Studio Trigger's top 5 anime series, ranked

Cyberpunk: Edgerunners and the studio's other best anime since 2011.
Cyberpunk: Edgerunners (L to R) Kenn as David Martinez and Aoi Yuki as Lucy in Cyberpunk: Edgerunners. Cr. COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2022
Cyberpunk: Edgerunners (L to R) Kenn as David Martinez and Aoi Yuki as Lucy in Cyberpunk: Edgerunners. Cr. COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2022 /

Founded in 2011 by industry veterans formerly working with Gainax (the studio behind Neon Genesis Evangelion and Gurren Lagann), Studio Trigger has established itself as a very successful studio in barely a decade. Studio Trigger has been particularly successful when it comes to producing original anime series for Netflix. A large part of Studio Trigger's success so far is the studio's instantly recognizable unique style and storytelling.

Studio Trigger has also demonstrated a consistent technical mastery of the anime art form. Every anime series from the studio has brilliant art direction and character design, coupled with excellent animation. The studio has also proven capable of telling phenomenal anime stories across genres and demographics — from cozy, family-friendly series to gritty, intense adult animation.

5. BNA: Brand New Animal

Where to stream: Netflix

In the world of BNA: Brand New Animal, humanoid animals called Beastmen share the world with regular humans. One day, the previously normal high school student Michiru finds herself mysteriously transformed into a Beastman tanuki — a Japanese animal also known as a raccoon dog. After escaping from a group of violent anti-Beastman humans, Michiru reaches the safety of Anima City, a city run by and for Beastmen. While in Anima City, Michiru meets the city's self-appointed guardian, the wolf Beastman Shirou, and the two alternate between off-beat adventures and gradually uncovering a conspiracy-threatening Anima City.

For the most part, BNA is a comedy with a sense of humor emphasized by exaggerated and cartoonish art direction and animation. With that being said, the series also has more than a few serious moments with genuine emotional weight. The discrimination and persecution of Beastmen and the hands of humans is a vital component of the plot and BNA actually delivers a very powerful and effective anti-racism message.

Given the importance of the Beastmen characters' animal transformations and how well their animal forms are drawn and animated, it's no wonder Netflix decided to highlight the Beastmen transformations to promote the series:

4. Delicious in Dungeon

Where to stream: Netflix

Adapting the manga by Ryoko Kui, Delicious in Dungeon is a fairly typical fantasy anime. The idea of a party of adventurers exploring the depths of a mysterious dungeon crawling with monsters has been a cornerstone of the genre for years. Delicious in Dungeon manages to set this apart in two major ways. One, the characters have great personalities that play off each other to provide fantastic comedic moments. Two, the group's adventure through the dungeon prominently features them making meals out of the monsters they defeat, with every recipe depicted with impressive attention to detail in both animation and in how such a meal might actually be prepared.

Like several of Studio Trigger's other series, Delicious in Dungeon is primarily a comedy, but one balanced by high stakes and emotional scenes. The monsters fought — and then cooked — by the heroes are all memorable interpretations of classic fantasy monsters and the monster fights have all been compelling and well-executed. The first season of Delicious in Dungeon has been an excellent introduction to the world and promises more amazing adventures to come in a potential second season.

Netflix's trailer for Delicious in Dungeon can be watched below:

Delicious in Dungeon is rated TV-MA for violence and nudity and may be upsetting to some viewers.

3. Little Witch Academia

Where to stream: Netflix

Comparisons between Little Witch Academia and Harry Potter are inevitable, thanks to both series taking place at a magic school. However, the similarities between the two are really only surface-level. In fact, Little Witch Academia has much more in common with the Worst Witch book series and its live-action adaptations.

Little Witch Academia follows the inept but eager Akko Kagari as she attends Luna Nova, a school for witches, hoping to follow in the footsteps of her idol, the famous witch Shiny Chariot. Although Akko's magical talents are lacking, she is usually able to succeed in her adventures through sheer devotion to magic and some help from her friends. Little Witch Academia is a cute, laid-back show and is Studio Trigger's best feel-good series.

The clip below shows the moment Akko is first inspired to pursue a career in magic after witnessing Shiny Chariot's magic show:

2. Cyberpunk: Edgerunners

Where to stream: Netflix

Intended as a prequel to the video game Cyberpunk 2077, based on the '80s tabletop roleplaying game, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners won multiple awards and is widely regarded as the best Netflix original anime to date. The series is a brilliant blend of Studio Trigger's excellent animation techniques with the established visual flair of the Cyberpunk franchise. Its compelling, tense cyber-heist story arc also invokes the spirit of the iconic stories of the genre like Neuromancer.

The cyberpunk genre is not usually known for telling uplifting stories with happy endings and Edgerunners is no exception. It's a relentlessly violent and brutally grim story set in a violent and grim dystopian world. Edgerunners is undeniably an excellent anime series, but its dark tone and intense violence are enough to turn off some potential viewers.

Fans of dark stories will be instantly won over by the eye-popping visuals of Edgerunners, which are on full display in Netflix's trailer for the series:

Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is rated TV-MA for language, nudity, sex, smoking, and violence and may be upsetting to some viewers.

1. Kill la Kill

Where to stream: Crunchyroll and Hulu

"A girl and her school uniform" seems like a bizarre story premise, even when the uniform isn't a sentient alien being. Kill la Kill, however, is exactly the kind of bizarre series that commits fully to such a strange premise and runs with it. Armed with her living uniform Senketsu and one half of a giant pair of scissors, Ryuko Matoi begins a one-woman war against the authoritarian student council of Honnouji Academy, an extension of the evil corporate conglomerate ruling over the dystopian world of Kill la Kill.

Studio Trigger's first production as an independent studio, Kill la Kill makes a powerful first impression. Both the idiosyncratic, highly exaggerated art style and the tone of the story are established right from the very first scene. Throughout the series, the action is completely over-the-top, off-the-wall and relentless. The fight scenes between super-powered characters with unique visual styles and abilities never disappoint. The series fully embraces its utterly ludicrous tone and style to deliver a unique and above all fun experience.

Kill la Kill is an experience that is hard to put into words, but the trailer from Crunchyroll is a good overview of what to expect:

Kill la Kill is rated TV-MA and contains violence, nudity, language, and mature subject matter and may be upsetting to some viewers.

In a relatively short time, Studio Trigger has established itself as a studio with both a unique visual style and a unique approach to storytelling in the anime medium. Thanks to the studio's willingness to explore different genres, Studio Trigger's best anime have something to offer for anime fans of all ages and tastes.

dark. Next. June 2024 Anime. Baki Hanma vs. Kengan Ashura and all the new anime coming in June 2024