Your Name.
Your Name.

Across the Board: Anime Directors

The AnimeChicago team meets weekly and we sometimes we find ourselves in heated discussions about anime. Here’s just one of the many topics we’ve covered. (As before, we have kept the responses anonymous to protect the innocent.)

Who is the best current anime director?

“Makoto Shinkai has absolutely knocked it out of the park with Your Name. There were a million smiles and a million tears from every viewer on the edge of their seat during the US premiere at AX 2016. Shinkai encompasses all the longing expressed in 5 Centimeters Per Second and fully realizes it into a fast-paced drama with the right balance of comedy and heart. Everything from the characters, settings, pacing, and constant symbolism is imbued with energy, and none of these elements have gone to waste. Your Name has rightly earned its spot as the highest-grossing anime film of all time.”

“Yuzo Sato.” (director of Kaiji)

“Hiroyuki Imaishi.” (director of Gurren Lagaan and Kill la Kill)

“Yasuhiro Irie.” (director of FMA: Brotherhood)

“Makoto Shinkai, and I say this before having seen Your Name. His stories have been hit or miss, but the cinematography and the general look and feel of his films put him at the top. If he had a bit or stronger writing, I think many others would agree with me.”

“Sayo Yamamoto is certainly one of the more interesting anime directors. Her three shows, Mitchiko to Hatchin, Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, and Yuri on Ice comprise a diverse portfolio that focus on character without sacrificing plot.”

“I really like Sayo Yamamoto. She is the director of Michiko to Hatchin, Yuri on Ice and Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine. She’s great at creating compelling characters, in particular female characters. I am also really into how she creates multilayered relationships.”

It’s no surprise that the two most successful directors of 2016 made this list twice. Want to see what Makoto Shinkai is all about? Join us for the Your Name screening on April 7th.