After writing the A rundown of the studios at Sunrise, I thought about writing a similar post for Studio BONES, but one thing that kept me back, was that there wasn’t as much information available for Studio Bones as there was for Sunrise. However I think I’ve found enough information to be able to write something that’ll be of interest. More after the jump.
As it was mentioned in the Sunrise article, Studio BONES was founded in 1998 when a few members of Sunrise decided to leave and form their own studio. Specifically Masahiko Minami, Hiroshi Ōsaka and Toshihiro Kawamoto. Masahiko Minami was a producer at Sunrise Studio 2 and he co-produced shows like G Gundam, The Vision of Escaflowne and Cowboy Bebop. Hiroshi Ōsaka & Toshihiro Kawamoto were the talented animators who came along with Minami. The majority of the staff that left Sunrise originated from Sunrise Studio 2 especially those that worked on Cowboy Bebop.
Bones Studio A
-Studio A is currently lead by producer Naoki Amano.
-Their works include: Hiwou War Chronicles(00-01)*, Angelic Layer(01)*, Wolf’s Rain(03), Kurau Phantom Memory(04), Jyu-Oh-Sei(06)*, Ghost Slayers Ayashi(06-07), Heroman(10) and Gosick(11).
-Their current work is the sequel to Eureka Seven named Eureka AO(12).
-This studio is known for keeping to their schedules very well when dealing with original works. This is the sub-studio that is often called upon when some outsourcing is needed by other animation studios.
-I’m not sure why there was a seemingly long break between the end of Ayashi in ’07 and Heroman’s start in ’10. It is possible the failure of Ayashi had something to do with this. Ayashi began airing in a very popular Saturday afternoon time slot, one that shows like Gundam SEED and Fullmetal Alchemist once held. Going into this slot with an original show was always a risky plan, however the show was meant to run for an entire year, but the ratings were very low and soon the show was given the axe.
-Regarding Heroman however, the show was first announced in March of 2008. There were reports that show was being animated over 2008 and 2009 so that when the show began airing in 2010, the majority of the animation work had already been completed.
–Edit: Thank you to Duckroll in the comments for filling in the blanks in my knowledge, as he mentions, Heroman was in production for 2 whole years and was completed entirely before it went on air, so that is the reason for the big gap between Ayashi and Heroman.
-He also mentions Chiko, Heiress of the Phantom Thief was in fact a production shared between Bones Studio A and Telecom Animation Film.
The intro to Ghost Slayers Ayashi
Bones Studio B
-Studio B is lead by producer Watanabe Makoto
-Their works include: Escaflowne the Movie(00), Cowboy Bebop Movie: Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door(01), RahXephon(02), RahXephon Movie: Pluralitas Concentio(03), Scrapped Princess(03)*, Mars Daybreak(04)*, Eureka Seven(05-06), Skullman(07)*, Sword of Stranger(Movie)(07), Xam’d Lost Memories(08), Halo Legends episode 4(OVA)(10) and their most recent work being Towa no Quon(Movie series)(11).
-Many of their productions have sci-fi themes and often include mecha. This studio is where some of BONES’s best animators work and the shows they produce are known to have some of the best production values.
-With regard to Sword of the Stranger, the first clips of it showed up around 2003 at various trade fairs, it was unknown if it would be a TV show or a movie for a few years, however around the middle of 2006, the go ahead was given and full movie production for it began.
The intro to Xam’d Lost Memories
Bones Studio C
-Studio C is lead by producer Ooyabu Yoshihiro
-Works include: Fullmetal Alchemist(03-04), Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa(05), Ouran High School Host Club(06), Darker than Black(07), Soul Eater(08-09), Darker than Black: Gemini of the Meteor(09), Darker than Black Gaiden(OVA)(10), Star Driver(10-11) and UN-GO(11).
-This studio works on a variety of different genres.
-While the first two studios were founded roughly as the main studio was born, this one came to life before Fullmetal Alchemist went on air in 2003.
The 2nd intro to Darker than Black
Bones Studio D
-Studio D is lead by producer Norai Yorimoto
-Works include: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood(09-10), Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos(Movie)(11) and No. 6(11).
-A seemingly young studio,
I had read this studio was created to handle the animation for the various FMA games, but I can no longer find the same text to back this up.
–Edit: This studio was formed to handle the task of producing FMA Brotherhood. The production of the new FMA would last a long period of time and other studios were busy with their own works so a new Studio was formed instead.
-I have a feeling Chiko, Heiress of the Phantom Thief from 2008
was one of the first shows produced by this studio, or at least partially as this show was a joint production between studio Bones and Telecom Animation Film. The producer for Chiko on the BONES end was Norai Yorimoto and there are other staff that are shared between Chiko and FMA Bortherhood. I have little else to go on so this may just be a wild guess.
–Chiko was in fact a Studio A production, thanks to Duckroll for the correction.
The intro to FMA Brotherhood
Related studio: Kinema Citrus
This studio is not directly under BONES, however it was formed when one of their producers, Ogasawara Munenori left with individuals from Production IG and Beetrain to form their own studio. Their initial productions were joints with BONES.
Joint works include: Tokyo Magnitude 8.0(09) and Eureka Seven – good night, sleep tight, young lovers(Movie)(09).
The intro to Tokyo Magnitude 8.0
Notes: Titles marked with ‘*’ were hard to pin to a studio given I couldn’t initially find much information regarding which sub-studio produced them. A little bit of searching netted me BONES’s own webpages that told me which studios worked for Mars Daybreak, Jyu-Oh-Sei and Skullman, however I had no luck in finding something similar for Angelic Layer and Scrapped Princess. I ended up having to draw out a chart in photoshop that plotted the airing dates of the various shows and movies in chronological order and make an educated guess where a show could have fitted in to their early schedule. If anyone actually knows or spots any mistakes please drop a line in the comments.
Finally, here’s a great picture including every character animated by Studio BONES drawn by Toshihiro Kawamoto for the 10th Anniversary special that featured in an issue of Newtype a couple of years ago. Thanks for reading!