Immortal (In-Between Animation)
- Blood The Last Vampire (2nd Key & In-Between Animation)
- Broken Blade (In-Between Animation)
- Buso Renkin (Key Animation)
- The Case Files of Yakushiji Ryoko (In-Between Animation, Animation Assistance)
- Casshan: Robot Hunter (In-Between Animation)
- Code:Breaker (2nd Key Animation)
- Code Geass (2nd Key Animation, R2 season)
- Cromartie High School (In-Between Animation)
- Dead Leaves (In-Between Animation)
- Dirty Pair: Project Eden (In-Between Cooperation)
- Dragon Crisis! (In-Between Animation)
- Eden of the East (2nd Key & In-Between Animation)
- Eureka Seven (2nd Key & In-Between Animation)
- Eyeshield 21 (Animation)
- Fairy Tail (In-Between Animation)
- Fushigiboshi No Futago Hime (In-Between Animation)
- Gantz (In-Between Animation)
- Genesis of Aquarion (In-Between Animation)
- Ghost Hound (In-Between Animation)
- Ghost Stories (In-Between Animation)
- Giant Robo (Key Animation, though Hideaki Anno and Mahiro Maeda)
- Gintama (2nd Key & In-Between Animation)
- Girls und Panzer (Photography)
- Green Lantern: First Flight (Production Assistance; Key & Assistant Animation. With Studio Jungle Gym, Anime Spot & Mizo Planning, uncredited)
- Guilty Crown (2nd Key Animation; Photography Cooperation)
- GUN×SWORD (In-Between Animation)
- Gunsmith Cats (Opening Animation for the OVA, through Mahiro Maeda)
- Heroman (In-Between Animation)
- High School Of The Dead (In-Between Animation)
- House of Five Leaves (In-Between Animation)
- IGPX Immortal Grand Prix (In-Between Animation)
- Initial D (In-Between Animation, Fourth Stage)
- Jeanne D Arc (In-Between Animation Support)
- Jormungand (In-Between Animation)
- Kurokami (In-Between Animation)
- Kuroko no Basuke (In-Between Animation)
- Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing (In-Between Animation)
- Library War (2nd Key Animation)
- Little Busters! (2nd Key Animation)
- Lupin III Elusiveness Of The Fog (In-Between Animation)
- Madox-01 (Key Animation)
- Major (Key & In-Between Animation)
- Michiko to Hatchin (In-Between Animation; Production Cooperation for episode 8)
- Mobile Fighter G Gundam (Key Animation)
- Musashi Samurai Legend (animation and movie production)
- Naruto (In-Between Animation)
- Negima!? (2nd Key & In-Between Animation)
- Nodame Cantabile (2nd Key Animation)
- Noein (2nd Key Animation)
- Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu: Purezza (2nd Key Animation)
- Ouran High School Host Club (2nd Key Animation)
- Outbreak Company (In-Between Animation)
- Pandora Hearts (In-Between Animation)
- Pokémon Movies
- Prism Ark (Production Cooperation)
- Professor Layton Vs Ace Attorney (Gameplay Animation Support)
- Project A-Ko (In-Between Animation)
- RahXephon (In-Between Animation)
- Real Drive (In-Between Animation)
- Ranma ˝ (Animation Assistance, OVAs)
- Red Line (2nd Key Animation Cooperation)
- Restol, The Special Rescue Squad (Distribution)
- Robot Carnival (Production Cooperation)
- ROD the TV (In-Between Animation)
- Rurouni Kenshin (In-Between Animation)
- Shakugan no Shana (Key & 2nd Key Animation)
- Silver Spoon (In-Between Animation)
- Sky Girls (2nd Key Animation)
- Slayers Great (Production Assistance)
- Solty Rei (Photography)
- Sora No Manimani (In-Between Animation)
- Special A (In-Between Animation)
- Spirited Away (Supporting Animation)
- Spriggan (In-Between Animation)
- Steins;Gate (In-Between Animation Cooperation)
- Strike Witches (2nd Key Animation)
- Summer Wars (Special Thanks)
- Super Dimension Century Orguss 02 (In-Between Animation)
- Tales of Symphonia (Animation Support)
- Tales of Vesperia: The First Strike (In-Between Animation)
- Tekkon Kinkreet (In-Between Animation)
- ThunderCats (Opening Animation, though Masayuki Yamaguchi)
- Tokko (Composite)
- Toradora! (2nd Key Animation)
- Trinity Blood (Animation)
- Tweeny Witches: The Adventures (In-Between Animation)
- Uchuu Kyoudai (2nd Key Animation)
- Un-Go (In-Between Animation)
- Urusei Yatsura: The Final Chapter (Production Assistance)
- Valkyria Chronicles (In-Between Animation)
- Valvrave the Liberator (2nd Key & In-Between Animation)
- Working (2nd Key & In-Between Animation; Production Assistance)
- Wolfs Rain (In-Between Animation)
- The World God Only Knows (Disclaimer Illustration Cooperation)
- XxxHolic (In-Between Animation)
- Youre Under Arrest (Animation Assistance for the OVA, In-Between Animation for the second season and Key Animation for Full Throttle)
- Zetman (In-Between Animation)
- Zoku Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei (In-Between Animation; Production Assistance)
Studio Gainax provides examples of the following tropes:
- Author Appeal: In relationship to Japan Takes Over the World, no studio (besides TMS Entertainment and Studio Ghibli) has ever done it with more boldness.
- Animation Bump: Most (if not all) of their series exhibit this.
- Ascended Fanboy: The studio was founded by a bunch of young anime fans.
- Asskicking Pose: The Badass Arm-Fold. Technically only used in two series and a continuation, it's done memorably enough to be known as the Gainax Stance in Japan.
- Decon-Recon Switch: A meta example: they made GunBuster, Neon Genesis Evangelion, and Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (in that order).
- Development Hell
- The Evangelion Movie they, ADV Films and WETA were supposed to make.
- They were also supposedly working on some other Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann projects which ended up in Development Hell.
- Still nothing beats Aoki Uru, a planned sequel to Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnęamise, which supposedly started initial pre-production back in 1988. So far the only output from this project seems to be a brief scenario draft and the couple of (admittedly spectacular) artbooks by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto. They still reportedly plan to make it somewhere in the future.
- Fan Nickname: The Gainax Pose, which is where the giant robot arms from GunBuster and DieBuster are crossed in a Bad Ass way (given a Shout-Out in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann with the Super Galaxy Gurren Lagann).
- Fanservice: Tons and tons of it.
- Limited Animation: Taken to extremes in the last two episodes of Evangelion.
- Off Model: Episode four of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann changed its entire art style, The fans were pissed off to say the least.
- Playing Against Type: Out of all the Japanese animation studios available to adapt the Hanamaru Kindergarten manga into a TV show, the choice of Gainax comes as something of a surprise. Then again, does Gainax even have a type? Even considering their most popular creations, it's very hard to find an overarching theme. Blurring the line between Deconstruction and Reconstruction, somewhat thoughtful explorations of human nature, and tons and tons of big breasted women running, really tons of sexual humor in general. The fact that Gainax would adapt Hanamaru Kindergarten is itself Gainaxian. The overaching theme of Gainax is Nothing makes sense.
- In retrospect, the adaptation of Hanamaru Kindergarten was a sign of Gainax's studio decay.
- Postmodernism: A staple of nearly all of their works.
- Promoted Fanboy
- Shout-Out: To the brim, being a studio of promoted fanboys, hency why some of their works are also filled with self-references.