Female TV Anime Directors Winter 2018

How to keep a mummy
Director: Kaori
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Kaori is directing an adaption of Kakeru Utsugi’s How To Keep A Mummy manga. It is her first series as director since 2013’s masterpiece Yuyushiki. She had also served as assistant director for 2016’s Scorching Ping Pong Girls as well as a director for a season of the Bottom Biting Bug short. Kaori has long served as an animator, storyboard artist, and episode director. In the past she has worked under the names Kaori Fujita and Kaori Komori, but currently simply works under the mononym Kaori (かおり).

How To Keep a Mummy tells the story of a boy who receives a pocket-sized “mummy” from his father. The original manga was published as a webcomic on Comico.


A Place Further Than the Universe
Director: Atsuko Ishizuka
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A Place Further Than the Universe (or Yorimoi) tells the story of a group of high school girls making the trek to Antarctica. The anime is Astuko Ishizuka’s sixth series as director.

Ishizuka’s directoral work has been varied. It includes an adaption of a western TV series (Supernatural), a teen melodrama (Sakurasou), and mildly skeevy isekai (No Game, No Life), a Manga Time Kirara Forward adaption (Hanayamata), and an otome game adaption (Prince of Stride). She even now has a movie under her belt. However, Yorimoi is a new entry into her diverse portfolio: it’s her first original series.


Pop Team Epic
Director: Aoi Umeki
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Pop Team Epic is an anime about memelords.

There isn’t much information about Aoi Umeki, but it appears she animated this short as her graduation project from the Kyoto University of Art and Design. She is co-directing with Jun Aoki.


Gintama. Gin no Tamashii-hen
Director: Chizuru Miyawaki
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Chizuru Miyawaki continues as director for yet another season of the Gintama franchise, with longtime series director Yoichi Fujita supervising. While this new season may just be considered an extension of the ongoing season and simply marketing for the next arc, it’s given the benefit of the doubt and included anyway.

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.


Violet Evergarden
Series Director: Haruka Fujita
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Not too long after Haruka Fujita caught the attention of fans with her work on Sound Euphonium, specifically episode 8 of its first season, she has now been given a promotion to series director (シリーズ構成), working under director (監督) Taichi Ishidate. Detailed notes on Fujita’s career can be read at Sakuga Blog.

Violet Evergarden‘s story revolves its titular character, an “Auto Memory Doll” – a robot whose original purpose was to transcribe spoken words into text. The original story was the first (and currently only) Grand Prize recipient of the Kyoto Animation Award.


Itou Junji: Collection
Director: Shinobu Tagashira
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Shinobu Tagashira is an animator with decades of experience in the industry. While her earliest roles as an episode director came on series like the 1999 iteration of Hunter x Hunter and Sister Princess RePure, she has done a significant amount of character design work as well, debuting in that role for the Hunter x Hunter: Greed Island OVA. Other notable character design works include Da Capo and Is This a Zombie?

She debuted as a director in 2013 with Diabolik Lovers, a half-length-episode adaption of a vampire-themed otome game, though she wasn’t involved in its second season. While sharing some supernatural elements, her next project is a far departure from her debut. Junji Itou is a renowned horror manga artist, and Tagashira is tasked with adapting a number of his stories for this anime.


Correction 3-22-2018: Ayako Kouno (河野亜矢子) is credited as the assistant director for After the Rain. I’m guessing this is something that became public after the first episode was broadcast.

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