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Inuyasha Director Guide


January 1, 2007

Written by Dylan Acres

Eight years after Ranma went off the air Inuyasha debuted. By comparing the two series it becomes readily apparent how much the anime industry had changed during that time. The production values and amount of money spent on television animation increased dramatically. The industry continued to change while Inuyasha was on the air, with the series moving away from traditional cel animation to fully digitized animation with episode 90. Popular character designer Yoshihito Hishinuma of Gundam Wing was assigned the series and guaranteed it to have a slick look right from the beginning. The first series ended in 2004, and finally began Inuyasha: The Final Act in 2009. When the series returned, five directors (Shinichi Sakuma, Yoshihito Hishinuma, Atsuo Tobe, Rie Nakajima, Naoko Yamamoto) returned to direct at least one or more episodes of the new series.

Episode TitleDirectorAnimation Director
1. The Girl Who Overcame Time...and the Boy Who was Just OvercomeMasashi IkedaYoshihito Hishinuma
2. Seekers of the Sacred JewelTakashi IkehataShin'ichi Sakuma
3. Down the Rabbit Hole and Back AgainTatsuya IshiharaShouko Ikeda
4. Yura of the Demon-HairMegumi YamamotoShin'ichi Sakuma
5. Aristocratic Assassin, Sesshomaru Hitoyuki MatsuiAtsuo Tobe
6. Tetsusaiga, the Phantom SwordMasakazu HishidaShin'ichi Sakuma
7. Showdown! Inuyasha vs. SesshomaruKunihiro Mori
Satoshi Toba
Yoshihito Hishinuma
8. The Toad Who Would be PrinceTakashi IkehataShin'ichi Sakuma
9. Enter Shippo, Plus the Amazing Thunder Brothers! Megumi YamamotoTeiichi Takiguchi
10. Phantom Showdown- The Thunder Brothers vs. TetsusaigaHitoyuki MatsuiRie Nakajima
11. Terror of the Ancient Noh Mask Tatsuya IshiharaShouko Ikeda
12. Soul Piper and the Mischievous Little Soul Kaoru SuzukiTaka Satou
13. The Mystery of the New Moon and the Black-Haired InuyashaMasakazu HishidaAtsushi Shigetai
Shin'ichi Sakuma
14. Kikyo's Stolen AshesMegumi YamamotoAtsuo Tobe
15. Return of the Tragic Priestess, Kikyo Tatsuya IshiharaShouko Ikeda
16. Mystical Hand of the Amorous Monk, Miroku Hitoyuki MatsuiHiroaki Noguchi
17. Cursed Ink of the Hell-Painter Kaoru SuzukiTaka Satou
18. Naraku and Sesshomaru Join Forces Masakazu HishidaRie Nakajima
19. Go Home to Your Own Time, Kagome! Akira NishimoriShin'ichi Sakuma
Atsushi Shigeta
20. Despicable Villain! The Mystery of OnigumoTatsuya IshiharaShouko Ikeda
21. Naraku's True Identity UnveiledSatoshi TobaShin'ichi Sakuma
Atsushi Shigeta
Hiroaki Noguchi
22. A Wicked Smile; Kikyo's Wandering SoulMegumi YamamotoShin'ichi Sakuma
Atsushi Shigeta
Hiroaki Noguchi
23. Kagome's Voice and Kikyo's Kiss Kaoru SuzukiTaka Satou
24. Enter Sango, the Demon SlayerAkira NishimoriYoshihito Hishinuma
25. Naraku's Insidious Plot Hitoyuki MatsuiShin'ichi Sakuma
Atsushi Shigeta
26. The Secret of the Sacred Jewel Revealed! Tatsuya IshiharaShouko Ikeda
27. The Lake of the Evil Water God Megumi YamamotoRie Nakajima
28. Miroku Falls into a Dangerous Trap Masakazu HishidaShin'ichi Sakuma
Atsushi Shigeta
29. Sango's Suffering and Kohaku's Life Masashi AbeKeiji Tani
30. Tetsusaiga is Stolen! Showdown at Naraku's Castle Tatsuya IshiharaShouko Ikeda
31. Jinenji, Kind But Sad Akira NishimoriRie Nakajima
32. Kikyo and Inuyasha are in Trouble Satoshi TobaShin'ichi Sakuma
Atsushi Shigeta
33. Captured Kikyo and Naraku Masakazu HishidaYoshihito Hishinuma
Shin'ichi Sakuma
34. Tetsusaiga and Tensaiga Tatsuya IshiharaShouko Ikeda
35. The True Master Chosen by the Noted Sword Takehiro NakayamaTakehiro Nakayama
36. Kagome Kidnapped! The Super Fast Wolf Demon, Koga Yasunao AokiRie Nakajima
37. The Man Who Fell in Love with Kagome! Satoshi TobaShin'ichi Sakuma
38. Two Hearts, One Mind Takehiro OkadaKazuo Takigawa
39. Trapped in a Duel to the Death! Tatsuya IshiharaShouko Ikeda
40. The Deadly Trap of Kagura, the Wind Sorceress Masakazu HishidaShin'ichi Sakuma
41. Kagura's Dance and Kanna's Mirror Satoshi TobaRie Nakajima
42. The Wind Scar Fails Naoki HishikawaShin'ichi Sakuma
43. Tetsusaiga Breaks Tatsuya IshiharaShouko Ikeda
44. Kaijinbo's Evil Sword Masakazu AmiyaShin'ichi Sakuma
45. Sesshormaru Wields Tokijin Teruo SatouRie Nakajima
46. Juromaru and Kageromaru Satoshi TobaShin'ichi Sakuma
47. Onigumo's Heart Still Beats Within Naraku !Masakazu AmiyaHideki Araki
48. Back to Where We First Met Tatsuya IshiharaShouko Ikeda
49. Kohaku's Lost Memory Masakazu HishidaShin'ichi Sakuma
50. That Unforgettable Face! Megumi YamamotoRie Nakajima
51. Inuyasha's Soul, Devoured Satoshi TobaShin'ichi Sakuma
52. The Demon's True NatureMasakazu AmiyaHiroshi Takeuchi
53. Ryukotsusei, Father's Old Enemy Tatsuya IshiharaShouko Ikeda
54. The Backlash Wave: Tetsusaiga's Ultimate Technique Megumi YamamotoShin'ichi Sakuma
55. The Stone Flower and Shippo's First Love Satoshi TobaYoshihito Hishinuma
56. Temptress in the Mist Kiyoshi FukumotoShin'ichi Sakuma
57. Fateful Night in Togenkyo Part 1 Masakazu AmiyaHiroshi Takeuchi
58. Fateful Night in Togenkyo Part 2Tatsuya IshiharaShouko Ikeda
59. The Beautiful Sister Apprentices Satoshi TobaShin'ichi Sakuma
60. The 50 Year Old Curse of the Dark Priestess Hirofumi OguraRie Nakajima
61. Kikyo and the Dark PriestessKiyoshi FukumotoShin'ichi Sakuma
62. Tsubaki's Unrelenting Evil Spell Masakazu AmiyaHiroshi Takeuchi
63. The Red and White Priestesses Tatsuya IshiharaShouko Ikeda
64. The Giant Ogre of the Forbidden Tower Megumi YamamotoShin'ichi Sakuma
65. Farewell Days of My Youth! Satoshi TobaYoshihito Hishinuma
66. Naraku's Barrier - Kagura's Decision Kiyoshi FukumotoShin'ichi Sakuma
67. The Howling Wind of Betrayal Masakazu AmiyaHiroshi Takeuchi
68. Shippo Gets an Angry Challenge Yasuhiro TakemotoShouko Ikeda
69. Terror of the Faceless Man Teruo SatouShin'ichi Sakuma
70. Onigumo's Memory Restored Megumi YamamotoRie Nakajima
71. Three-sided Battle to the Death Satoshi TobaShin'ichi Sakuma
72. Totosai's Rigid Training Kiyoshi FukumotoHiroshi Takeuchi
73. Shiori's Family and Inuyasha's Feelings Tatsuya IshiharaShouko Ikeda
74.The Red Tetsusaiga Breaks the Barrier! Masakazu AmiyaShin'ichi Sakuma
75. The Plot of the Panther Devas Teruo SatouRie Nakajima
76. Target: Sesshomaru and InuyashaMegumi YamamotoShin'ichi Sakuma
77. The Panther Tribe and the Two Swords of the Fang Satoshi TobaAyako Kurata
78. Only You, SangoTatsuya IshiharaShouko Ikeda
79. Jaken's Plan to Steal the Tetsusaiga Kiyoshi FukumotoShin'ichi Sakuma
80. Sesshomaru and the Abducted Rin Masakazu AmiyaRie Nakajima
81. Vanishing Point: Naraku Disappears Teruo SatouShin'ichi Sakuma
82. Gap Between the Ages Megumi YamamotoYoshihito Hishinuma
Naoko Yamamoto
83. The Female Wolf Demon and the Lunar Rainbow Promise Tatsuya IshiharaShouko Ikeda
84. Koga's Bride to Be NightSatoshi TobaSakuma Shin'ichi
85. The Evil Within Demon's Head Castle Kiyoshi FukumotoRie Nakajima
86. Secret of the Possessed Princess Masakazu AmiyaShin'ichi Sakuma
87. Kikyo's Lonely Journey Teruo SatouYoshihito Hishinuma
Naoko Yamamoto
88. The Three Sprites of the Monkey God Tatsuya IshiharaShouko Ikeda
89. Nursing Battle of the Lovers Megumi YamamotoSakuma Shin'ichi
90. Sota's Brave Confession of Love Satoshi TobaRie Nakajima
91. Suspicious Faith Healer & the Black Kirara Teruo SatouShin'ichi Sakuma
92. Plot of the Walking Dead Masakazu AmiyaHideki Araki
93. The Mysterious, Lecherous Monk Tatsuya IshiharaShouko Ikeda
94. The Scared Jewel Maker Part 1 Satoshi TobaShin'ichi Sakuma
95. The Scared Jewel Maker Part 2 Masakazu AmiyaSakuma Shin'ichi
96. Jaken Falls Ill Kiyoshi FukumotoRie Nakajima
97. Kirara Come Home Megumi YamamotoShin'ichi Sakuma
98. Kikyo and Kagome: Alone in the Cave Tatsuya IshiharaShouko Ikeda
99. Koga and Sesshomaru: A Dangerous Encounter Teruo SatouShin'ichi Sakuma
100. The Truth Behind the Nightmare: The Battle in the Forest of Sorrow Megumi YamamotoYoshihito Hishinuma
Naoko Yamamoto
101. The Snow From Seven Years Past Kiyoshi FukumotoShin'ichi Sakuma
102. Assault on the Wolf-Demon Tribe Satoshi TobaMamiko Nakanishi
103. The Band of Seven, Ressurected! Tatsuya IshiharaShouko Ikeda
104. The Steathly Poison Master, Mukotsu Masakazu AmiyaShin'ichi Sakuma
105. The Ghastly Steel Machine! Teruo SatouRie Nakajima
106. Kagome, Miroku, Sango: Desperate Situation! Megumi YamamotoShin'ichi Sakuma
107. Inuyasha Shows His Tears for the First Time Kiyoshi FukumotoMamiko Nakanishi
108. The Secret of the Pure Light Tatsuya IshiharaShouko Ikeda
109. Hidden in the Mist: Onward to Mt. Hakurei Satoshi TobaKenji Hassaki
110. Enter Bankotsu, the Leader of the Band of Seven Masakazu AmiyaRie Nakajima
111. The Big Clash! The Banryu versus the Wind Scar! Teruo SatouShin'ichi Sakuma
112. Afloat on the Lake Surface: The Barrier of Hijiri Island Megumi YamamotoMamiko Nakanishi
113. The Sacred Vajra and the Mystery of the Living Buddha Tatsuya IshiharaShouko Ikeda
114. Koga's Solitary Battle Satoshi TobaShin'ichi Sakuma
115. Lured By The Black Light Hirofumi OguraRie Nakajima
116. The Exposed Face of Truth Masakazu AmiyaShin'ichi Sakuma
117. Vanished in a River of Flames Teruo SatouMamiko Nakanishi
118. Into the Depths of Mt. Hakurei Tatsuya IshiharaShouko Ikeda
119. Divine Malice of the Saint Megumi YamamotoShin'ichi Sakuma
120. Fare Thee Well: Jakotsu's Requiem Satoshi TobaRie Nakajima
121. Final Battle: The Last and Strongest of the Band of Seven Hirofumi OguraShin'ichi Sakuma
122. The Power of Banryu: Duel to the Death on Mount Hakurei Masakazu AmiyaYoshihito Hishinuma
123. Beyond the Darkness - Naraku Reborn! Tatsuya IshiharaShouko Ikeda
124. Farewell Kikyo, My Beloved Teruo SatouShin'ichi Sakuma
125. The Darkness in Kagome's Heart Megumi YamamotoRie Nakajima
126. Transform Heartache Into Courage Satoshi TobaShin'ichi Sakuma
127. Don't Boil It! The Terrifying Dried Up Demon Masakazu AmiyaMamiko Nakanishi
128. Battle Against the Dried Up Demon at the Cultural Festival Tomoe ArataniShouko Ikeda
129. Chokyukai and the Abducted Bride Kiyoshi FukumotoShin'ichi Sakuma
130. Shippo's New Technique, the Heart Scar! Teruo SatouRie Nakajima
131. Trap of the Cursed Wall Hanging Megumi YamamotoShin'ichi Sakuma
132. Miroku's Most Dangerous Confession Masakazu AmiyaMamiko Nakanishi
133. The Woman Who Loved Sesshomaru (Part 1) Satoshi TobaShin'ichi Sakuma
134. The Woman Who Loved Sesshomaru (Part 2) Teruo SatouRie Nakajima
135. The Last Banquet of Miroku's Master Tomoe ArataniShouko Ikeda
136. A Strange Invisible Demon Appears! Megumi YamamotoShin'ichi Sakuma
137. An Ancestor Named Kagome Kiyoshi FukumotoMamiko Nakanishi
138. Mountain of Demons: Survival of the Duo Tomoe ArataniShouko Ikeda
139. The Great Duel at Shoun Falls! Masakazu AmiyaShin'ichi Sakuma
140. Eternal Love, The Nanigata of Kenkon Satoshi TobaKumiko Takahashi
141. Entei, the Demon Horse Unleashed! Teruo SatouShin'ichi Sakuma
142. Untamed Entei and the Horrible Hakudoshi Megumi YamamotoShin'ichi Sakuma
143. 3000 Leagues in Search of Father Tomoe ArataniShouko Ikeda
144. Hosenki and the Last Shard Masakazu AmiyaMamiko Nakanishi
145. Bizarre Guards at the Border of the Afterlife Satoshi TobaShin'ichi Sakuma
146. The Fiery Bird Master, Princess Abi Tatsuya IshiharaShouko Ikeda
147. The Tragic Love Song of Destiny, Part 1 Teruo SatouYoshihito Hishinuma
Naoko Yamamoto
148. The Tragic Love Song of Destiny, Part 2 Masakazu AmiyaMamiko Nakanishi
149. Single Arrow of Chaos Satoshi TobaShin'ichi Sakuma
150. The Mysterious Light that Guides the Saint Teruo SatouAtsuo Tobe
151. Kagome's Instinctive Choice Megumi YamamotoMamiko Nakanishi
152. Protect and Plunder! Masakazu AmiyaShin'ichi Sakuma
153. The Cruel Reunion of Fate Tatsuya IshiharaShouko Ikeda
154. The Demon That Links to the Other World Hirofumi OguraShin'ichi Sakuma
155. The Devil That Guards the Shikon Shard Teruo SatouRie Nakajima
156. Battle Before the Tomb! Sesshomaru vs. Inuyasha Satoshi TobaShin'ichi Sakuma
157. Pierce Through Naraku! Kongosoha! Masakazu AmiyaMamiko Nakanishi
158. A Stampede of Countless Demon Mice Tatsuya IshiharaShouko Ikeda
159. Kohaku's Resolution and Sango's Heart Satoshi TobaShin'ichi Sakuma
160. The Violent, Two-Timing Boy Who Brings Happiness Teruo SatouRie Nakajima
161. Miroku's Old Mistake Masakazu AmiyaMamiko Nakanishi
162. Together With Lord Sesshomaru, Forever Hirofumi OguraShin'ichi Sakuma
163. Sango, Kirara, Kohaku, The Secret Garden Tatsuya IshiharaShouko Ikeda
164. Most Powerful Enemy, Parasite-Pupa Shippo! Megumi YamamotoShin'ichi Sakuma
165. The Best Clue to Defeat Naraku Satoshi TobaShin'ichi Sakuma
166. The Two's Bond ~ Use the Shikon Shard! Part 1 Teruo SatouYoshihito Hishinuma
167. The Two's Bond ~ Use the Shikon Shard! Part 2 Teruo SatouYoshihito Hishinuma
1. Naraku's Heart Shinya WatadaRie Nakajima
2. Kagura's Wind Satoshi TobaSachiko Sugimoto
3. Meido Zangetsuha Naohiko KyokokuShin'ichi Sakuma
4. Dragon-Scaled Tetsusaiga Yasuo IwamotoTaeko Oda & Hideyaki Shimada
5. The Great Holy Demon Spirit's Test Takeshi FurudaRie Nakajima
6. The End of Moryomaru Atsushi YanoMasaya Fujimori
7. Mausoleum of Mount Azusa Shinya WatadaShin'ichi Sakuma
8. Among the Twinkling Stars Satoshi TobaSachiko Sugimoto & Sayaka Koiso
9. Sesshomaru in the Underworld Takeshi FurudaShin'ichi Sakuma & Yu Saito
10. Flowers Drenched in Sadness Noriaki SaitouHideyaki Shimada
11. Kanna's Gravestone Naohiko KyokokuRie Nakajima
12. Sango's Feelings, Miroku's Resolve Atsushi YanoMasaya Fujimori
13. A Complete Meido Satoshi TobaHiromi Maezawa & Kayo Tachibana
14. In Pursuit of Naraku Takeshi FurudaShin'ichi Sakuma & Yu Saito
15. True Heir Shinya WatadaRie Nakajima
16. Hitomiko's Barrier Noriaki AkitayaSachiko Sugimoto
17. Magatsuhi's Evil Will Satoshi TobaShin'ichi Sakuma & Yu Saito
18. The Day of Days Naohiko KyokokuRie Nakajima, Naoko Yamamoto & Sachiko Sugimoto
19. Kohaku's Shard Atsushi Yano & Hiroshi NegishiMasaya Fujimori & Yuuki Nishioka
20. When the Jewel is Whole Takeshi FurudaHiromi Maezawa & Kayo Tachibana
21. Inside Naraku Satoshi TobaShin'ichi Sakuma & Yu Saito
22. Naraku: Trap of Darkness Teruo SatouAtsuo Tobe
23. Naraku: Trap of Light Satoshi TobaShin'ichi Sakuma & Yu Saito
24. Naraku's Uncertain Wish Takeshi FurudaSayaka Koiso
25. Thoughts Fall Short Naohiko KyokokuSachiko Sugimoto & Kayo Tachibana
26. Toward Tomorrow Teruo SatouYoshihito Hishinuma


Hideki Araki (Episodes directed: 2)

Hideki Araki only directed two episodes and if ranked would have to fit squarely in the middle. He's an average animation director, certainly not bad, but he doesn't reach the heights of some of the more detailed and colorful directors.

Kenji Hassaki (Episodes directed: 1)

Hassaki's lone turn as animation director produced a high octane action episode that featured a hand to hand battle between Suikotsu and Inuyasha. Under Hassaki's direction the animation was extremely fluid and detailed. If only he had directed more episode Hassaki may have been one of the best animation director the series produced.

Yoshihito Hishinuma (Episodes directed: 14)

Yoshitoma Hishinuma is the series character designer and usually makes an appearance directing especially significant episodes. He directed not only the first episode but the last two as well. He has a very fluid animation style and makes use of interesting camera angles. Hishinuma is as good a director as he is a designer.

Shouko Ikeda (Episodes directed: 33)

Ikeda's style features more rounded faces and her trademark thick, dark eyebrows on men. She is one of the most unique designers and has a very clean style. Ikeda is one of the more prolific directors for the show. Her style is very polished and reminicent of that of Yoshihito Hishinuma in the sense that her characters' movements are extremely fluid and given special care. The animation in her episodes flows with movement and bright colors.

Ayako Kurata (Episodes directed: 1)

As with most of the talented directors who only worked on a single episode, Kurata is able to expertly mimic the artistic style of character designer Yoshihito Hishinuma. Kurata turns in a very well done episode which features lots of well animated fights between Inuyasha, Koga and Sesshomaru versus the Panther Devas.

Rie Nakajima (Episodes directed: 29)

Probably one of my favorites. Her designs stay very consistent and clean throughout her two dozen episodes. She has a very expressive and fluid style and her work is often a showcase of fluid animation. One of her most characteristic traits is that she draws Inuyasha with very prominent eyebrows, this is most visible in episode 160. Most of her other characters remain fairly consistant with the overall character designs of the series. Overall Nakajima is a very accomplished animation director.

Mamiko Nakanishi (Episodes directed: 12)

Extremely detailed and beautifully rich in color, Mamiko Nakanishi joined at the first episode of the Band of Seven arc and brought a very high quality to the episodes she worked on.

Takehiro Nakayama (Episodes directed: 1)

Nakayama was the animation director for episode 35, which he also directed himself. Very clean animation in most places, however some of the non-closeup shots look a bit flat or the animation is not as fluid as other times, but overall he has a good look to his animation.

Hiroaki Noguchi (Episodes directed: 3)

Noguchi only worked on one episode by himself and assisted on two others, so his work on the series is brief. Because of his small contribution he doesn't really exhibit a unique style and instead hews closely with the original character designs.

Shin'ichi Sakuma (Episodes directed: 69)

Sakuma is an odd director in my book. He directs quite a few episodes, but he's definetely on the low rung in terms of quality when compared to the others. His characters tend to be stiff with significantly less movement. His colors often look flat as well. But for some reason at the end of the series he directs "Together With Lord Sesshomaru, Forever" which is extremely fluid and stands out in a very unique way from all the other directors on the show. If he had done more like this he would have been a fantastic animation director, and to his credit, the work he does on the Final Act blows away all the stuff he did in the main series, it's much stronger visually.

Taka Satou (Episodes directed: 3)

Satou's art style looks quite natural and realistic, with a slightly less traditional anime style while not being completely unrecognizable. His work has a very cinematic quality with lots of closeups and detailed facial expressions. It could be said that it has an OVA quality. He's another one of my favorites.

Atsushi Shigeta (Episodes directed: 7)

Shigeta's style is very difficult to distinguish as he always directs with Shin'ichi Sakuma. The episodes he co-directed appear so uniform that is is near impossible to tell which are Shigeta's scenes and which are Sakuma's.

Kumiko Takahashi (Episodes directed: 1)

Having Kumiko Takahashi as animation director is a special treat. Known for her excellent work on the Mermaid Scar OVA, Takahashi also handles the animation in all of Inuyasha's opening and closing credits. Her stylish designs make use of shadows and dramatic camera angles and make for a truly theatrical level of animation quality.

Hiroshi Takeuchi (Episodes directed: 5)

Takeuchi's style is one of the more ordinary and unremarkable of the series. While no episodes of Inuyasha could be said to have poor animation, Takeuchi's were some of the more average.

Kazuo Takigawa (Episodes directed: 1)

Playful moods and expressive faces mark Takigawa's single episode. It is quite appropriate that his lone episode features Shippo's slideshow of of crayon drawings featuring Koga, Kagome and Inuyasha.

Teiichi Takiguchi (Episodes directed: 1)

Though he directed only a single episode, Teiichi's sole contribution to Inuyasha was a bright and colorful episode that really showed off his design talents.

Keiji Tani (Episodes directed: 1)

Another single-episode director who's designs hewed closely to Hishinuma's character designs while never really rising to the levels of Ikeda or Sakuma.

Atsuo Tobe (Episodes directed: 4)

Tobe did a solid job with the three episodes he directed. Two of Tobe's episodes were at the very beginning of the series, and he did not return as an animation director again until episode 150 and then again one more time in the Final Act near the end. Tobe's characters sometimes have a longer, slightly leaner look to them. His style definitely stands out. He is a talent that was unfortunately underused during the series run.

Naoko Yamamoto (Episodes directed: 5)

Yamamoto has a clean style that can also be seen in her previous work on Project A-ko and the series she worked on after Inuyasha such as Yakitate! Japan and Kekkaishi.

Sachiko Sugimoto (Episodes directed: 5)

Sugimoto's work is very on model. Gorgeous visuals, extremely well animated. One of the best new directors, and really benefits from the widescreen and HD. The visuals of her episodes are excellent whether its tight close-ups or distance shots. The colors are vibrant, and everything looks terrific.

Taeko Oda (Episodes directed: 1)

He only co-directed the fourth episode of the Final Act, and there may be a reason for that. His episode is the least stylish of the early episodes of the second series. His layouts are dull and uninspired. His angles are nothing special, and his designs lack any real detail whatsoever. An absolutely milquetoast director.

Hideyaki Shimada (Episodes directed: 2)

Visually the saving grace of the 4th episode of the Final Act is Hideyaki Shimada. Compared with his co-director, Taeko Oda, his style is much more exciting. His solo work on episode 10 continues with is polished style. His faces are unique looking, very slightly elongated, with a bit more curve to the chins, and more slender eyes.

Masaya Fujimori (Episodes directed: 3)

Fujimori is another excellent director from the Final Act. He has a great, fluid style with lots of dynamic camera angles. His style reminds me a lot of Rie Nakajima, very clean, and really exciting. Fujimori is a terrific action director.

Sayaka Koiso (Episodes directed: 2)

She may not have made a major contribution in the overall number of episodes she worked on, but Koiso definitely does well with what she's given. She uses exciting angles in her episode as well as lots of dynamic action. Another strong Final Act director.

Yu Saito (Episodes directed: 5)

Just like Atsushi Shitgeta from the first series, Yu Saito always co-directs alongside Shin'ichi Sakuma. Its hard to differentiate Saito from Sakura due to this, but the five episodes in which they worked together overall look better than most of Sakuma's work from the first series. The framing may not be the most stylish but the art itself is always well designed, and close to Yoshito Hishinuma's character designs.

Hiromi Maezawa (Episodes directed: 2)

Maezawa directed both her episodes in the Final Act with Kayo Tachibana and turned in excellent work both times. While it may be difficult to suss out a particularly unique style due to her working with Tachibana, you can be assured that it will be a visually pleasing episode everytime she directs.

Kayo Tachibana (Episodes directed: 3)

Tachibana is a new director for the Final Act, and a good one at that but almost impossible to pin down a unique style for. He only directed a handful of episodes and all of those were directed with either Hiromi Maezawa or Sachiko Sugimoto. They're both stylish directors, so I think of Tachibana as another good director by association.

Yuuki Nishioka (Episodes directed: 1)

Its difficult to discern a unique style for Yuuki Nishioka, because she only co-directed one episode. But her faces do have a slightly more squat look to them. Overall well done though.

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