Top Anime Directors in 2000s – Movies / OAVsPosted: June 8, 2010
After having learnt how to put pictures on the blog and make it look more attractive, I want to present the top movie directors again in a more accessible, non-technical format. I have mentioned most of the top ones to death but it never hurt to actually highlight them out again since they all deserve as much attention as I can give them. For this exercise , I will combine both movies and OAVs together. The next eight directors (with multiple films in the list, ranked in order of how many times their works are being mentioned in all of the lists used to compile the results) are definitely among the best short-format anime directors you will find in 2000s.
1). Shinkai Makoto
Why he is listed: 5 Centimeters Per Second (2007), The Place Promised in Our Early Days (2004), Voices of a Distant Star (2002)
My one-title recommendation (if you want to check one of his works out, I recommend this): Voices of a Distant Star
Other noteworthy works: She and Her Cat (1999)
Affiliated studios (studio that the direct has done the most works with): Comix Wave Inc.
Comment: The way this guy used lighting is as good as it gets. The quality of his animation is always top-notch. He can be quite a one-trick pony with his story-telling but when it’s told this well and look so good, I don’t consider that such a bad thing:) Hailed as ‘the next Miyazaki’ I really hope he can live up to such title for years to come! If anyone has not seen it yet, I would really urge you to check out Voices of the Distant Star for what this guy is capable of. This is the 25 minutes OAV that he, other than music and voice acting, essentially create by himself. It’s so well-done and the animation looks so great that it is pretty unbelievable that this is a one-man effort. Plus, it’s pretty short too so you won’t be wasting too much time if you happen not to like it!
2). Kon Satoshi
Why he is listed: Millennium Actress (2002), Tokyo Godfathers ( 2003), Paprika (2006)
My one-title recommendation: Tokyo Godfathers
Other noteworthy works: Perfect Blue (1997),
Affiliated studios: Madhouse Studios
Comment: Another director with a pretty spotless track record. All of his directorial works are very well-received. His film tends to really explore a lot about human’s psyche and the blur between dream, imagination and reality. As for my recommendation, I really struggle with this one. What is his most accessible film? I would have to say Tokyo Godfather. It is probably the most straightforward piece of works he has done. To a Hitchcock type fans or lovers of a good thriller, I would recommend Perfect Blue, which is also a good piece to check out how serious and dark anime can get. I personally prefer Millennium Actress the best. It just gave me the best aftertaste after the credit rolled. On the side note, I just found out that Wolfgang Peterson (Troy, Poseidon) is planning a live-action remake of Paprika. Hmm, that would certainly be one to keep check out…
3). Miyazaki Hayao
Why he is listed: Spirited Away (2001), Ponyo on the Cliff By the Sea (2008)
My one-title recommendation: Laputa: The Castle in the Sky
Other noteworthy works: Lupin: The Castle of Cagliostro, Nausicaa of the Valley of WInd, My Neighbour Totoro, Princess Mononoke,
Affiliated studios: Studio Ghibli
Comment: If there is any one anime director a general public might have heard of and an anime fan certainly know, then it has to be Miyazaki so I don’t really need to harp on too long about how amazing this guy is.A little difficult for sure to recognize a film to watch but I go with Laputa since it probably offers the most accessible by most audience with its blend of amazing adventures and incredibly exciting action . Also, to go more into the directors and his works, do check out Rice Bunny’s Ghibli Month series. It is a pretty cool and in-depth look into all of the studio’s work and a neat way to celebrate the studio’s 25-year anniversary.
4). Hosoda Mamoru
Why he is listed: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006), Summer Wars (2009), One Piece: Omatsuri Danshaku to Himitsu no Shima (2005)
My one-title recommendation: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
Other noteworthy works:
Affiliated studios: Madhouse Studios
Comment: Shame he never got to fulfill his potential with Studio Ghibli. It would have been so fascinating to see his vision in Howl’s Moving Castle. Saying that, he has done really well for himself with the next three outings. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, ranked two in the 2000s blog ranking, has a very simple premise but really delivers on that in a very fun and touching manners. Summer Wars is also another great film and his latest piece of work. It did not rank so high in the 2000s list (15 with only 2 mentions) because I don’t think many people have yet had time to check it out. But it did win the latest Tokyo Anime Award as well as being the fifth best rated anime movie on Anime News Network (behind Spirited Away, The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, Princess Mononoke and THe Girl Who Leapt Through Time). Check out Canne’s more in-depth review of this gem of you are not yet convinced:)
5). Tsurumaki Kazuya
Why he is listed: FLCL (2000), Gunbuster 2 (2004)
My one-title recommendation: FLCL
Other noteworthy works:
Affiliated studios: GAINAX (seems to have also followed Anno to Studio Khara)
Comment: protegé of Anno. Best known for I love the Pillows in FLCL. The music in that probably is much more memorable than the title itself to me! He also directed episode 19-26 of His And Her CIrcumstances, after Anno left the project. I don’t think it held up to the first half though and it seems like that project had run out of money by that point anyway…
6). Anno Hideaki
Why he is listed: Evangelion 1.0 (2007), Evangelion 2009)
My one-title recommendation: Neon Genesis Evangelion (1996)
Other noteworthy works: His and Her Circumstances (1998)
Affiliated studios: formerly GAINAX, now Studio Khara
Comment: He may not have ‘directed’ the new Eva, but as far as I am concerned, he is listed as the ‘chief’ director’ so I will give him credit for the work! Regardless, his work is probably pretty well recognized amongst the fans. The Evangelion 2.2 reviews or opinions seem to be the hottest topics around the blogsphere over the last 2-3 weeks or so which speak to the volume of how much this direct really command your attention. The original Evangelion series is probably one of the most popular anime series around and with the most controversial ending ever. I still say it is a must-watch for anyone who is getting into anime, with its perfect blend of mecha action, teen angst and some lots of seemingly deep religious and psychological meanings.
7). Yoshiura Yasuhiro
Why he is listed: Eve no Jikan (2008), Pale Cocoon (2006)
My one-title recommendation: n.a.
Other noteworthy works: Even no Jikan: The Movie (2010)
Affiliated studios: Studio Rikka
Comment: Have not seen any of his work so cannot comment too much. He does have the most amount of OAV ranked in the list of all the directers though so that has to count for something:)
8). Oshii Mamoru
Why he is listed: The Sky Crawlers (2008), Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (2004)
My one-title recommendation: Ghost in the Shell (1995)
Other noteworthy works: Avalon (2001), Angel’s Egg (1985)
Affiliated studios: Production I.G
Comment: This is also another director which most anime fan should recognize. His works tend to be heavy on philosophy (Innocence is just so incomprehensible to me but the visual does more than make up for it) My favourite work of his is probably Avalon. I do like the weird online game feel and atmosphere of that quite a bit and it does come with a little less philosophical babble… For the most daring, do check out Angel’s Egg. I have not seen it yet but it does seem to have
Which of these directors here are your favourites? Are there any movie director that I may have missed out (bear in mind I only include those who have prominent works in 2000s)?