Composers/Writers/Directors With Blockbuster Chops (Updated Through 2014)

A while back I compiled lists of anime staffers who had had the combination of skill and luck required to serve in key staff positions of franchises that came out of the gate as 10k+ sellers. At the time, there had only been a total of 101 such shows confirmed, so they turned out to be both exclusive and interesting.

Since then, 2014 happened and another 8 franchises joined the 10k+ party. Additionally, the anime sales community discovered a fun exploit and demonstrated that 7 other season 1s from years past qualified. With 15 fresh groups of to accredit, it’s worth updating those lists. This time we’re keeping the lists short and together in one post, noting which names are new and which ones took a step up.

Quick rule refresher – a series counts for this list if it sold 10k+ starting with the first season, and the credit for that success goes to the staff of the first season. Also, shared credits for a position counts so long as the split is between a maximum of two people. Macross and Gundam series aside from the first installment of each don’t count.

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Fun With Numbers: Composers With Blockbuster Chops (Part 2: 2 Shows)

Continued from this post, here’s the list of composers who have managed the very impressive feat of writing soundtracks for two non-sequel megahits.

Two Important Notes About The Classification: First, I only included non-sequel anime when looking for head writers. This means nothing with some manifestation of a 2 in the title. Ditto for Gundam or Macross franchise entries after the original. My rationale is that it’s a lot harder to make a prime-time anime from scratch, even with popular source material, than it is to continue living in a house someone else built. I count A Certain Scientific Railgun and Mononoke as spinoffs rather than sequels, as the series they spun off of are considerably less well-established franchises.

Also, I did not credit any composer if the credit was split 3 or more ways and I was unable to discern a clear head of the project. Notably, Jun Maeda, Shinji Orito, and Magome Togoshi split music credits for Little Busters, Air, and Clannad 3 ways. Not crediting stuff like this is tough, but giving solo songwriting props to all of them feels like over-distributing credit.

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Fun With Numbers: Composers With Blockbuster Chops (Part 1: 3 or More Shows)

Good sound is terrifically underrated. Compared to the people who make the visuals in anime,* composers are significantly lesser known. There are individual names that people know for individual big works (Iwasaki Taku, Yoko Kanno, Yuki Kajiura), but by and large the majority of people who write the bgm for anime tend to fly miles under the radar. Which is a shame, because good bgm (and good handling of said bgm) can be the keystone piece that takes an anime from good to great. In the interest of making the big achievers in original soundtracks a little more well-known, here are the composers who have written soundtracks for at least 2 10k+, non-sequel hit series.

Two Important Notes About The Classification: First, I only included non-sequel anime when looking for head writers. This means nothing with some manifestation of a 2 in the title. Ditto for Gundam or Macross franchise entries after the original. My rationale is that it’s a lot harder to make a prime-time anime from scratch, even with popular source material, than it is to continue living in a house someone else built. I count A Certain Scientific Railgun and Mononoke as spinoffs rather than sequels, as the series they spun off of are considerably less well-established franchises.

Also, I did not credit any composer if the credit was split 3 or more ways and I was unable to discern a clear head of the project. Notably, Jun Maeda, Shinji Orito, and Magome Togoshi split music credits for Little Busters, Air, and Clannad 3 ways. Not crediting stuff like this is tough, but giving solo songwriting props to all of them feels like over-distributing credit.

Continue reading