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.


PATREON

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