Ok JC Staff, I’ve hated on you a lot in the past, but to be fair, you gave me a lot of reason to. With each good series you produced, you produced ten more that were infinitely worse. You kept doing shows in the same vein, boy meets girl and harem/ecchi. But more recently, I’ve given you a lot more respect because it seems like the reverse is happening. You’ve started to produce more good than bad shows and in general your animation style has gotten so much more diverse and consistently high in quality. It’s hard to believe that an animation studio like you has evolved from being one I groan at seeing, to one I expect to see at the top with some of the best anime of the season or year. I want to first say thanks and congratulations on thirty years!
I wanna quickly jump back in time to the first anime I watched by you guys. Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou (KareKano) was one of my first big anime in general and definitely my first step into the romance genre. I was so blown away by how good the anime was done that it made me start to look for other anime just like it. KareKano was emotional, well paced, and just overall a solid anime for its time and maybe even compared to more current anime.
I’ll admit that until I looked up what J.C. Staff did, I never even knew that they were behind the series. I didn’t even know that they’ve been an active animation studio from 1986. 1986, guys! Their first anime was an anime adaptation of Atlus’s Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil game. I can’t really attest to how good or bad it was, but according to anidb it blew more dick than some of the anime I’ve seen today.
Speaking of another anime that sucked, I ended up watching another anime that they did called Excel Saga which was a fast paced, fourth-wall breaking comedy. I ended up watching a bit of Excel Saga due to the encouragement from a friend who said it was really funny. My time with excel saga ends sometime within the first episode when I just shut it off because it wasn’t funny at all to me and just seemed poorly done. I never knew it was done by J.C. Staff until I looked it up today, but man, that anime was bad.
And then love it or hate it, there was Love Hina which was probably one of the better harem/ecchi anime I’ve ever seen. I’m not sure if Love Hina was my first harem/ecchi anime, but it’s definitely one of the most memorable to me and that’s highly due in part to how well the series was done despite it being a “filthy” harem/ecchi series. Some may argue that Love Hina set the standard for what Harem/Ecchi anime could be like. Love Hina showed that Harem/Ecchi series could have a decent plot while also having frivolous antics between the characters of the series.
The next several series that I would watch by them, Chiccha na Yuki Tsukai Sugar (A little snow Fairy Sugar), Azumanga Daiou, Maburaho, Hachimitsu to Clover (Honey & Clover), and Nodame Cantabile. Each of these series has a very special place in my heart and I wish that I could share them with everyone, but some of them are either too old or too unknown for people to actually make readily available. It’s especially crazy to think that J.C. Staff did these series because I never knew that J.C. Staff did any of them and even so, they ended up being some of my favorite series of all time (definitely at least top 100 if not 50).
J.C. Staff also had a pretty long period of harem/ecchis such as Shakugan no Shana, Zero no Tsukaima, Hidan no Aria, To Aru Majutsu no Index/Railgun, Toradora, and Hayate no Gotoku. For a long time, whenever a harem/ecchi anime came out I would have a sneaking suspicion that J.C. staff was the one who was behind it. All these shows were so similar to each other in both animation style and also story that it was hard not to be able to tell that they were all done by J.C. staff. I respected Shakugan no Shana for the first few episodes, but by the time the third season ended, I was just so happy because it was finally over. The To Aru series was different because it was actually a pretty fun series to follow and fairly high quality in animation.
Toradora, though the ending was painfully obvious from episode one, was another well done anime that is at times an exemplar for how a romantic comedy should be. Hayate no Gotoku was a great comedy that I still respect today (at least the first season) and fit in perfectly with J.C. Staff’s style at the time. While Hayate no Gotoku didn’t exactly create anything new for the comedy genre, it was a competent comedy in its own right and one that I wouldn’t mind watching again.
And then there are the shitty shows you’ve done, the Tsukihime anime that never happened, Gokujou Seitokai, Loveless, Nabari no Ou, Yumekui Merry, Kaitou Tenshi Twin Angel, and Kill Me Baby. There are tons more, but these are some of the anime that I hate the most. These anime are either on the bottom of my anime list with other anime that have made my salt levels dangerously high or just not listed because I don’t believe they exist. It’d take too much time for me to go through each one and tell how exactly bad they were, but I will say this, I wasted precious minutes of my life watching even a little of these series. The fact that I finished all of these series just makes me utterly depressed and mad at myself and the people who made these abominations.
Fast forward to more recent times and then you have season favorite (not my favorite) Danmachi and then Shokugeki no Souma, Prison School, Flying Witch, and Amanchu. There’s also meme worthy Shimoneta which caught a lot of people’s attention with its use of dirty jokes. Just looking at this year alone, J.C. Staff has produced some of my favorite shows including the runner up for best of Spring Season (Flying Witch), and (spoilers) a contender for best of the Summer Season (Amanchu) as well. It’s so impressive to see how far they’ve come considering that they only produced one truly bad show out of the all of the anime they made this year.
I really want to congratulate and thank J.C. Staff for producing so many of the memorable anime that have touched my heart or made me want to rip it out so I could just die and not have to deal with their shit anymore. Either way, J.C. Staff has consistently made anime that have really had a lasting impression on me. I doubt I’d be the anime watcher I am without J.C. Staff being there to create a lot of the shows that I watched. So once again, thank you J.C. Staff for your work these past thirty years. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying I can’t wait to see what you do next. The sky’s the limit and you’re starting to actually get closer to it.