The Spring 2017 season has a couple of directors returning to their respective franchises, and a few fresh faces.
Anime Series Director: Ayako Kurata
Granblue Fantasy is a popular mobile game. Ayako Kurata serves as the Anime Series Director (lit. アニーシリーズディレクター) while Nanoha Vivid director Yuuki Itou servers as Kantoku (lit. 監督). Kurata is not a stranger to mildly unusual titles as her previous director credit was as Series Enshutsu (lit. シリーズ演出) on Magi: the Kingdom of Magic, working with Koji Masunari as director and Naotaka Hayashi as assistant director. Her role for this series is probably close in-line to assistant director.
Kurata’s work as an animator extends to the 90s, working on a number of episodes of series such as Sailor Moon and the mid-90s iterator of GeGeGe no Kitaro. She debuted as a character designer for Star Ocean Ex in 2001. Her recent work includes working as one of the performance supervisors for Your Lie in April and directing the 20th episode of the Cinderalla Girls TV series.
Natsume’s Book of Friends Season 6
Director: Kotomi Deai
After her promotion to the series director role in the 5th season, Kotomi Deai returns to direct Natsume’s Book of Friends with Chief Director Takahiro Omori once again. The Rolling Girls and Silver Spoon director has been focused on this series as of late, only drawing storyboards for an episode of Flip Flappers in Fall 2016.
Idol Time PriPara
Director: Makoto Moriwaki
Makoto Moriwaki’s career figures to be one of the longest for female anime directors. She made her debut in the role for the 1986 film High School! Kimengumi. She began her career at Shin-Ei Animation before becoming one of the founders of the now defunct studio Animaruya. She’s been a freelance animator and director since 2004.
Moriwaki’s work may be somewhat overlooked in western fandom as her primary contributions as director have been for on anime for young girls that aren’t the Precure or Aikatsu franchise. However, between 2005 and 2009, she was the director for the Onegai My Melody franchise, and the director of PriPara since 2014, including this year’s Idol Time season. Among Otaku anime series, she served as the director for the initial two seasons of Milky Holmes and returned to the role for 2016’s movie. She also acted in a supervisor role for Denkigai no Honya-san with PriPara assistant director Masafumi Sato.
Rilu Rilu Farilu – Mahou no Kagami
Directors: Sakura Gojo & Nana Imanaka
Sakura Gojo directed the first season of this young girls’ anime, Yosei no Door. There is largely no information about Gojo and her name may well be a pseudonym. For the second season of Rilu Rili Farilu, she is joined by Nana Imanaka making her directorial debut.
Imanaka contributed significantly to the Pretty Rhythm and its spin-off PriPara. She also directed episodes for Jewelpet Magical Change and Time Bokan.
Director: You Miura
You Miura has served as an episode director and storyboard director since the mid-aughts. Her most significant contributions belong to Tamagotchi Miracle Friends and Tenkai Knights. However, she has also directed episodes of a number of notable series including Pokemon, Sora no Woto, Yokai Watch, and Euraka Seven AO. Miura also directed the “Jinsei Best 10” episode of the Otona Joshi no Anime Time specials.