All The Best Studio Trigger Anime (Ranked)

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Studio Trigger have crafted quite the name for themselves this decade, crafting a cardinal and recognizable style that has become synonymous with their name.

Energetic, absurd, even stupid, is the name of the game here.

If it doesn’t leave you scratching your head, it’s not doing its job properly.

Here are my picks of the greatest Studio Trigger projects to check out.

11. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann screenshot - Studio Trigger

Simon and Kamina are two lonely brothers living deep underground with the rest of humanity.

Together they spend their days dreaming of the world above their shelter. One day, to their amazement, a giant mecha falls right through their ceiling and into the center of their village.

They decide to venture out into the great unknown to reclaim the planet for their own.

Technically, Gurren Lagann isn’t a Studio Trigger production.

However, the staff that made it went on to create the titular studio, and many of the themes and artistic stylings of TTGL resonate throughout all their projects.

It’s fair to say that Gurren Lagann is as much a Trigger production in spirit, as it is a Gainax one.

Also, it’s one of the best anime out there and pushed the envelope on inspirational absurdism with every episode. Were it not for the caveat of it being made by Gainax, it’d definitely take the number one spot on this list.


10. Hacka Doll

Hacka Doll anime Studio Trigger screenshot

A Hacka Doll is an artificially intelligent person, designed to cater to the users ever whim – think Siri or Alexa, but humanoid.

Well three subpar Dolls ended up being made – One, Two, and Three (quite original names).

We follow their failures as Hacka Dolls in a collection of mini-episodes dripping in charm.

This short series is probably known to about negative eight people aside from me.

It started as a mobile game, became an advert animated by Studio Trigger, and later developed into its own mini-series.

It’s nowhere near masterclass status, you can trust me there. But it’s got some cute characters and genuinely funny moments unmistakably wrapped with a Trigger ribbon.


9. Inferno Cop

Inferno Cop anime by Studio Trigger

Inferno Cop kicks names and takes ass, you hear me?

In the crazy town of Jack Knife Edge, his word is near law and he’s determined to keep the streets clean of gangsters, villains, babies, hellspawn, and whatever else might threaten its fragile decadence.

Inferno Cop is nothingness.

It’s a complete waste of time lacking any true artistic integrity. Or is it? Yes. Or is it?

It’s still absolutely worth a watch for it’s pure mind-numbing stupidity and genuine not-give-a-damn attitude.

I respect the hustle.

Each episode is three minutes so I command thee check it out.


8. BNA

BNA anime by Studio Trigger

The Beastmen are a type of animal capable of turning into a human due to their genetic Beast Factor makeup.

Due to societal unrest, they’ve been reduced to hiding.

Our MC Michiru Kagemori transforms into a tanuki, and can’t turn back. She resorts to heading for Anima City, a metropolis for Beastmen protected by their own laws, in the hopes of restoring her own humanity.

Along the way, she becomes embroiled in terrorist schemes and political unrest that threatens to destabilize the city.

What BNA lacks in narrative and scenario, it makes up for in its style and presentation.

It’s poppy, energetic, with a pumping techno soundtrack underpinning the story.

Some of the characters are great, and the character design is stellar. But I’m hoping a second season might expand on the potential of the first.


7. Darling in the FranXX

Darling in the FranXX Studio Trigger anime

Humanity is at the brink of annihilation. All that stands between their survival and decimation at the hands of the Klaxosaurs are the FranXX, gargantuan humanoid mecha piloted by children.

Each unit needs two pilots, synced via mind and soul. Our MC Hiro encounters Zero Two, a half-Klaxosaur working for humanity, and ends up assisting her with piloting her FranXX.

Now they need to fight to keep their species alive in a constant series of social problems and combat situations.

Now this is a great show but unfortunately, it’s like at one point they decided to change what show they were writing, because the last third of Darling in the FranXX is absurd. And not necessarily in a good way.

Nonetheless, the audiovisual presentation stays consistent throughout. And the beginning parts were genuinely great.

It’s just a shame the momentum dropped somewhat over time.


6. Kiznaiver

Kiznaiver anime by Studio Trigger

Agata is a quiet boy lacking in any sympathy or pain.

He’s bullied for being an outcast and left alienated from most of his peers.

However, one day him and five other teenagers are abducted and linked at the empathetic level. If one is injured, the others will feel the pain.

Though it may fumble its execution a bit, Kiznaiver still tells an entertaining story about human connection and interpersonal reliance in a dystopic future sci-fi setting with thriller aspects.

It’s got a wonderful character design and a nice soundtrack, and some of the romantic elements genuinely do hit rather than miss.


5. SSSS. Gridman

SSSS. Gridman Studio Trigger screenshot

Yuuta Hibiki wakes up one morning with no recollection of who he is, why he possesses a computer housing a virtual gargantuan mecha, nor why there are even bigger kaiju threatening to destroy his sleepy urban town.

Even worse, nobody is even aware either.

When he shows his friends the mecha, they can suddenly see the monsters too. And so they decide to create the Gridman Alliance to protect their town and life from the invasion.

SSSS. Gridman is as much a kaiju anime as it is a mecha one, blending the two genres nicely in a love letter package without too many frills.

It captures the Saturday Morning Shows of ‘old without overstaying its welcome.

Nothing will amaze you here, but it’s still worth a try!


4. Space Patrol Luluco

Space Patrol Luluco Studio Trigger anime

Ogikubo is a bizarre amalgamation of humanity and interstellar life home to Luluco, a girl with simple normal dreams comprising love and educational accomplishment.

One day she’s forced to become a Space Patrol Worker and given the task of stamping out alien crime and wrongdoing within her neighborhood.

It’s amazing how such a short, bite-sized anime could make me care about its characters and plot.

Even now, half a decade after it aired, I can recall moments.

It’s really short – each episode clocking in at under 10-minutes – and doesn’t waste any time getting going.


3. Promare

Promare anime by Studio Trigger

Promare is unabashedly Studio Trigger referencing their previous works.

It’s an amalgamation of everything that makes Trigger what they are in one short yet constantly moving film.

The animation is top-notch and the sound design incredible.

Definitely worth a watch – especially if you’re acquainted with Trigger at all.


2. Little Witch Academia

Little Witch Academia Studio Trigger anime

Atsuko Kagari enlists into the Luna Nova Magical Academy for studying witches, keen to become like her magic hero – Shining Chariot.

However she didn’t expect the bullying or tribulations of being a student, and the strict regime it entails.

She always wants to prove herself, but fails consistently. That is, until she’s given an opportunity to make all her teachers and peers recognize her talents once and for all.

Little Witch Academia is a charming anime for any person of any age.

It’s endearing and cute, without pandering at all.

The art style & animation is enthusiastic, and it has a cast of well-realized and enjoyable characters.

We even ranked it among the best fantasy anime ever made, and it rightfully deserves it.

It was originally a (brilliant) 30-minute short. But it received a sequel feature length movie and a later TV show, meaning there’s definitely enough Hogwarts-esque magical girl fun to be had.


1. Kill la Kill

Kill la Kill by Studio Trigger

Ryuuko Matoi has been searching for the murderer of her father, and it’s brought her to the gates of Honnouji Academy – a totalitarian private school for only the elite cream of the crop of society.

It’s overrun by the queenly Satsuki Kiryuuin, a woman rife with secrets.

Armed with her Scissor Blade, power-enhancing garment, and self-confidence, Ryuuko must fight to the top to avenge her father and find out the secret of his demise.

Kill la Kill truly paved the way for Trigger, creating the meme ‘Trigger saved anime’ due to its cultural recognition.

The fanbase for this anime is huge. And it’s still widely talked about and referenced to this day.

It tells a sex-positive tale of self-discovery and revenge, and makes every step a blast. It’s also got one of the best soundtracks in the business, courtesy of the legendary Hiroyuki Sawano.

Truly a legendary production.

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Kafka Champin

Kafka was playing games in utero, and writing lists even longer. He has published numerous books and video essays, and is currently a student at university.