Being director aware is something relatively new to me. The last 3 years of my anime viewing career has steadily ramped up in looking up staff credits to find out who is doing my favorite series. This initiates the activity that I like to call data hopping — when a piece of information leads you progressively towards other data, which may link back to the initial data. While doing data hopping for a recent series named Tamayura, I ended up looking at information on Cowboy Bebop. How do these have anything in common? And why is there a picture of the Aria Company building above? I’ll tell you why. In a very roundabout way.
Junichi Sato is one director that has affected my personality permanently. The show Aria — directed by Junichi Sato — is flooded with heart-warming scenes, and has a relaxing atmosphere like no other show — barring Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou. Sato does his directing with a stylistic flair that manages to stay subtle. But had it been someone else, I don’t think it would have had the right sense of timing and photographic angle work to really capture the series. Once you’re relatively in the groove of finding hints who is directing a show you may be watching, Sato’s mark is distinguishable but still rather stealthy.