In a Post-Miyazaki World, Which Anime Directors Should You Look Out For?

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

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post-miyazaki | post-miyazaki

When people watch an animation created by Hayao Miyazaki (My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away) they immediately transported to world of incredible imagination and wonder. The viewer is taken on journey that seems to give them a different experience every time the animation is over. Animator and producer Justin Leach (Kick-Heart) and writer Dai Sat0 (Ghost in the shell), have gotten together to discus which directors, they feel, have that certain “Miyazaki eye” for creativity, fun and heartache.

The list of directors:

  • Mamoru Hosoda – Summer Wars
  • Masaaki Yuasa – Ping Pong
  • Makoto Shinkai – The Garden of Words
  • Hideaki Anno – Neon Genesis Evangelion
  • Shingo Natsume – One-Punch Man
  • Hiroyasu Ishida – Taifū no Noruda
  • Daizen Komatsua – BBK/BRNK

That’s their list, so who’s your favorite anime directors and which do you think is capable of taking on this post-Miyazaki world that we live in?




  • NegativeZero

    Isao Takahata and Hiromasa Yonebayashi? Neither have retired and Ghibli was more than just Miyazaki.

    • azariosays

      i agree, the west holds Miyazaki to a pretty high standard. You can ask a total non-anime viewer, “do you know ponyo or spirited away?” and most likely they will say yes. Japan has loads of creative minds and amazing directors. As much as i would want to see more of Miyazaki’s work, I am not short on amazing animation coming from that region.

  • Paychi

    Honestly I think after From Up on Poppy Hill, and Sanzoku no Musume Ronja, Goro was shaping up to be a fine director and would’ve been on the fast track to living up to his father’s name. It’s too bad he only did as much as he did to try and live up to harsh expectations and didn’t want to continue in the business.

    • azariosays

      From Up on Poppy Hill was so beautiful. I agree, it’s sad.

  • Matsumoto Rie (Kyousougiga, Kekkai Sensen) is someone who I’d like to see on lists such as this, and who I suspect will become much more prominent in the future once she has more titles under her belt. Previous to 2013 (Kyougougiga) she’d only worked on the Precure franchise.

    She doesn’t seem to have much name recognition currently, but her gorgeous directorial style and keen sense for narrative and emotion make her stand out. Her style is also very distinct—anyone who’s seen Kyousougiga will recognize her touch immediately in Kekkai Sensen, and vice versa.

    • Keichi Morisato

      Kyousougiga was an amazing series, truly. i can’t wait to see what she does next.

  • Keichi Morisato

    Mamoru Hosoda is a great choice and is the one that have been keeping an eye on since the untimely death of Satoshi Kon and Miyazaki’s well deserved retirement.

  • Keichi Morisato

    you forgot Makoto Shinkai who was mentioned.