Director Digest: Tsutomu Mizushima

Welcome, one and all! If you follow my blog, you probably know that I sometimes write posts about Japanese voice actors; I call these posts Seiyuu Series. Well, now I’m starting another series: Director Digest, where we talk about anime directors and the series they worked on. (Note: This isn’t the end of Seiyuu Series, by the way. It’s an addition and not a replacement.)

About Mizushima

To start things off, I chose Tsutomu Mizushima. He is a well-known contributor to many anime shows. As of the end of 2020, this man is in his mid fifties. Besides being a director, Mizushima also had roles like storyboarding, episode directing, series composition, and script-writing. For one example, he has been doing storyboards for Crayon Shin-chan for years. But let’s move on to the main event; what series did Mizushima direct?

Below are the top ten anime series directed by Tsutomu Mizushima. I tried to rank them from least to greatest personal enjoyment, but there are several series here I have not yet seen. So take the ordering with a grain of salt.

Anime Directed by Mizushima

10. Prison School
(2015; J.C. Staff studio)

9. Mayoiga
(2016; Diomedea studio)

8. Plastic Neesan
(2011; Tyo Animations)

7. Shirobako
(2014; P.A. Works)

6. Witchcraft Works
(2014; J.C. Staff)

5. Girls Und Panzer
(2012; Actas studio)

4. Shinraku! Ika Musume (Squid Girl)
(2010; Diomedea studio)

3. Another
(2012; P.A. Works)

2. XxxHolic
(2006; Production I.G.)

1. Blood-C
(2011; Production I.G.)

Notes and Favorite Director Role

I don’t know how much a director’s interests and likes are reflected by the anime they direct, but it’s worth seeing if there are any major commonalities in these anime series. Looking at the ones I picked, there’s a lot of variety in type of show. Another and Blood-C are violent horror anime, Squid Girl is cute and wholesome, and Prison School is a rather tasteless fanservice anime. If there is a central commonality, it would probably be the presence of strong or unique female protagonists (Saya, Misaki, Yoko, and others.). This is something I love to see in anime.

As for my favorite anime directed by Mizushima, I must make a distinction between my top two. Blood-C is the one that I would rank highest for greatest personal enjoyment. However, I believe Another would have to take the cake for better series direction. It’s nowhere near perfect, but it’s a finely crafted story and well-made on all fronts. Blood-C is a bit dull at times and plays out like a video game, whereas Another has a smooth, neat, and thrilling story flow.

That’s it for today. I’d appreciate some feedback about this Director Digest series and how my first entry was! Thank you for reading and stay awesome.


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