The founder of White Fox Studio, Gaku Iwasa was born in 1974 in Yokohama Prefecture of Japan. He dropped out of university and decided to follow his passion and enroll in the Yoyogi Animation Gakuin. While attending school he became involved with OLM animation studio as a production assistant on Mojakou.
After graduating and gaining more experience he established his own studio company: Team Iwasa. Their first work was titled Kasumin, however, in 2007 he split completely from OLM forming his own studio, called White Fox in 2007. The first anime show they produced was Tears to Tiara. Over time they’ve also animated shows like Steins;Gate and Re:Zero, with a total of 19 shows they’ve animated.
The Diverse and Compelling Animation Style of a Wide Range of Anime Series
Tears to Tiara (2009)
Their first animation was the anime series Tears to Tiara, which is based on a playstation 3 video game by AQUAPLUS called, “Tears to Tiara: Kakan no Daichi.” The adventure and storyline is a mystical journey taking place on Erin Island.
The anime is directed by Tomoki Kobayashi and composition is done by Tōko Machida. Set in a late antiquity setting there is a definite Roman, Welsh, Celtic and Christian mythology influence that is carried throughout. With soldiers and kidnappings, moats and castles, the animation quality is colorful, vibrant and explores and plays with the medieval costumes for the characters and other specificities like armor and horses.
This anime series consisted of 12 episodes based off of the Japanese light novel series written by Nisio Isin and illustrated by Take. The story is centered around a “sword hunt” (Katanagatari) for 12 swords that were created by a swordsmith. Taking place in Edo-era Japan, this remarkable plot outlines one swordless fighter who must be tasked with finding the deviant blades as he is the only one who will not become corrupted by them.
Although the current timeframe of the series dates back many years, the style is modernized slightly with its color palette and accessible design and use of lines. Eyes are expressive but simple and the detailing is strongest in landscape, trees and environment. The fighting style scenes aer stylized with graphic motion, but are not overdone.
Steins; Gate (2011)
This 4 episode anime is based off of the 2009 visual novel by 5pb. and Nitroplus. The narrative is definitely a psychological thriller and makes the viewer think on the edge of their seat. It centers around the main character, Rintaro Okabe, a mad scientist.
He discovers with his friends that they can somehow send text messages to the past, which inherently changes the present, future and beyond! The animation style is darker with thicker lines and greyer tones in both the characters and environment. The colors are muted and dreamlike and they did a great job of having the animation style reflect the mysterious elements in the series.
Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest (2017)
Inspired by the Japanese light novel series written by Ryo Shirakome and illustrated by Takayaki, it takes place at a high school and the main character is Hajime Nagumo, a high schoolboy.
When the school gains fantasy powers he is only able to alchemize different objects, he then falls to the bottom of a dungeon, and comes in touch with an imprisoned vampire and other mythical creatures. With dark looming spaces and colorful eyes there is a great dynamic between soft and hard, dark and light in the animation of this series.
Cautious Hero: The Hero Is Overpowered but Overly Cautious (2019)
Based on the Japanese light novel series written by Light Tuchihi and illustrated by Saori Toyota. The narrative follows Ristarte, a goddess who is still starting, who is positioned to save the world from Gaeabrande from a Demon Lord. In order to do this she must summon a human hero, but unfortunately the man she picks is extremely cautious.\
This fantasy anime series is full of splendor and adventure. The animation is super bright with big colorful anime eyes and bold, lively colors. It is exciting to see the action and spellbinding use of light and also the swift changes of facial expressions from serious to silly!
Overall, the history and work of the White Fox animation studio is impressive not only for the amount of shows they’ve done, but the variety of storylines and styles that have successfully been completed. They are very multidimensional with a unique talent for many different kinds of characters, effects and stories.