The most influential people in your anime fandom

The ever reliable ICv2 recently posted up a list of the “ten most powerful people in the North American anime industry“. The run down makes for interesting (if a little predictable) reading and sitting at the top is Gonzo’s bestest buddy Gen Fukunaga (of FUNimation), who managed to visciously kill off any competition with his company’s swelling ranks of mediocre action anime to become “the one” (or should I say, Jyu-Oh).
This got me thinking about the people who have had the most influence on my development as an anime fan, or more specifically; which sick bastards transformed me into the hardened anime junkie I am today?
The list of shame
4. Yoko Kanno – Cowboy Bebop
Soundtracks play a great part in my love of anime and no one does it better than Yoko Kanno. I first heard her work in Cowboy Bebop and have since been totally and utterly defeated by her varied tunage and heart wrenching, nostalgic stylings.
3. Chika Umino – Honey & Clover
At a time when I was feeling seriously jaded about anime (I couldn’t even make it through the first 3 minutes of Gonzo’s Black Cat), along came a funny slice of life series called Honey & Clover that completely refreshed my enthusiasm for the genre. This was a geniuenly funny, life affirming drama with colorful, original animation and a wonderful soundtrack to boot. Chika Umino wrote this story, so deserves credit first and foremost, but irregardless of that, everything about Honey & Clover is brilliant.
2. Kentarou Miura – Berserk
Berserk was the first anime I fell head over heels in love with and Kentarou Miura is the genius behind it all. In combining though-provoking philosophy with an extremely violent, complex cast of characters, Miura will forever be the brilliant mind behind my favourite anime of all time.
1. Masashi Kishimoto – Naruto / Shonen Jump
Although it is with something of a guity conscience, I simply wouldn’t be watching anime today if it wasn’t for Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto. This was the first ever fansubbed series I got my mits on and to this very day I still remember the nerve-wracking, sweat-inducing climax of the Zabuza story arc. After sitting through around 50 episodes of Naruto, I realised I had to check out more anime. And furthermore, I realized subtitles should always be the way to go with foreign film and TV.

8 replies on “The most influential people in your anime fandom”

Truthfully, I don’t even take in the names of all the cast in a series let alone the development teams or others related to it’s creation. I know I should pay more respect to them but as artist they should appreciate my love of their art.
As for Berserk, oh yeah!, that one rocks. I love that show. I converted more than one normal productive member of society into a pale chubby otaku with that one.

How about Yuki Kajiura who composed wonderful soundtracks for .Hack//Sign and Portrait of cossette?
You are missing out on this very talented composer’s work.

Bateszi, did you ever manage to get through the Alabasta arc in One Piece? I’m eager to hear your thoughts on it.

Kuromitsu: The Berserk manga is better than the anime. But it’s just not for some people. Besides, wouldn’t anyone who watched the anime want to find out what happened after that cliffhanger of an ending?

As for Miura… The manga of Berserk was one of my biggest anime/manga disappointments. When I learned that the anime had been adapted from a manga I happily hunted it down, but whereas the anime is, as you said, brilliant, whatever brilliance the manga has is buried under an increasingly larger sex- and gore-fest and increasingly less story (or so people tell me, I stopped reading after a few volumes).
Anyway, some of my most influential "anime people":
– Tanaka Yoshiki, who wrote the LoGH novels and apparently supervised the story of the anime, too. Damn you, Tanaka, I want my soul back!
– Yasuhiro Nightow, creator of Trigun and Gungrave, and Kuroda Yousuke, writer of the anime version of both.
– Ikuhara Kunihiko and Enokido Youji, the creator and writer of Utena, who created one of the most unique and beautiful things I’ve ever seen. Also, atm, Enokido is doing a wonderful job on Ouran High.
– Akane Kazuki – Escaflowne (best anime ever, as far as I’m concerned), Noein, Heat Guy J. Do I need to say more?
– Watanabe Shinichirou – if Bebop was the only thing he was involved in I’d still mention him. That series is really something special.

>tj han
Well, apparently I’m the only person on earth who never had any problems with the end of the Berserk anime. 😀 It made all the sense it needed to make for me, and I never felt it was incomplete. (Yeah, I know, I’m weird.)

As shocking as it may sound, I’ve never seen an anime series with a Kajiura soundtrack. Disappointing, I know. I’ll get around to Noir sooner or later though.
Yep, I just finished the Alabasta arc around 2 weeks ago. An entry should be forthcoming 🙂
I think you have a point about the Berserk manga. I was also quite shocked by just how violent and sexually charged it is compared with the anime (after all, the first page of the first volume is Guts having sex with a demon!). The first two and half volumes are pretty much by-the-numbers ultra-violent sword slashing, but as soon Guts flashbacks to the Band of the Hawk, things get better. A lot better. With that said, I think I agree with you that the anime has a slight edge over the manga, if just because it’s a story more suited to motion and sound.
And I was seriously considering including Yasuhiro Nightow for his contribution to Gungrave. I love that anime- and along with Bebop, it has possibly the greatest anime ending of all time. Truly heart-breaking, nostaligic stuff and I loved it.

Perhaps predictably, Hayao Miyazaki is on my own personal list somewhere since it was his Laputa movie that introduced anime to me in the first place.
The top of the list though goes to Hideaki Anno. He fried my brain with Evangelion, only to impress me further with the epic Gunbuster and heart-rending Kare Kano. His stuff’s an acquired taste perhaps but I’ve found it to be among the most innovative and moving anime I’ve ever seen.
Next would be Yoshitoshi ABe, purely because of his outstanding artistic style. Quite unconventional, moody and utterly brilliant.
Then there’s Satoshoshi Kon, creator of Millennium Actress, Paranoia Agent ad Perfect Blue. Alongside Makoto Shinkai he is one of the directors to look out for these days.
"Yoko Kanno"
Absolutely! The most talented songwriter in the industry without exception.

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