Female TV Anime Directors Fall 2018

Anima Yell!
Director (監督) : Masako Sato
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While Anima Yell! is Masako Sato’s first time helming a TV anime, she brings with her a resume filled with high-profile works. She has contributed to a number of films, including ones from Studio Ghibli such as Spirited Away and Ponyo, mostly as an animator. Her work as a storyboard artist and episode director for TV anime have largely come within the last decade, most notably Welcome to the Ballroom. Her biggest role, however, was as the assistant director (演出助手) for the 2015 film Miss Hokusai.

In her debut foray as a series director, Sato adapts the 4-panel comic Anima Yell!, a member of Hobunsha’s Manga Time family that includes titles like K-On! and Hidamari SketchAnime Yell! follows in the footsteps of these other girls’ club series, this time with a focus on cheerleading. Continue reading “Female TV Anime Directors Fall 2018”

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Female TV Anime Directors Summer 2018

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Female TV Anime Directors Spring 2018

Tada-kun wa Koi o Shinai
Director (監督) : Mitsue Yamazaki
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Tadakoi is an original love story about a photographer boy and a girl from a foreign country. Mitsue Yamazaki directs the series at Dogakobo studio, including much of the creative staff that helped her make her previous work with the studio, Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun. For this project, however, Chieko Nakamura joins as art director. Yamazaki also has an assistant director for this series, Yoshiyuki Fujiwara, director of GJ-Bu and New Game!

Mitsue Yamazaki made her debut as director on the adaption of the Hakkenden manga, though working under chief director Osamu Yamasaki. Previously, she had been groomed for the director role, serving as an assistant director on Kurenai, the 2008 iteration of Yozakura Quartet, and Mawaru Penguindrum. Her first series as the sole director was the popular Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun animefollowed by 2016’s Magic-Kyun! Renaissance. Since then, Yamazaki assisted her assistant director for Tadakoi on New Game by working as a storyboard artist and episode director on the second season.


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Anime Tamago 2018

Anime Tamago will hold a screening in Ikebukuro of this year’s four new shorts to train young animators this March. Historically, a majority of the animators trained by this project have been women, though most of the upper level staff are men. This year’s projects are:

  • Time Driver – Directed by Junichi Yamamoto, a joint production of Imagica Imageworks and Studio Robot
  • Engimon – Directed by Hiromasa Sato, with Studio Nanahoshi and Usagi-ou
  • Milky Panic Twelve – Directed by Shinosuke Numata and animated at Tomason
  • Midnight Crazy Trail – Directed by Kazushige Yusa with Picona Creative Studio

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Enshutsu: A-1 Pictures

がんばって!Previously, we looked at the Fall 2013 season of anime and the history of Kyoto Animation.

Whereas Kyoto Animation is known for it’s in-house production practices, A-1 Pictures is known for being the exact opposite: its productions are comprised nearly entirely of freelancers. Their website itself only lists producers, CG directors, composite directors, and color designers on its staff page. However, the nature of hiring freelancers is still dependent on relationships, and the A-1 rolodex calls on the same names regularly.

A-1 Pictures has also served as a small locus of opportunities for women to direct anime series, including Kotomi Deai, Yumi Kamakura, and former Kyoto Animation staff Noriko Takao. Miyuki Kuroki is also set to co-direct The Idolm@ster Side M anime in the fall. Women have also been hired to direct films with Takao’s Saint Young Men and Shoko Nakamura’s Doukyuusei. Additionally, a number of women have been hired to work as assistant directors on a number of TV series, theoretically preparing them to helm a series on their own (a list that includes Kuroki and Deai). While A-1 Pictures has a relatively extreme (and potentially varied) production model with its nearly pure freelance hiring, the studios has been comparatively willing to hire on more women to direct its projects.

Continue reading “Enshutsu: A-1 Pictures”