Enshutsu: Kyoto Animation

tamakocount

Special thanks to ultimatemegax for reviewing and adding to my data for this subject.

Back in October, we took a look at the Fall 2013 season of anime to get a general idea of the gender inequality among enshutsu, or episode director, roles across the industry. In that season, across all companies, just 10 percent of episodes were directed by women. As one of many follow-ups to that project, we’re focusing on Kyoto Animation. Known for its earlier success with many popular series like Clannad and K-On!, and its modern business practice of being the primary financier of its many series, Kyoto Animation has also developed a reputation of having many women on its staff. At the series director level, Naoko Yamada has become a mainstay of the company. Hiroko Utsumi was tagged to direct the very popular Free! TV series. After leaving the company, Noriko Takao also became a series and movie director with her years of experience at the company. However, this project focuses on enshutsu, a level down from the series director role, but also a likely step for the many who could become a series director. If Kyoto animation is among the better animation companies for hiring women, then that should translate at the enshutsu level as well.

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Female Anime Directors 2011-2016

femaledirectors2011-2016

With an ever-increasing amount of anime getting made each year, so had the number of directors. And with that increase, even more female animators have been given opportunities to direct anime. In 2011, only four series had women directing anime in a lead or series role, including two seasons of Sekai-Ichi Hatsukoi directed by Chiaki Kon. In 2013 the pool increased to 16. Since that year, at least ten series has been directed by women each year. These trends follow when you exclude anime shorts and only look at full-length episode TV series, as well as when looking at just Otaku TV series. However women did direct a sizable chunk of anime shorts.
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There’s a lot of women directing Fall 2016 anime, a preview

The Fall 2016 anime has 5 women in a “Director” role, 1 in a “Series Director” role, and 5 in an “Assistant Director” role, for a total of 11 women directing kids and TV anime series. For comparison, 12 is the annual average number of women in these role for late night TV series for the past four years. There’s a lot of women directing this season. Here’s a list of the TV anime and the women directing them.
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