Why Death Note And Attack On Titan Are So Popular 

Death Note and Attack on Titan's successes as manga are only part of why they have gone on to become well-received mainstream anime adaptations. The other secret to their success? Tetsuro Araki, their director.

Digibro eloquently argues what it is about Araki's style that sets anime like Death Note and Attack on Titan apart. For one thing, the director excels at making bombastic anime. I don't mean in a Michael Bay way. Rather, Araki is more like Zack Snyder when it comes to directing anime. Araki can even make mundane things like writing in a notebook seem dramatic and enticing — nevermind when it comes to the extreme emotions displayed in Attack on Titan. There, Araki is capable of making speeches seem like the most intense thing. It's a style that has allowed Araki to create some of the most memorable scenes in anime, ever. Couple this with interesting themes, and it's no wonder that both Attack and Titan and Death Note are so hot, even with audiences that don't normally watch anime.

Digibro also dives into other anime that Araki has directed, analysing the different strengths that each showcases. It's a fascinating analysis that's worth your time, if you have nine minutes to spare.


    Yeah nah, pretty sure it's the original writers/creators amazing works. He just happens to be one of the few directors working at a studio that makes these kinds of anime.

    Last edited 23/01/15 6:39 am

      Yep, in this case it's all about the source material, not the director.

      How hands-on a director is varies a lot. A lot of them have very little to do with how the final product turns out, they just are there to make general decisions and keep things on track.

      Others will go deep, involved in doing all the storyboards, deciding color usage or shot composition or even doing some of the animation. Miyazaki, for example, was known for going through his Key Animators' work in many films and re-drawing frames himself because they weren't exactly the way he wanted them to look, so there's very little of the animator's styles that come through as a result. It's not just about having a good studio around, though that certainly isn't going to hurt.

      That said, Araki's not a particularly good director. Death Note and Attack on Titan are by two different studios. Death Note was Madhouse, and Attack on Titan was a collaboration between Production I.G. and Wit Studio. So it's not the studio .Araki's not a particularly amazing director if you look at his body of work. Death Note was great, but that's the source material shining through. Attack on Titan's generally good but has some terrible pacing issues. Guilty Crown (which he also directed, and which was an original production) was very pretty but had an awful protagonist and ended up being a huge disappointment overall, and Highschool of the Dead is an okay adaption of a mediocre manga about boobies and zombies.

        It irk me with movies and things when people praise directors, I'm not saying they didnt do anything, but the people who write the stories surely deserve more of the credit, esp when its from a very popular book etc.

          Yeah, and in terms of the anime itself, the writer and 'series composition' have much more of an impact on how it turns out than the director most of the time, and the quality of the visuals comes down to which key animators were on it a lot of the time as well. The Key Animators are the role which I think get glossed over the most in the west, yet most of the most memorable anime scenes, especially action sequences, are memorable nearly entirely because of the quality of the animators involved.

    The ridiculously melodramatic style of the Death Note anime made it such a joy to watch. I need to sit through that again.

      He opened a packet of chips and ate one.


      That tennis match... Man, if I had a weak heart, god, I don't think I could have watched that.

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