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.


Inazuma Eleven: Orion no Kokuin
Chief Director (チーフディレクター) : Yumi Kamakura
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Yumi Kamakura continues as director for the Inazuma Eleven. Level-5 CEO and President Akihiro Hino takes the lead director role (総監督) while Kamakura likely provides anime production insight and leadership in the チーフディレクター role.

Kamakura has spent much of her career working as an assistant director on the all the previous Inazuma Eleven TV anime. She was promoted to director for the Inazuma Eleven: Outer Code web shorts along with helming the new series. Her first assistant director job was for 2007’s adaption of the Deltora Quest fantasy series by Emily Rodda. She debuted as a director on Kenji Itoso’s Kickstarted Santa Company project in 2014. She then went on to take over the Working!! franchise, taking over the third season and staying on to direct the spin-off WWW.Working!!


Hey! Your Cat Ears are Showing
Director (監督・演出) : Chiaki Kanno
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Hey! Your Cat Ears are Showing is an adaption of a Chinese comic. The story follows and unsuccessful comic creator who suddenly meets a boy with cat ears.

The short series marks Chiaki Kanno’s debut as a series director. Much of her earliest work came as an in-between animator for a number of Studio Deen projects including Sankarea, Hakkenden, and Sakura Trick. Kanno wrote a Japanese manual for the animation program TVPaint, developed by a French Company. Fittingly, she works on this project with the Japanese studio monofilmo which specializes in using TVPaint.


Ace Attorney Season 2
Assistant Director (助監督) : Yukiko Imai
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Yukiko Imai is working as an assistant director for the first time with the second season of Ace Attorney. Much of her recent work as an episode director and storyboard artist have been on A-1 Pictures projects, including Magic Kaito 1412The Perfect Insider, and The Idolm@ster SideM.

The Ace Attorney anime adapts the video games that follow Phoenix Wright as he investigates cases and defends his clients in court.


As a minor disclosure, I’m also following 丸山知美 (Tomomi Maruyama) who directs Hoshi no Shima no Nyanko and さとう陽 (Akira Satou) directing Release the Spyce. If I get confirmation that either should belong on this list, I’ll add them.

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