Trigger is undoubtedly one of the most renowned and well-known animation studios at the moment. Its greatest asset is undoubtedly its unique and excellent animations, marked by incredibly smooth and fast-paced scenes.
Some of its best works include Kill la Kill and the more recent Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, but the studio has also worked on other hidden gems that we’d like you to discover.
Here’s our list of the best anime produced by Studio Trigger to add to your watchlist.
Table of Contents
10. Darling in the FranXX
Darling in the FranXX is a recent mecha anime that has garnered both positive and negative reviews, released in 2018.
It’s set in a distant future where humanity is on the brink of extinction due to giant beasts called Klaxosaurs. Humans live in fortified cities called Plantations and children are raised solely to pilot the FranXX, giant mechas which require a boy-girl pair to operate and fight the Klaxosaurs.
And in this story, the protagonist, Hiro, is a boy without a partner who meets a mysterious girl named Zero Two, known as the Partner Killer.
Darling in the FranXX is… quite challenging to define precisely. It falls somewhere between being a meh anime and an excellent one.
It boasts several great aspects, like its exploration of deep themes like identity, love, survival, and exploitation.
But at the same time, it also contains unnecessarily exaggerated moments and comedy and fanservice even when not necessary, plus a divisive ending.
Due to its polarizing nature, our best advice is to watch it and form your own judgment.
9. Space Patrol Luluco
Space Patrol Luluco is an original anime created by Trigger studio and consists of 13 episodes released in 2016.
The story unfolds in Ogikubo, located in the Milky Way, where humans and aliens coexist.
Our protagonist is Luluco, a high school student residing with her father, a galactic detective. Luluco’s life, seemingly ordinary, is fated to undergo a profound transformation following her encounter with ΑΩ Nova, a mysterious alien…
Space Patrol Luluco is a one-of-a-kind anime known for its fast-paced storytelling and quirky humor but in a good way.
The uniqueness extends also to the individual episodes, as you may encounter completely different plots and storytelling styles in different episodes. But this can only be a plus, right?
Last but not least, the animation quality from Trigger is, as always, inimitable.
8. BNA: Brand New Animal
BNA: Brand New Animal is another original anime crafted by Studio Trigger, comprising 12 excellent episodes.
The story revolves around Michiru, a girl who mysteriously transforms into a human-like tanuki and seeks refuge in Anima City, a place where semi-humans reside.
There, she meets Shirou, a werewolf who teaches her about their lifestyle. But their investigation into Michiru’s transformation leads to the discovery of mysterious secrets.
BNA uses the metaphor and symbolism of animal-anthropomorphs to critique and shed light on relevant issues in modern society.
These themes include discrimination, racism, xenophobia, and the broader concept of diversity, ultimately conveying a message of hope.
The series is further distinguished by its characters, who are brought to life with a quirky animation style, and, as expected from Trigger, the animation quality is top-notch.
SSSS.Gridman is the animated adaptation of Gridman the Hyper Agent, an extremely popular Tokusatsu series in Japan.
Our protagonist is Yuta Hibiki, an enigmatic student who, after experiencing memory loss, appears to be the sole individual capable of perceiving Gridman, a cryptic superhero communicating with him through a screen.
But when their town comes under assault by peculiar monsters, it becomes Yuta’s responsibility to protect it, with the help of Gridman itself.
SSSS.Gridman is an excellent series that pays homage to Japanese pop culture of the 1980s and 1990s, particularly the Tokusatsu series like Gridman itself, Super Sentai, and Ultraman.
Its strengths also include a mystery-filled story with a procedural narrative that will keep you engaged from beginning to end, while exploring deep themes such as depression and the feeling of not fitting into your own world.
Kiznaiver is a good anime released in 2016 that blends Sci-Fi, adventure, psychology, action, and some well-placed romance subplots.
The story revolves around Katsuhira Agata, a high school student who receives an invitation from his enigmatic classmate, Noriko Sonosaki, to participate in the Kizuna System.
This system’s goal is to achieve world peace by connecting individuals known as Kiznaivers, enabling them to share their pain and experiences with each other.
Kiznaiver combines elements of drama, action, Sci-Fi, and even mystery to create a captivating and thought-provoking experience.
But its primary emphasis lies in highlighting how interpersonal relationships can significantly impact people’s lives and how shared pain can lead to a deeper mutual understanding.
If these themes resonate with you, we highly recommend not missing out on Kiznaiver.
5. Gridman Universe
Gridman Universe is a movie that serves as a sequel to SSSS.Gridman, the series mentioned earlier in this list. It was released recently in March 2023 and has a runtime of about 2 hours.
A year have passed since the ending of SSSS. Gridman (which we won’t reveal to avoid spoiling the surprise for those who haven’t watched it), and it finally appears that peace has come for Yuta and his friends.
But threats are always lurking, and unfortunately, peace is not meant to last…
If you enjoyed SSSS.Gridman, you’ll likely love this movie as well. The story and animations are similar but enhanced, making it a safe bet for fans of the series.
We should also mention the incredible animations in the movie, which alone make it worth watching.
Trigger studio clearly deserves credit for this, as they put their unique spin on the plot and deliver an over-the-top ending.
4. Little Witch Academia
Little Witch Academia is a fairly recent anime consisting of 25 episodes aired in 2017.
The plot tells the story of the protagonist surnamed Akko, a young girl who as a child witnesses the witch Shiny Chariot’s magic show.
From that moment on decides to follow in her footsteps by enrolling in the Luna Nova Academy for Little Witches. But not everything will be as easy and fun as hoped.
Little Witch Academia is a truly enjoyable and engaging slice-of-life anime with a delightful fantasy-witch theme. You’ll find yourself cheering for Akko as she embarks on adventures that are both absurd and relatable.
In addition to its humorous and lighthearted atmosphere, the series conveys positive messages and themes, emphasizing the significance of diligence, friendship, and acceptance.
And this makes it appropriate for both mature and younger audiences.
3. Kill la Kill
Kill la Kill is a popular anime released in 2013, consisting of 24 episodes, and undoubtedly one of Studio Trigger’s finest productions.
The story follows Ryuko Matoi, who is on a quest to avenge her father’s death, with her only lead is the other half of the Scissor Blade, a sword he invented.
She enrolls in Honnouji Academy, a competitive high school controlled by student council president Satsuki Kiryuuin. Satsuki bestows special Goku Uniforms upon the top students, granting them unique powers.
After losing a battle against one of the uniform-wearing students, Ryuuko’s life takes a dramatic turn. She gains the ability to confront Satsuki and her clique while uncovering the truth behind her father’s murder.
Kill la Kill is a true masterpiece of direction, featuring animation that brilliantly complements the fast-paced action and a soundtrack of exceptional quality.
Among its merits, you’ll also find strong social satire, themes of rebellion and personal growth, and one of the most clever uses of ecchi in the anime medium.
Promare is undoubtedly an animated masterpiece produced by Studio Trigger in 2019. It’s arguably one of the finest animated films ever created, and there’s likely little room for debate.
In the movie’s fictional universe, the emergence of the Burnish, a race of fiery beings resulting from a mutation in human DNA, caused half of planet Earth to be engulfed in flames.
Now, 30 years later, a terrorist group known as Mad Burnish has resumed its campaign of destruction.
It’s up to Galo Thymos, a new member of Burning Rescue, the anti-Burnish team, to battle Lio Fotia, the leader of Mad Burnish, and save the planet.
In our opinion, Promare is a must-watch, without much doubt.
Its animations are nothing short of spectacular, featuring smooth, colorful action scenes and beautiful character designs. Not to mention the soundtrack made by Hiroyuki Sawano, is simply amazing.
All of this while addressing important themes such as discrimination, the fear of the different, and the pursuit of equality.
1. Cyberpunk: Edgerunners
As a prequel to the game Cyberpunk 2077, this anime follows the story of David Martinez.
In Night City, a futuristic metropolis, David attends Arasaka Academy to fulfill his mother’s dream of reaching the top of the world’s leading security corporation.
But things changed when a street gang incident left him devastated.
He then implanted Sandevistan cyberware for superhuman speed and strenght, to get revenge on his enemies. Witness his journey as he fights to survive the dangerous, corrupt system while never backing down from any fight.
Cyberpunk: Endgerunners is undoubtedly one of the most popular and successful anime of recent times, which has become a hit because of its excellent storyline, cool action moments, and excellent soundtrack.
Being a cyberpunk anime, it delves deeply into the theme of the individual’s annihilation by society, a theme as relevant as ever.
We witness astute and experienced characters making foolish mistakes, completely crushed by their desperate pursuit of social and economic advancement.
The setting is also simply stunning. Night City will captivate you with its colorful, futuristic locations reminiscent of Blade Runner, contrasted by the poor, dirty, and congested alleys.