The secret house of anime-The Essential Directors and Creators March 2018 Part 2: The Series

  1. Shinichirô Watanabe: Known for his eclectic and varied style Watanabe has had a huge influence in Japan and United States. His works include an emphasis on music and are directed around a musical theme. He also often has a flexible story style, and frequently uses American pop culture within his works. His break out series Cowboy Bebop has had major impact on the United States anime industry and helped to set the bar high for future English language anime dubs. His other works include Macross Plus, Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, Kids on the Slope, Space Dandy, and Terror in Resonance.
  2. Kunihiko Ikuhara: Kunihiko is known for having a very individual style when directing shows. His works often have abstract and surreal elements to them that make them stand out. He is also well known for his use of lesbian romantic themes known in Japan as Yuri. Getting his start working on the famous magical girl show Sailor Moon, his major breakout series came in the form of the groundbreaking Revolutionary Girl Utena. Following Utena he has worked on number of stand-out and unusual titles including Mawaru Penguindrum and Yuri Kuma Arashi.
  3. Rumiko Takahashi: Anime owes a lot to the creator Rumiko Takahashi. Her manga series are not only extremely clever and original, but also some of the most funny and dramatic. Many of her series have been adapted into anime and explore themes of gender, relationships, the supernatural, and often contain lots of comedy. What is especially interesting about her work is how they are aimed primarily at boys, but contain many strong and amusing female characters. Her adapted works include: Urusei Yatsura, One Pound Gospel, Maison Ikkoku, Ranma ½, Inuyasha, Mermaid Saga, Rin-ne and stories from her collections Rumic Saga and Rumic World.
  4. Takahiro Omori: Omori is a veteran director whose works cover a large spectrum of themes. From the random comedy of Super Milk Chan, Wonder Bebil-kun and Samurai Flamenco to works with serious topics such as Koi Kaze, Haibane Renmei (as assistant director) and Hell Girl and everything in between, Omori has proven a versatile director. He is perhaps best known, however for his work on the series Natsume the Book of Friends, and on the adaption of Ryohgo Narita’s light novel (a form of Japanese escapist novels with light subject matter) series Baccano and Durarara.
  5. Akiyuki Shinbou: Shinbou is a skilled director known for a variety of exciting works. He is most known, however for his adaption of the supernatural Monogatari novel series, and most notably for the series Puella Magi Madoka Magica. While not the first magical girl show to deconstruct the genre and designed with more mature themes, Madoka Magica had a profound impact on changing magical girl genre with its use of dark themes. Many series now owe their style to Madoka Magica including the Magical Girl Raising Project. Shinbou’s other works include Hidamari Sketch, Nisekoi, Tsukuyomi: Moon Phase, Paniponi Dash!, Kubikiri Cycle, Arakawa Under the Bridge and the Zetsubo Sensei Series.
  6. Morio Asaka: Another wonderful director, Morio Asaka has worked on a number of memorable series. Directing series by such greats as Osamu Tezuka, Rumiko Takahashi, and CLAMP, and adapting Osamu Danzai’s No Longer Human, he is known as one of the best anime series adapters in the industry. What is also notable about many of his adaptions is the presence of strong women within his series. Directing classic series such as Chobbits, Mermaid Saga, Gunslinger Girl, My Love Story, Card Captor Sakura, and Nana, Asaka has done a great job of representing a variety of complex female leads.
  7. Hideaki Anno: Hideaki Anno has played a huge role within the anime industry. His series Neon Genesis Evangelion had a profound impact on mech shows and the anime industry as a whole. His use of apocalyptic, mature themes and a classical score made Evangelion stand out from other giant robot shows that preceded it, creating a more gritty and dark atmosphere. Anno also brought into Evangelion and his other series his personal struggles with depression and his postmodern perspective. His other major works include His and Her Circumstances, Nadai: Secret of the Blue Water, Cutie Honey, Gunbuster, Shin Godzilla, and voicing lead character in Mizayaki’s The Wind Rises.
  8. Go Nagai: Go Nagai is well known for the adult nature of his works. During a time where most works were still aimed at children, Nagai instead often chose to focus his series on more adult themes. His willingness to expand his works toward more adult audiences helped to expand the subject matter and scope of anime. Works such as Devilman(or lady), Violence Jack, Getter Robo, Mazinger Z, and Cutie Honey had and continue to have a huge influence on the industry. Go Nagai has always been about pushing the industries limits, with works that often known for their use of violence and exploration of sexuality. He continues to be involved in writing and working on series, and pushing the boundaries of the industry. He is also credited with the starting the combining super robot genre with his work Mazinger Z.
  9. Kenji Kodama: Is best known for his work on the long running series City Hunter and Detective Conan (known in the United States as Case Closed). City hunter is one of 80’s most popular anime series starring a womanizing detective Ryo who ends up adopting his partners displeased daughter Kaori. The series contained a lot of comedy and action, as Ryo and Kaori work as partners and have conflicts. Kodama though is perhaps best known for his series Detective Conan (Case Closed) a series starring a teenage detective who is shrunk to the size of a child. The series focuses on mysteries as the lead Conan tries to find out more about the criminal organization that shrunk his body, as well as solving mysteries for his girlfriend’s wash out detective father. Detective Conan (Case Closed) is one of the longest running and most popular anime and manga series; also containing many movies also directed by Kodama.
  10. Yoshiyuki Tomino: Yoshiyuki Tomino is well known for his work in mech series. Most notably Tomino is responsible for the creation of the Gundam series, which combined robot piloting with military conflict and samurai like designs. He has also been responsible for working on adaption of Tezuka Series such as Astro Boy and Triton of the Sea, and many super giant mech shows. His work on the first Mobile Suit Gundam series paved the path for many other Gundam series to follow, and as well similar shows such as Code Geass, Eureka Seven, and Fullmetal Panic which are also mech shows surrounding the topic of war.

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