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Felt like making quick a tongue in cheek guide for anime directors that should probably be on your radar. Ikuhara is my favorite.

Hayao Miyazaki: Most overrated anime director maybe staff, Iconic Ghibli director with a recognizable style, Loves pigs, smoking and Italian airplanes

Makoto Shinkai: Overrated, Style over substance, See one of his movies and you have seen them all, "Love and the distance between people"

Mamoru Hosoda: Very similar to Makoto Shinkai in reception, Focus on families and conflict within them, Easily identifiable style.

Satoshi Kon: Live-action anime director, Most tragic death in anime, Shows usually get extremely weird and confusing in the end.

Osamu Tezuka: Control freak, Made anime cheap, Mostly a mangaka

Masaaki Yuasa: Director of weird, memorable and legendary shows. Compromised visuals and thus dropped by many.

Isao Takahada: Underrated Ghibli Director, More japan-centric films, Other than Grave of the Fireflies nobody really watches his films

Hideaki Anno: Among the original otaku, hates the modern state of anime and otaku, probably partially autistic, Friend of Hayao Miyazaki

Tetsurou Araki: Director for the successful mainstream, Great at intense thrillers more so than action

Naoko Yamada: Best sweet young girls, Loves highschool girls and legs, Rising star Director, Loved in Japan but not so much in the west

Kunihiko Ikuhara: Trippy director, Likes casual lesbianism and oldschool shoujo,

Akiyuki Shinbo: Directorial style reduced to SHAFT and head tilts.

Sayo Yamamoto: Ruined by fan-girls, Loves girly men and strong independent women who need no man.

Juichi Satou: Master of chill and iyashikei.

Hiroyuki Imaishi: King of hype, Constant savior of anime, All about Sex and Violence with Machspeed.

Gorou Miyazaki: The worthless son of Hayao Miyazaki, worst Ghibli director, Should return to his landscaping job.

Osamu Dezaki: First great anime director, fantastic at drama and sports anime.

Leiji Matsumoto: Started the golden age of anime, Inspired by "The blue bird" film, Best eyelashes in anime.

Yoshiyuki Tomino: The George Lucas of anime, Known for Gundam, Loves ending with ghost people floating in space talking about ideals.

Might add Ryuutarou etc. later
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Rhythm Incarnate
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Shinichiro Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, Sakamichi no Apollon, Terror of Resonance etc)

Satoshi Kon (Perfect Blue, Paranoia Agent, Paprika etc)

Tensai Okamura (Darker than BLACK, Gemini of the Meteor, Gaiden etc)

Mahiro Maeda (Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo, Blue Submarine no.6 etc)

Takeshi Koike (REDLINE, Lupin the 3rd etc)

Fuminori Kizaki (Afro Samurai, Resurrection etc)


Can't be assed to make a fuller list, but throw in Mamoru Hosoda too.
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Combo Commander
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Faust wrote:
Tensai Okamura (Darker than BLACK, Gemini of the Meteor, Gaiden etc)

I personally think his best work was Wolf's Rain. The atmosphere and bleakness of it all is fantastically executed.

I was thinking he directed Canaan too due to it's similar vibes to Darker than Black. Turns out Masahiro Ando and Tensai Okamura have worked together several times so maybe it is just their styles have rubbed off on one another.
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Yeah, I haven't watched that yet sadly.
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