Healin’ Good ❤ Precure
Director (シリーズディレクター): Yoko Ikeda
This year’s new Precure series marks a surprising first – a woman is directing the year-long television series. While a number of Precure movies have been directed by women – including the talented Rie Matsumoto, industry constant Chiaki Kon, and even Yoko Ikeda herself – the girls’ anime series have never had a woman at the helm. It’s not just the director role – almost all the current roles listed are women, with the ABC Animation producer as the lone exception.
Ikeda has been in the industry for decades, with The Case File of Young Kindaichi Returns as her most recent TV series director role. She has also directed Suite Precure film and more recently the Hugtto Precure era all stars film Precure Super Stars!
Haikyuu!! To the Top
Director (監督): Masako Sato
Assistant Director(副監督 ): Mariko Ishikawa
The new season of the popular volleyball series also features a different director at the helm. Masako Sato takes over for Susumu Mitsunaka for this new season, including the previous OVAs covering the Tokyo qualifiers. Sato made her debut as a series director two years ago on the cheerleading series Anima Yell! She is not a stranger to the series however, having storyboarded episodes in both the first, second, and third seasons of Haikyuu!!
Mariko Ishikawa returns as the assistant director on the series, first entering the role in the second season (though with a slight title change: now 副監督 vs. 助監督 previously). Much of her career includes key animation and episodic animation supervision on series like Gintama, Aikatsu!, and Welcome to the Ballroom.
Assistant Director (助監督): Satsuki Takahashi
The 22/7 idol anime follows an idol group put together by… a wall. It’s a fancy wall. The anime follows various other promotions including live performances by their voice actresses. A number of famous illustrated to make the original character designs for the characters, including Yukiko Horiguchi who also adapted all of the designs for music videos, and whose designs were then adapted by Majiro for the anime.
Satsuki Takahashi takes on the rolls of assistant director for the series under Takao Abo. Most of her previous work was photography on various A-1 Pictures projects including Slow Start and Darling in the Franxx. She also directed and drew storyboards for the Katrielle Layton anime series.
ARP Backstage Pass
Assistant Director (助監督): Kana Kawana
ARP Backstage Pass is an anime based on an augmented reality idol group created by the company Yuke’s.
Kana Kawana serves as assistant director for the first time, working under director Tetsuya Endo. She has plenty of experience with male idol anime, directing episodes of Tsukipro, Idolish 7, and Starmyu. She also has experience on series including Bloom into You, My Roommate is a Cat, and Dororo.
Assistant Director (助監督): Yayoi Takano
Also in her first time as an assistant director is Yayoi Takano, working under director Kiyoshi Matsuda. She drew in-betweens for series like Cross Game and The Idolm@ster before moving on to key animation for series like Hakkenden and Nisekoi. Her career route including becoming an animation director for a number of series including Endride before jumping to episode director on series like Just Because and Yuyucamp△. For Sarazanmai, she took up all these roles including serving as one of the main animators.
Uchi Tama is a series based on the children’s series Tama & Friends. Uchi Tama anthropomorphize the characters with animal ears and tails for an original new series.
Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!
Assistant Director: (副監督): Mari Motohashi
Eizoken is a series about a group of friends who want to make anime. The series itself is a love letter to animation overall.
Mari Motohashi serves as one of the assistant directors for the series for this Masaaki Yuasa project. She is a flash animator with relatively limited professional experience, having first drawn storyboards on the Super Shiro shorts. Her first time directing and storyboarding a full-length episode came on this series. She has an english-translated interview about the project at Gigazine.