A studio that launched its first anime series in the year 2008, P.A. Works is one of the younger studios. Despite being established in the year 2000, it took them eight years to really get in the game. Let’s take a look at some notable series P.A. Works has created in those few years.
In this post I won’t pay attention to all the shows. I pay attention to the shows that I’ve seen and are worth mentioning. This post should be considered as an introduction to what some studios have to offer.
Angel Beats focuses on teenagers who arrive in the purgatory world created by Maeda Jun. In the purgatory a group lead by Yurippe rebels against the God. Trying to punish him for the unreasonable life he gave to the teenagers.
Angel Beats is a series you will love or hate. The underlying theme is quite complex if you dig deeper into it. Interesting hints throughout the series are present that create possible theories about the world and how the teenagers got there. It leaves room for debate which makes the series interesting, even after its short run of thirteen episodes.
Admittedly the show could have taken more time to explain the world and its characters. Despite this, the series got its point across and fleshed out some of its main characters. Not all the back stories are explained and the world remains kind of a mystery. But these are points of critique that focus more on the details.
The whole package is complete and beautifully portrayed. The soundtrack deserves praise as it is centered around a fictional band in the world of Angel Beats. The animation for the music performances are one of the best I’ve seen around.
Hanasaku Iroha centers around a girl who starts working at her grandma’s inn. Her grandma’s work ethics are based on tough labor and strict discipline. With the colorful crew, Ohana tries to make the best out of the situation she’s in.
The colorful cast in the series gives the studio room to play with. The main characters are well enough portrayed to fit them in the environment they are in. Ohana tries to blend in as good as possible, but stumbles on colleague’s that aren’t as easy to work with. This resulting in a wide variety of different situations with good and bad vibes.
Mentioning Ohana explicitly is important. She is one of the better characters out there. No, she is not perfect. Yes, she can be annoying. But these elements combined make her a diverse character that shapes the world. Her interactions with friends and foe’s feel realistic in their own way, making the story a credible one.
The story is, again, beautifully shaped. It is vibrant with a lot of colors and magnificent scenery. The amount of effort into the details of the inn is exceptionally well. It almost seems like P.A. Works hired an architect to create a fitting inn for the story.
Tari Tari fits in the slice of life and music genre. Not everybody likes the slice of genre because of the slow pacing and seemingly unimportant, low tension, events that happen. Nonetheless Tari Tari gave a good glimpse in the life of its characters.
Not all characters in the main cast got the same amount of attention. But that’s not a problem, because not all characters could contribute to the drama elements Tari Tari tried to introduce. The drama on the other hand could have had a little more impact concerning the heavy focus on the drama P.A. Works tried to create.
Tari Tari had slow pacing throughout its run, which isn’t my main concern. I don’t mind series that take time to build their setting. But Tari Tari placed its focus on some events that didn’t quite work for my taste. Because of the heavy focus on music in the series, the studio didn’t quite cut it. Maybe it was intentional to keep the music on an amateur-like level.
Overall Tari Tari falls in the ‘entertaining’ category. It didn’t make such an impact Angel Beats and Hanasaku Iroha did. But it did good what it wanted to do, and that’s what counts in an entertaining show.
2 thoughts on “Studios: P.A.Works”
I think 8 years between founding and making their first solo show is a fairly standard gap for anime studios. At least, I know Gonzo was founded in 1992 and didn’t make their first TV anime until 2000 (Gatekeepers).
I didn’t like Hanasaku Iroha as much as most people did, but I really enjoyed most of PA Works’ stuff (especially Angel Beats and Another). Super-excited for Nagi no Asu Kara, their whimsy-mermaid show in the pipeline which looks absolutely beautiful.
I’m not saying the gap is anything unusual, I think. I didn’t really look into others. What I wanted to say is that they are actually in the game for a few years. 2000 is already more than a decade.
Well I’m excited most of the times for a P.A. Works show. But I have to admit Red Data Girl isn’t their strongest one. In my opinion it falls in the league of Tari Tari, despite RDG’s original theme.