The Idolm@ster SideM
Director: Miyuki Kuroki
The Idolm@ster Side M is Miyuki Kuroki’s debut as head series director, co-directoring with Takahiro Harada. In 2016, she had also served as assistant director for Occult;Nine. Kuroki served as an episode director for Your Lie in April, Cinderella Girls, and The Perfect Insider. She has also worked a numerous A-1 Pictures productions throughout her career, beginning as an in-between animator, and eventually becoming an animation supervisor before transitioning it a director.
As a fan of Jupiter, she is a fitting hire to direct the Side M series, another extension of the Idolm@ster franchise, this time focusing on male idols.
Director: Chizuru Miyawaki
Chizuru Miyawaki continues as director for yet another season of the Gintama franchise, with longtime series director Yoichi Fujita supervising. While the iteration premiering in Winter 2017 was suggested to be the final season, Porori-hen may well be an extension of that particular animation production. The Porori arc covers stories prior to the one covered in the Winter 2017 season.
Miyawaki was primarily a key animator up until she received an opportunity to work as an animation supervisor for episodes of 2004’s Monster. She first joined the Gintama anime series as an animation supervisor, acting in the role for the very first episode in 2006 but was absent from that role from the series after the first fifty episodes. She rejoined the franchise in 2011 for its second season, this time joining the series’ roll of episode directors and storyboard artists.
She would then work as assistant director for the first season of Cute High defense Force Love! under the original director of the Gintama franchise, Shinji Takamatsu, and broadcast in the Summer of 2015. Miyawaki would take the reins as director of the Gintama franchise that summer as well, making her official directorial debut.
Tsukipro the Animation
Director: Juria Matsumura
Juria Matsumura makes her debut as a series director for Tsukipro the Animation, working under chief director Keitaro Motonaga. Though the two series have notably different anime production staff, Tsukipro is an extension of the 2016 Tsukiuta anime, this time focusing on the male idol groups Soara, Growth, SolidS, and Quell. The Tsukiuta franchise originated as a character CD series, but has also grown into other media.
Matsumura began her career working on children’s anime, including the mid-2000s iterations of Kaikeitsu Zorori and Doraemon. She would later move into late night anime and episode direction with series like Natsuyuki Rendezvous and Laughing Under the Clouds. Most recently, she was hired as a frequent storyboard artist and unit director for the Digimon Adventure Tri. films.
Director: Amica Kubo
Urahara is Amica Kubo’s first foray in the mainstream anime industry. She had previously worked on short films, winning an award from the Japan Media Arts Festival while still in school, as well as commercial shorts of TV stations. She also runs tampen.jp, a website she founded to help promote independent artists making short animated films.
The project adapts a manga that is a unique collaboration between the United States and Japan. The story is written by American Patricki Macias and illustrated by independent Japanese artist Mugi Tanaka. (Macias is employed by Crunchyroll, where the manga is published). The series tells a story about young women protecting Harujuku and its fashion culture from aliens.
Netojuu no Susume
Assistant Director: Saori Den
Netojuu no Susume (or Recovery of an MMO Junkie in English) adapts a manga by Rin Kokuyou telling the story of a 30-year old NEET woman who plays an MMO game as a male character and befriends a female character in-game that is actually a very attractive man in real life.
Saori Den is the assistant director for this project, supporting series director Kazuyoshi Yaginuma. Den is a relatively young animator and a participant in the Young Animator’s Training Project (also known as Anime Mirai and Anime Tamago), in 2016 on Signal.MD’s Colorful Ninja Iromaki. She was worked as an animator on Haikyuu!! and Sansha Sanyo, as well as directed episodes of Pokemon Generations. She also directed the Gargantia on the Verdant Planet OVA that had hired a higher number of women on staff than usual.
Assistant Director: Natsumi Yasue
Natsumi Yasue is the assistant director for the Dynamic Chord anime, working under series director Shigenori Kageyama. Limited information could be found about Yasue, but she may have worked as an assistant production manager for Maoyuu Maou Yuusha and Wizard Barristers.
The Dyanamic Chord franchise is a series of otome games and character CDs created by Honeybee Black. The company has created games for fictional bands rêve parfait, Kyohso, Liar-S, and apple-polisher.
Osake wa Fuufu ni Natte kara
Director: Saori Tachibana
Oasakefufu is an anime about an office worker who returns home every day and drinks the alcoholic beverage her husband makes. The anime adapts a manga by Crystal na Yosuke.
Saori Tachibana directs the series under chief director Hisayoshi Hirasawa. Tachibana was series director for Miss Bernard Said., another Creators in Pack production under head director Hirasawa. She also directed episode 10 of the Little Witch Academia TV anime, about Akko and her friends letting loose a magic bee at a fancy party.