Ode to Anime Studios – Brain’s Base

I’ve been worried about this one – I don’t really know their output too well and their overall “footprint” on their works is kind of vague…

Brain’s Base is a yuugen kaisha, rather than a kabushikigaisha (see the explanation of that here). They mostly do adaptions, some of which are fairly popular (Natsume, anyone?) and quite a few of which are female-oriented, such as the aforementioned Natsume and Servamp, or kids’ shows like Duel Masters (AniList n.d.). Despite that, it’s a bit of a wonder I haven’t covered them yet – they fly under the radar enough that people might not know this studio was responsible for some of their favourite anime, but they’re not as acknowledged as, say, Bones or Madhouse…probably because the kinds of series that get adapted by them generally aren’t the kinds you’d expect sakuga from and something with nice action scenes from them, like In/Spectre, is an aberration and not the norm.

The studio was founded in 1996 (Brain’s Base n.d.) but only started having anime on the airwaves in 1998 (AniList n.d.). This seems a bit suspect until you realise their output is only a few shows per year, peaking around 2009 – 2013 with more than 5 shows (including OVAs/specials) in each of those years (AniList n.d.). These days, they manage about 2 series per year and the coronavirus probably doesn’t do them any favours…Interestingly, they acknowledge on their Company page that the copyright of their works is owned by the creators, which is a bit of an odd thing to say in a post about the studio but it does make one wonder why more studios don’t say that.

As I type this, I’m in the middle of a D-Frag! episode and abandoned it because I left this monthly post for longer than usual. Since I was already familiar with the first 4 volumes of the manga, some of the jokes didn’t hit so hard (notably Takao’s…uh, zipper trick, which I had the anime on my PTW for), but it’s still a great comedy anime all the same. The segments with the minor characters are anime-original, so I find them funnier than some of the jokes that were in the manga, so kudos to the director and storyboarder for okaying those bits. The studio’s input itself, though, is fairly average…during the tournament arc, the bystanders are mostly generic no-face characters and I don’t think I’m going to forget that any time soon…(urk…)

Closing note: I believe I was mostly nervous about this post because Brain’s Base is one of Karandi’s favourite studios, so in her absence I don’t know if I should be relieved or even more worried…


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