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Urusei Yatsura Director Guide


August 1, 2006

Written by Harley Acres

The director and the animation director are the key staffers in determining the final appearance of an individual episode. Many significant people such as Mamoru Oshii, Yuji Moriyama, and Akemi Takada all did some of their earliest work on Urusei Yatsura. Other staff members would go on to similar prominence by working on later Takahashi series, such at Atsuko Nakajima, Tsukasa Dokite, and Junji Nishimura. By analyzing the personal styles of these directors we hope to present a better understanding of how much work goes into each series.

Episode TitleDirectorAnimation Director
1-1. I'm Lum the Notorious!Mamoru OshiiAsami Endo
1-2. It's Raining Oil All Over TownMamoru OshiiAsami Endo
2-1. Space Mail Arrival of Ten-chan! Masuji HaradaYuji Yatabe
2-2. Mrs. Swallow and Mrs. PenguinTamiko KojimaAsami Endo
3-1. The Metamorphic Handsome Man Rei is Here!Keiji HayakawaHayao Nobe
3-2.Drop Dead, You Lady-Killer!Mamoru OshiiAsami Endo
4-1. Kintaro of the Autumn Sky Tamiko KojimaHayao Nobe
4-2. Live Vigorously! Masuji HaradaYuji Yatabe
5-1. The Mysterious Seductive Beauty Sakura Mamoru OshiiHayao Nobe
5-2. Tormenting VirusMotosuke TakahashiAsami Endo
6-1. Love Triangle Black Hole Masuji HaradaYuji Yatabe
6-2. Hey Hey, It's a Little Demon Keiji HayakawaHayao Nobe
7-1. The Scary Electric Shock!Tamiko KojimaAsami Endo
7-2. The Doll of Ill Will Tamiko KojimaHayao Nobe
8-1. Neptune Beyond the Closet Mamoru OshiiHayao Nobe
8-2. The Confusing Dinosaur Age Keiji HayakawaAsami Endo
9-1. Sleeping Beauty Princess Kurama Keiji HayakawaAsami Endo
9-2. Athletic Woman Hell! Tameo KohanawaYuji Yatabe
10. Pitter-Patter Christmas Eve Mamoru OshiiAsami Endo
11. Ataru Genji Visits Heiankyo Tamiko KojimaHayao Nobe
12-1. Love Battle RoyaleKeiji HayakawaAsami Endo
12-2. Father, You Were StrongMotosuke TakahashiAsami Endo
13-1. Hawaiian Swimsuit Thief Masuji HaradaYuji Yatabe
13-2 Full Course from HellTamiko KojimaHayao Nobe
14-1. Mendo Arrives With Trouble! Mamoru OshiiAsami Endo
14-2. Constellation-Go-Round Tameo KohanawaYuji Yatabe
15-1. Great Kiss War Keiji HayakawaHayao Nobe
15-2. The Benten Corps' Return Keiji HayakawaAsami Endo
16-1. Oh, Lonely Teacher! First appearance of Kuribayashi Sensei.Tamiko KojimaAsami Endo
16-2. Terrible Inspection Day Motosuke TakahashiAsami Endo
17-1. Fourth Dimensional Camera Masuji HaradaYuji Yatabe
17-2. Demonic Jogging Mamoru OshiiHayao Nobe
18-1. Girl's Day! Ran-chan's Arrival Mamoru OshiiHayao Nobe
18-2. Ran-chan's Introduction Keiji HayakawaAsami Endo
19-1. Diary of Sorrowful Tomorrows Tamiko KojimaHayao Nobe
19-2. Whose is this Child? Keiji HayakawaAsami Endo
20-1. Sleeping in Class on a Wonderful Spring Day Mamoru OshiiAsami Endo
20-2. Peach Blossom Poetry Contest Keiji HayakawaAsami Endo
21-1. Duel! Ataru vs. Ataru Tamiko KojimaHayao Nobe
21-2. Waking to a Nightmare Tamiko KojimaAsami Endo
TV Special-Part 1. Urusei Yatsura All-Star Bash ------
TV Special-Part 2. Grade School Excursion! Run For It! Keiji HayakawaHayao Nobe
22. The Great Space Marriage Plan Mamoru OshiiAsami Endo
23. The Spring Blossom Picnic Masuji HaradaHayao Nobe
Yuji Yatabe
24. Beware the Earmuffs! Tamiko KojimaAsami Endo
25. Fly, Imo-chan!Keiji HayakawaHayao Nobe
26. Ten-chan's Love Mamoru OshiiYuichi Endo
27. What a Dracula! Keiji HayakawaNoboru Furuse
28. Lum's Educational Therapy for Little Boys Tamiko KojimaAsami Endo
29. From Speechless with LoveKeiji HayakawaAsami Endo
30. The Beautiful Maiden Comes with the Rain Tamiko KojimaAsami Endo
31. Give Me Back My Horn!Kazuo YamazakiHayao Nobe
32. All Quiet in the Library! Naoyuki YoshinagaAsami Endo
33. Teacher Hanawa's Arrival! Such is Youth!Mamoru OshiiHayao Nobe
34. Yearning for the Sad MonsterTamiko KojimaAsami Endo
35. Darling's Had It This Time! Kazuo YamazakiKazuo Yamazaki
36. Rei Returns! Crisis in the ClassroomMamoru OshiiHayao Nobe
37. Appearance of the Red Phantom!Keiji HayakawaAsami Endo
38. Steal Darling! The Copy Operation!Tamiko KojimaAsami Endo
39. Pitter Patter, Summer DateMamoru OshiiHayao Nobe
40. So Long, Bye-Bye, Summer DaysKeiji HayakawaHayao Nobe
41. Panic in the Typhoon!Keiji HayakawaAsami Endo
42. Drunken BoogieTamiko KojimaAsami Endo
43. Fear of Meow Mamoru OshiiHayao Nobe
44. After You've Gone Junji NishimuraKazuo Yamazaki
45. Lum-chan's Class Party Tamiko KojimaAsami Endo
46. Lunch is a Battlefield!Keiji HayakawaHayao Nobe
47. Shiver! Mystery in the Odd Fossil LandTakashi AnouAsami Endo
48. Princess Kurama's New Challenge Tamiko KojimaAsami Endo
49. Terrible Toothache Wars!Keiji HayakawaHayao Nobe
50. The Mendo Older Brother & Younger Sister!Keiji HayakawaAsami Endo
51. Cat on the Stairway Junji NishimuraJunji Nishimura
52. Can the Raccoon Return the Favor? Mamoru OshiiAsami Endo
53. Desperate Sub-Space Part-Time JobKeiji HayakawaHayao Nobe
54. Lum-chan's Great Year-End Celebration! Keiji HayakawaAsami Endo
55. Children in Vain, Musashi, Signs of the TimesJunji NishimuraHayao Nobe
56. Risking One's Life in ClassKeiji HayakawaAsami Endo
57. Is a Husband & Wife Quarrel Survival of the Fittest?Junji NishimuraKazuo Yamazaki
58. Getting a Kiss from Miss Snow! Keiji HayakawaYuichi Endo
59. St. Valentine's Day HorrorJunji NishimuraAsami Endo
60. Love, Love, Catchball! Keiji HayakawaYuji Moriyama
61. The Mendo Family's Masquerade War Mamoru OshiiAsami Endo
62. Space Cold Panic!Osamu SekitaNoboru Furuse
63. Ryunosuke Arrives! I Love the Sea!Mamoru OshiiAsami Endo
64. Goodbye Season Mamoru OshiiYuji Moriyama
65. Ran-chan's Great Date Plan Junji NishimuraKazuo Yamazaki
66. Happy Birthday My DarlingNorio KashimaAsami Endo
67. Seeing Shangri-La as a Hell Camp! Junji NishimuraAkemi Takada
68. The Groom's Name is Ryunosuke Mamoru OshiiToshihiro Hirano
69. Bottled Letter Seashore Mystery!Junji NishimuraKazuo Yamazaki
70. Dramatic Appearance! Mizunokoji Ton-chan! Osamu SekitaAsami Endo
71. Shinobu's Cinderella Story Junji NishimuraAsami Endo
72. Lum-chan the Ruthless Rebel Osamu SekitaAsami Endo
73. The Big Showdown! Sakura vs. SakuranboJunji NishimuraTakefumi Hayashi
74. Ghost Story! Old Man Willow!Naoyuki YoshinagaAsami Endo
75. And Then There Were None Junji NishimuraKazuo Yamazaki
76. Firefighter Mommy Visits! Mamoru OshiiYuji Moriyama
77. Darling's Dying!? Mamoru OshiiAsami Endo
78. Pitiful! Mother of Love and Banishment!? Junji NishimuraKazuo Yamazaki
79. The Mendo Family's Summer Christmas Osamu UemuraTakefumi Hayashi
80. Panic at the Ghost Inn Junji NishimuraKazuo Yamazaki
81. Ah, Mother of My Memory Osamu UemuraYuji Moriyama
82. Plenty of Sun, Plenty of Sickness Tameo KohanawaKatsuhiko Nishijima
Asami Endo
83. Big Bang! Ten vs. Ataru Osamu UemuraTakefumi Hayashi
84. Horrors! Attack of the Slimy Potatoes! Osamu UemuraMotosuke Takahashi
85. Revenge of the Planetary Instructor CAO-2 Osamu UemuraToshihiro Hirano
86. Hysterical! The Nasty Brat Shutaro! Toshiyuki SakuraiYuji Moriyama
87. Wonderful! The Magic Mushroom Pot! Osamu UemuraTakefumi Hayashi
88. The Wrathful Lum-chan! Osamu UemuraMotosuke Takahashi
89. Lum and Ataru, A Night Alone Osamu UemuraNoboru Furuse
90. Lady Ryunosuke Osamu UemuraToshihiro Hirano
91. Document: Who Will Be Miss Tomobiki? Takashi AnouMotosuke Takahashi
92. Strange! The Wonder Medicine of Selflessness Osamu UemuraTakeshi Osaka
93. Shutaro, Miserable Morning Mamoru Oshii
Keiji Hayakawa
Osamu Sekita
Tamiko Kojima
Asami Endo
Hayao Nobe
Noboru Furuse
94. Tales of the Wandering Snowman Osamu UemuraTakefumi Hayashi
95. Lum-chan's Ancient Japanese Fairy Tales Tetsurou AminoTakeshi Osaka
96. Shine! The Blessed Bra!! Junji SuzukiNoboru Furuse
97. Duel! Benten vs. the Three Daughters Osamu UemuraTakeshi Osaka
98. Plenty of Lum-chans! Tetsurou AminoTakeshi Osaka
99. Certain Death! Stand-Up Eating Contest Junji SuzukiNoboru Furuse
100. The Great Vault! Courageous Survival!!! Osamu UemuraNoboru Furuse
101. Operation; Peek in the Woman's Bath Junji SuzukiMotosuke Takahashi
102. Sakura, Sad Years of Youth Tetsurou AminoTakeshi Osaka
103. Burning Ran's Emotional Video Mail Osamu Uemura
Mamoru Oshii
Keiji Hayakawa
Kazuo Yamazaki
Tamiko Kojima
Noboru Furuse
Kazuo Yamazaki
Asami Endo
Hayao Nobe
104. Sakura-san of Youth Mamoru Oshii
Keiji Hayakawa
Tamiko Kojima
Junji Nishimura
Osamu Uemura
Takashi Anou
Noboru Furuse
105. Scramble! To the Rescue of Lum! Osamu UemuraNoboru Furuse
106. A Fight to the Death! Ataru vs. The Mendo Brigade! Mamoru Oshii
Osamu Uemura
Yuji Moriyama
107. Dimensional Switch, Where's Darling? Kazuo Yamazaki Yuji Moriyama
108. Crash! Her Ladyship and the Football of Love Junji NishimuraMasami Abe
109. Ran-chan, Tasting the Tearful Love of a First Kiss Naoyuki YoshinagaSetsuko Shibui
110. The Indelible Magic Lipstick Junji SuzukiYuichi Endo
111. Deadly Combat! The Mendo Family's Flower Display Death Match Junji NishimuraTakefumi Hayashi
112. Benten & Ryunosuke; Run for the Morrow Kazuo YamazakiMasami Abe
113. Great Horrors! Oyuki is Finally Angered! Junji NishimuraYuji Moriyama
114. Ten-chan's Wonderful Love Story Naoyuki YoshinagaYuichi Endo
115. Haunted House Special! Quest for Mendo Estate Treasure! Junji SuzukiTakefumi Hayashi
116. Love and War! Battle of Glove vs. Pants!! Yumiko SudaKyoko Kato
117. Lum-chan's Becoming a Cow? Junji SuzukiSetsuko Shibui
118. Great Achievement! The Film of Lum-chan's Youth Junji NishimuraYuichi Endo
119. Ghostbusting! Exorcising the Beautiful Sakura! Naoyuki YoshinagaYuji Moriyama
120. Attack of the Protozoa! Panic at the Poolside Junji SuzukiTakefumi Hayashi
121. Here Again! The Hunter of Love, Princess Kurama Mori Hamazu (Hamatsu)Tsukasa Dokite
122. The Fox's Unrequited Love Kazuo YamazakiYuichi Endo
123. Ryunosuke Confused! Solid Rock Mother Cherishes Her Young Pebble! Junji NishimuraTakefumi Hayashi
124. The Stairs! Footsteps in the Girls Dorm!! Junji SuzukiYuji Moriyama
125. Pool Spooks! Burning with Forbidden Love Tomokazu KougoKyoko Kato
126. Ran-chan's Panic: No Tomorrow for Tomobiki Junji SuzukiNaoko Yamamoto
127. Where is Love's Home? Kuriko and Chojuro Naoyuki YoshinagaYuichi Endo
128. Man or Bird? Gokakenran, Champion of Justice! Junji NishimuraTakefumi Hayashi
129. Attack your Seniors! Revenge of the Infamous Three Daughters Norio KashimaTsukasa Dokite
130. Blaze, Secret Powers! Stick to the Straight and Narrow Path Yumiko SudaKyoko Kato
131. Don't Die! Ryoko Special Straw Doll Naoyuki YoshinagaYuichi Endo
132. Hell Encounter! Armored Girl; Beauty or Beast? Part 1 Junji SuzukiTsukasa Dokite
133. Love of the Armored Girl! Maidenly Feelings Reeling Part 2 Junji SuzukiYuji Moriyama
134. I Dearly Need You! Return of the Honest Fox! Naoyuki YoshinagaYuichi Endo
135. What Do I Care for Talking Flowers! Junji NishimuraTakefumi Hayashi
136. The Birth of Ten-chan's Son? I Didn't Know a Thing Tomokazu KougoKyoko Kato
137. Lum's Courageous Duel! An Ironic Victory Junji SuzukiYuichi Endo
138. Job Hunting! Sneaky Return of the Reject! Junji Nishimura Takefumi Hayashi
139. Tomobiki High School Survival! Who Are the Survivors! Naoyuki YoshinagaYuichi Endo
140. The Mysterious Giant Cake! Love's Fleeing Panic!! Yumiko SudaKyoko Kato
141. Underground Reincarnation! What's Darling Thinking Of!? Junji NishimuraTakefumi Hayashi
142. Snow Panic? The Mendo Family Cherry Blossom Display Banquet! Junji SuzukiYuichi Endo
143. From the Far Spring! The Tale of the Lonely Fairy! Naoyuki YoshinagaShinkuro Date
144. To Dreamland! Darling Battle Royal Abduction Tomokazu KougoKyoko Kato
145. Return of the Three Daughters! The Great Scheme to Seduce Darling! Junji NishimuraYuichi Endo
146. The Scampering Kotatsu Cat! Anything to Get Warm Junji SuzukiTakefumi Hayashi
147. Ryunosuke's Father's Self Sacrificing Devotion! His Wife is Within Images! Naoyuki YoshinagaMasami Abe
148. Spring Blossom! Frozen by Oyuki's Cold Junji NishimuraHidetoshi Omori
149. Panic Among Friends! I Love to Eat Blowfish Tomomitsu MochizukiKyoko Kato
150. The Armored Girl Returns! Plenty of Older Brothers Junji SuzukiYuji Moriyama
151. The Boredom Syndrome! Is Tomobiki Wasting Away? Naoyuki YoshinagaTsukasa Dokite
152. Look Out, Ran! Kotatsu Neko's Primary Love is Oden!? Naoyuki YoshinagaMasami Abe
153. The Armored Girl Returns Again! A Storm Raising Date Yuji MoriyamaYuji Moriyama
154. Arrival of the Mysterious Priest! The Bell Battle Royal Tomomitsu MochizukiKyoko Kato
155. First Love Relived!? A Return to the Past for Lum and Rei Junji SuzukiHidetoshi Omori
156. Appearance of the Youthful Old Man! Shine, Great Teahouse of Dreams! Yumiko SudaMasami Abe
157.I Love Darling's Sincerity Naoyuki YoshinagaTsukasa Dokite
158. The Honest Fox Again! I Love Shinobu Kazuo YamazakiHidetoshi Omori
Masato Sawada
159. I Love the Sea! Prayers for the Thriving Hamachaya!? Junji SuzukiMasaaki Kannan
160. Ryunosuke vs. Benten! The Fruitless Duel of Passion Osamu SekitaKatsuhiko Nishijima
161. The Magic Bottle! What's to Become of Me? Junji SuzukiMasami Abe
162. The Great Devil's Debut! Lum's Dangerous Purchase! Naoyuki YoshinagaMasaaki Kannan
163. Goodness! Words Aren't Getting to Darling Kazuo YamazakiTsukasa Dokite
164. The Devil's Summer! Ten-chan's Eel Lunch Plot! Tsuneo TominagaSetsuko Shibui
165. Visitation Panic! I Didn't Mean Any Harm Naoyuki YoshinagaMasato Sawada
166. Scary! Is That an Octopus on Shutaro's Head? Osamu SekitaMasami Abe
167. Invader From Space! He's After Lum's Lips! Junji SuzukiMasaaki Kannan
168. Space Survival! They are the Eaters Osamu SekitaTsukasa Dokite
169. It's a Thrill! The Terrible Overhead Cooler Naoyuki YoshinagaMasami Abe
170. Love Attack! The Romance Never Stops!! Osamu SekitaTakefumi Hayashi
171. Rare Form! Worries for Mother the Firefighter!! Yoshihide KuriyamaMasaaki Kannan
172. Hardselling Happiness! Out of Focus Bluebird!! Junji SuzukiMasato Sawada
173. Great Uproar! Ryunosuke's First Time Wearing a Swimsuit!! Naoyuki YoshinagaTsukasa Dokite
174. I Want a Bride! The Fox's Love Adventure! Junji SuzukiMasaaki Kannan
175. How Persistent! The Three Daughters' Great Animal Plan! Yoshihide KuriyamaTakefumi Hayashi
176. Fast Money in Fast Fighting! Hamachaya's Forbidden Business Osamu SekitaMasato Sawada
177. Wish Upon a Star! The Winning Family's Consumer Panic Naoyuki YoshinagaNaoyuki Yoshinaga
178. Special Delivery Kiss! Darling's First Jealousy! Junji SuzukiMasami Abe
179. Scary Sake! Sakura's Possession a Big Failure Yoshihide KuriyamaTaro Chokan
180. It's Strange! Cherry's Yoga School! Osamu SekitaMasaaki Kannan
181. Good-bye Onsen-Sensei!? Tearful Good-bye Marathon Banquet! Junji SuzukiMasaaki Kannan
182. Pure Love Sakura! The Slippery Soap of Seperation? Osamu SekitaToshiko Sasaki
183. Asuka vs. Older Brother! Battle for Certain Love! Yoshihide KuriyamaTsukasa Dokite
184. Darling's Ill Omen! The Dreaded Shijimoto Oracle!! Makoto MorikawaMasaaki Kannan
185. New Years Panic! The Mendo Family's Human Parcheesi Tournament! Junji SuzukiKazuhiro Furuhashi
186. Dreaming Ten-chan! The Great Adventure at the End of the Rainbow! Osamu SekitaMasami Abe
187. I Want to Date! Ataru's Test Program! Tomomasa YamazakiMasaaki Kannan
188. Darling Said He Loved Me Junji SuzukiMasahiko Imai
189. Death-Defying House Call! A Teacher Life is Dangerous Too Osamu SekitaHidetoshi Omori
190. Total Chaos! Ran-chan's Double Doll! Tsukasa AbeMasaaki Kannan
191. Blind Love! You Bet Your Life, Honest Fox Junichi SakataAtsushi Matoba
192. Come Quickly, Darling! Lum's Dangerous Marriage Talk Junji SuzukiAtsuko Nakajima
193. It's Unbearable! Ran's Mischief Campaign Tomomasa YamazakiKazuhiro Furuhashi
194. Urusei Yatsura Pre-Departure Special! Shine! ------
195. All-Star Banquet! We Are Immortal!! Junji SuzukiTsukasa Dokite


Masami Abe (Episodes directed: 10)

Abe's animation is quite nice and very expressive. It is reminiscent of the second film, Beautiful Dreamer.

Taro Chokan (Episodes directed: 1)

Although he only did one episode, Chokan's animation style stands out as being quite good. His polished, detailed style is very indicative of the high quality of animation Urusei Yatsura had in its stewardship under Kazuo Yamazaki.

Shinkuro Date (Episodes directed: 1)

Another animation director that came to the series later on, his style is very similar to that of Tsukasa Dokite.

Tsukasa Dokite (Episodes directed: 10)

Dokite helped to define the look of the Kazuo Yamazaki era of Urusei Yatsura along with Yuji Moriyama. His designs look extremely different that those of early animation directors such as Asami Endo and Yuji Yatabe. More detailed and sophisticated. Dokite was also one of the crew members that transitioned to Maison Ikkoku after the end of Urusei Yatsura.

Asami Endo (Episodes directed: 50)

She was the first animation director. Her work is simple at beginning at least, but quickly improves with more color and detail. Very colorful by Red Mantle, but character designs are still very simple as are all the other directors. She is responsible for most of the "look" associated with the Mamoru Oshii era of Urusei Yatsura. Her Masked Ball episode is a personal favorite and showcases her impressive skills and designs, especially when you consider that she is able to make an impressive episode while all the characters wear expressionless masks.

Yuichi Endo (Episodes directed: 13)

His work is very similar to early Yuji Yatabe. His direction on "Getting a Kiss From Miss Snow" was a little weak compared to what others were doing around this time and the animation seems too simplistic in certain parts. Overall he's satisfactory but at times he tends to be average.

Kazuhiro Furuhashi (Episodes directed: 2)

Furuhashi is one of the few directors to only tackle two episodes. Furuhashi's work is quite consistent when compared to that of the other animation directors that came onboard after Mamoru Oshii left.

Noboru Furuse (Episodes directed: 10)

Furuse stays very close to early character designs. His work is similar to Yatabe or Nobe, but not quite as sophisticated. Personally I don't think his animation is quite as clean as Motosuke Takahashi, another director that stays close to the set designs. Furuse's work seems anchored in the earlier style of the series.

Takefumi Hayashi (Episodes directed: 16)

His work on episode 73 has some interesting, sparse backgrounds, but I find that his character designs aren't as strong as the other designers at times, and tend to vary in quality throughout the episode. One of his trademarks seems to be rather outrageous expressions on certain characters faces. His interpretations of Ten and Cherry is very odd as well as he tends to give them giant heads. To me Hayashi's style has a very 1980s feel.

Toshihiro Hirano (Episodes directed: 3)

Hirano's animation style is pretty similar to that of Asami Endo and the other early animators. Overall his style is good. He's a mid-tier director. One of his trademarks seems to be somewhat elongated faces.

Masahiko Imai (Episodes directed: 1)

Imai's designs for the one episode he worked on are something of a regression compared to what most of the other animation directors were doing at the time. His work looks too simple and dated when compared to Kannan and other directors who came on later in the series.

Masaaki Kannan (Episodes directed: 10)

Very clean style similar to Chokan or Shibui. He directed quite a few episodes towards the end of the series. Sometimes his work bears a resemblance to that of Atsuko Nakajima. Kannan later went on to be one of the principal animation directors on Maison Ikkoku.

Kyoko Kato (Episodes directed: 8)

Good animation, somewhat similar to Asami Endo, with a more updated look.

Atsushi Matoba (Episodes directed: 1)

Another one time only animation director with a nice style. Matoba worked on one of the Kitsune episodes, which always seem to be showcases for animation directors due to the long silences.

Yuji Moriyama (Episodes directed: 13)

Moriyama's animation is a standout of some of the Oshii years, and his fluid movement and well drawn characters are very attractive additions as the shows animation began to become more sophisticated. After Urusei Yatsura, Moriyama went on to work as one of the character designers for Maison Ikkoku and another favorite of mine, Macross Plus. He also served as the animation director for the first three Urusei Yatsura films.

Atsuko Nakajima (Episodes directed: 1)

Atsuko Nakajima only did one episode of Urusei Yatsura, but this was prior to her fame as character designer and one of the primary animation directors on Ranma . As you can see her style is very similar to what she later used on Ranma . Nakajima also worked on Maison Ikkoku making her one of the only people involved in all three of Takahashi's Kitty era anime television shows.

Junji Nishimura (Episodes directed: 1)

Nishimura served as both an episode director and an animation director, having done both on the "Cat on the Stairway" episode. He also directed "After You've Gone" which was voted the best episode by Japanese fans. Nishimura also became the third overall series director on Ranma as well the director for the Ranma OVA series and later he went on to work on the Mermaid Forest television series. Although his animation work looks very similar to most of the others at the time, his direction is very lively.

Hayao Nobe (Episodes directed: 28)

His style is similar to Asami Endo but with a more expressive use of facial features. He is something of a transition between the two styles that dominated the show, and as other animation directors improved I felt he lagged a bit.

Hidetoshi Omori (Episodes directed: 4)

An interesting style, with unique faces. One characteristic that stands out to me is his thin eyebrows on female characters.

Takeshi Osaka (Episodes directed: 5)

A fairly standard animation director whose work is similar to Asami Endo. In "Lum-chan's Ancient Japanese Fairy Tales" he's pretty weak. Character designs are too simplistic, especially with Ataru and Ten. In "Duel! Benten vs. the Three Daughters" they are a little better, but still not the best.

Toshihiko Sasaki (Episodes directed: 1)

Sasaki only did one episode, and his style was very close to that of Akemi Takada, the character designer.

Masato Sawada (Episodes directed: 4)

Sawada didn't do very many episodes, but what he did do turned out well. He fit very well with the more detail oriented work that was done later in the series, and his work complements that of Masaaki Kannan well.

Setsuko Shibui (Episodes directed: 3)

Her work as animation director is similar to Furuse's. Clean designs, fluid animation and her cute design for Rei and Ran were particularly noticeable.

Akemi Takada (Episodes directed: 1)

She is the character designer for this show, and later Maison Ikkoku. Surprisingly the one episode she directed did not look very different than the work of Asami Endo.

Motosuke Takahashi (Episodes directed: 4)

Pretty standard as an animation director, but he is one of the staff that also worked as an episode director. He was responsible for one of the weirdest episodes (Horrors! Attack of the Slimy Potatoes!). Very clean designs, without deviating much from the standard character designs.

Naoko Yamamoto (Episodes directed: 1)

Judging the quality of her work from a single episode is difficult, but she definitely did a good job on her only outing as an animation director. She stayed very close to Akemi Takada's character designs and turned in a bright and vibrant episode.

Kazuo Yamazaki (Episodes directed: 9)

Kazuo Yamazaki's work featured very clean animation that stays close to the character designs but have his own sensibilities about them. His episode, "After You've Gone" was voted the best episode of Urusei Yatsura by the Japanese fans. After Mamoru Oshii left the show, Kazuo Yamazaki stepped in as the series director and took the show in his own direction while still remaining true to the groundwork Oshii had laid. The fact that he served as series director, animation director, and episode director goes a long way toward showing his immense talents.

Naoyuki Yoshinaga (Episodes directed: 1)

Yoshinaga is interesting in that he worked primarily as an episode director, but served as animation director for only a single episode.

Yuji Yatabe (Episodes directed: 8)

Similar to Asami Endo early on, with a little more detail on close ups.

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