I’m trying a little something with this post…
Between Flip Flappers, Princess Principal and the most recent (but not ongoing) entry into their oeuvre Blackfox, this studio’s become one to watch.
This studio’s name is actually pronounced “3 Hertz”, not “3-H-Z” or whatever else you might think it is. It’s formed from ex-Kinema Citrus staff members…which is certainly a rare sight, considering how many of the studios I’ve tackled in the past splintered off from Mushi Pro…and it was founded by Yuichiro Matsuda in March 2013, which is why we haven’t seen so much from them so far. They’re based in Musashino (Studio 3Hz n.d.)…which is close to that epicentre of anime production, Suginami. (Heck, they even have a Baskin Robbins nearby. That more than makes up for the fact we’ve found yet another studio based in the Suginami area…)
They have a much bigger fraction of original works at the moment (almost half if you include the ongoing Chidori RSC/Rifle is Beautiful and the upcoming A3!, which I’m lumping here because I’m typing this post up on the day of Rifle is Beautiful’s debut), but that’s because their combined resume is rather small. Despite that, they do bring the hype, regardless of whether they’re dealing with a movie or a weekly series. Two of their anime so far are co-productions (A3! and Dimension W, although the former is still yet to come), which…I don’t know what that foretells for their future productions since their body of work is so small, but maybe it means if we want to see more traditional animation of a higher quality, we should be asking for more collabs…? Notably, a lot of their series – that is, up until A3! airs – star young girls, which is also another thing to question in there.
Flip Flappers is the series that really put them on the map for me (and I’m sure it did for others too), so there’s my spotlight series (although personally I found it a bit messy at the end…I don’t think that could be the studio’s collective fault though, since that’s a plot element and not necessarily a visual one).
Blackfox is also an interesting case study about shifting formats from TV to movies that I’ll bring to light via this Sakuga Blog link. The fact it resulted in an astoundingly pleasing (aesthetically speaking) production while still being far ahead of schedule is not something that can fly under the radar at all in a post like this.
Well, this post is a bit dry, so here’s a poll. I’ve left you the “other answers” option for future anime by the studio (since I know they’ll be responsible for the A3! adaption that’s coming soon) but for now the preset answers should suffice:
So, here’s some big and ambitious questions: what’s your favourite anime by this studio, if you’ve seen any of them? Should more shows move to the movie format, or should we stick with the seasonal grind that we have now?
Couldn’t really dig up all that much from the official website, so I had to go with the Wikipedia article. (Sorry about that, guys.)
‘3hz’, Wikipedia, wiki article, viewed 13th October 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3Hz
Studio 3Hz n.d., viewed 13th October 2019, http://www.3hz.co.jp
I’m kinda surprised you didn’t talk more about Princess Principal. Flip Flappers was certainly a splashy debut, but rather inaccessible to many. Despite it being a co-production, I think it was PriPri that really put on the map as a solid production company rather than a one hit wonder.
I’m REALLY surprised you didn’t mention Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online… A solo production *and* a spin off from one of the biggest franchises in anime. New studios rarely have such a plum land in their laps.
(Also Chidori RSC isn’t an original work, it’s based on a manga.)
I remember Flip Flappers was a consistently big hit with the critics (personally, I think its conclusion was too confusing). PriPri got good reviews at the start, but was mostly passed over at the time because it was on Amazon…but yeah, that’s just my take on things. Since you gravitate towards anime with female casts like those, you probably have a better handle on those anime’s reception than I do.
GGO I passed on because it’s attached to SAO (I’ll recognise Crossing Field if you play it to me and think it’s a nice song, but otherwise I’m not much of a fan of the SAO series in general) and I don’t care diddly squat about the guns, so it makes sense I don’t mention anything about it.
I’m aware Chidori RSC is based on a manga – it’s just that the wording in that sentence is a bit confusing. I don’t really know how to say what I said in that sentence any better than that, though…