I was watching Hanasaku Iroha when I found out that P.A. Works actually means Progressive Animation Works. It kinda blew my mind because progressive is not something I felt when I watch Hanasaku.

Anyway, that’s unimportant because the more pressing issue here is that I have live my life without actually knowing the meanings behind lots of animation studio name. I only knew about how Production I.G uses its founders initials and some other obvious one like Be-Papas with its twisted sense of English to mean growing up.

Other than that, I have no idea behind names such as BONES, Madhouse, Bee Train, J.C Staff, Satelight  and etc.

However, being an awesome hardcore anime fans like I am, I had mostly remedy that by doing some research so my elitist cred is safe for now, or not since the meaning behind a company’s name is one of the least important issue out there and only loser like me will be so anal about it.

In fact, I am such a loser that I used up 4 hours of my life reading up some inconsequential shit just because I found out that P.A Works means Progressive Animation Works from some stupid anime opening. In order to prevent you from doing the same and became a loser like me,  here’s a list of studio name’s origins I found on wikipedia.

Firstly, J.C.Staff is Japan Creative Staff, which is a fucking lie if you look at their recent outputs.

Kyoto Animation is based in Kyoto. Most animation studios are based in Tokyo so maybe they want to differentiate themselves from others.Very uninspired name.

Bee Train is the common english translation for お祭り列車(Omasturi Ressha), roughly translated as festive train or whatever that means. I am pretty sure there’s some deep symbolisms behind Omasturi Ressha but I am totally clueless about it.

Madhouse means the house of Masao Maruyama AND Osamu Dezaki,  the initials of two of the founders.

Tatsunoko Production has the double meanings of Tatsuo’s son and sea dragon. Tastuo, of course, is the founder’s name.

Mushi Productions is as obvious as Tezuka Productions so I don’t want to be an hack by telling you what it meant.

Studio 4°C, I heard of its origin during a convention. It’s referring to the temperature of the water when is in its densest state. It means that their goal is to create works that are “denser” than your normal creations. A very indirect way of saying that their shit is deep.

Toei just means film from the east. I didn’t check this but that’s the literal translation of 東映.

TMS Entertainment‘s name has some complicated shit going on with it and wikipedia didn’t help in clarifying. From what I’ve gathered, it meant Tokyo Movie Shinsha originally after a company called Kyokuichi( a fabric company) merged with Tokyo Movie Shinsha. Then due to some copyright issues, it’s renamed as TMS Entertainment in 2000. TMS is the short form of トマス(tomasu).What the hell is tomasu? I don’t know. We need someone who is more well versed to explain these complications.

Brain’s Base is formed after Ozawa Kazumitsu left TMS in 1996. I can’t find the origin of the name but I guess it pretty literal, Brain’s base is a base for animator’s brain. Stupid, I know. Pretty sure the name Artland, a studio founded by Noboru Ishiguro, follows the same school of thought.

A-1 Pictures is a company that branches out from Aniplex which in term is a subsidiary of Sony. It means Animation No.1, very smug for a company that only produced grand masterpiece like Fractale.

Gainax is derived from some obscure Tottori prefecture’s dialect of the word “Big” which gives you the “Gaina” in “Gainax”. The X is added so it sounds like a cool robot’s name. The origin given by Otaku no Video of GIANTX is hence, pretty accurate and true. Nontenki Memoir has a better explanation of this. It also has a lot of interesting origin story of Gainax like how the studio is only formed to work on Wings of Honneamise or how Yamaga actually wanted to make a series out of a obscure Gundam in the first place for their first debut film.

David Production. What a name! Is the founder’s name David? I bet you will blow your mind if you found out that David is the acronym of “Design Audio & Visual Illusion Dynamics” . I definitely blew mine because how the fuck did they come out with that?

Studio Khara derives from some greek word that means joy. Typical Anno and his pretentious bullshit.

The founders of Gonzo, Maeda, Hikuchi Shinji, Murahama and Hiroshi are originally from Gainax. Hikuchi Shinji gave the idea of the name and it was derived from the Italian word, ‘Gonzo’, which means idiot. After some clarification from someone from Japan, he told me that Hikuchi intended it as “not to be a cunning company”. Murahama thought that Gonzo is derived from the Gonzo Journalism of Hunter S. Thompson, he only knows that it means idiot later on.

HAL Film Maker is absorbed by Yumeta corporation, a subsidiary of TYO Group and is now renamed as TYO animation. I am telling you these because I have no idea what HAL or TYO means. Anntv has taken down the video of HAL Film Maker Studio Tour. I remember the president did explain the origin of their name in that video.

Studio Ghibli, from wikipedia I quote “The name Ghibli is based on the Arabic name for the sirocco, or Mediterranean wind, which the Italians used for their Saharan scouting planes in the Second World War, the idea being the studio would “blow a new wind through the Japanese anime industry”.  Blow a new wind with a grumpy old man who hates technology, yes.

S for Sapporo, A for Animate, T for Technology and E for Entertainment, clearly, Satelight follows the David Production’s school of thought in having inane initials.

Studio Deen, the name is derived from Yuusha Raideen. Hiroshi Hasegawa is doing the colouring design for Sunrise and created Studio Deen for that purpose. The direct translation of 仕上検査 is colour design, which I guess is some kind of final colouring work.

Studio Pierrot, http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/video/8668/ . It’s derive from the French word of clown, animation has lots of similarity as the makeup of a clown because you don’t see the  real face of an animated character like you don’t see the real face of  a clown. The link has all the explanation you need, watch it before they took it down like the HAL Film Maker one.

Manglobe is some Japanese mishandling  of the word Mangrove.  It has something to do with how mangrove tree grows in swamp and is strong enough to stand against the swampy land. Underneath a mangrove tree, there are lots of living things and shit like that. So their studio’s goal is to be like a mangrove tree and nurture creative original shit to continue their struggle against the swampy land.

Studio Ordet, the new studio founded by Yamakan, the talentless shithead who talked too much derived the studio name from Danish director, Carl Theodor Dreyer’s Ordet. Ordet means “The World Word” in English.

BONES, the president, Minami Masahiko wanted to create anime with deep and quality content. His original word is “骨のあるアニメを作りたい” which literally translate to ‘he wants to create animation that has “bones”  ‘ hence the name BONES .

AIC is Anime International Company.Terrible name.

I can’t find the full name of Group TAC but I won’t be surprise if it is “Tokyo Animation Company”.

A.C.G.T is Animation & Computer Graphic Technology, an abbreviation as far-fetched as IWICSYI.

I have no idea why Shaft is called Shaft. I do however know that it starts up as a coloring studio.

Xebec is a ship name but I am not sure if the name is derived from there.

I guess that’s enough from now. I got all the information from their companies’ respective homepage, wikipedia and anntv. I recommend Production I.G homepage because it’s in English and has lots of interesting interviews and history of Production I.G .

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