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Ask John: Which Women Have Made an Impact on Anime Production?

Aside from the artist team known as CLAMP, are there any other examples that come to mind of women who have made their mark at one time or another in the anime industry?

I believe I’ve addressed this question before, but the present format of the AnimeNation Blog makes finding specific older “Ask John” articles difficult. And in either case, this is a topic that deserves a refresher now and again.

CLAMP has typically been active primarily in the manga field, having not been especially involved in many of the anime adaptations of their work. However, CLAMP has been involved with some anime, including creating the character designs for the popular Code Geass television series.

Illustrator Inomata Mutsumi has provided character designs for anime including Leda: The Fantastic Adventure of Yoko, Windaria, Brain Powerd, Watt Poe to Bokura no Ohanashi, Plawres Sanshiro, and also served as animation director for productions including Leda, Sasuga no Sarutobi, and Windaria.

Atsuko Nakajima’s animation character design credits include Ranma 1/2, You’re Under Arrest, Princess Princess, Trinity Blood, and Get Backers. She also served as animation director for titles including Trinity Blood, Get Backers, and the Urusei Yatsura TV series.

Mitsuko Kase directed the Saishuheiki Kanojo and Crystal Blaze anime series. She’s also served as a director on mecha anime including Xabungle, Votoms, Gundam 0083, and Gundam MS 08th Team.

Akemi Takada’s contributions to anime include animation character designs for Patlabor, Maison Ikkoku, Uruesi Yatsura, Creamy Mami, Licca-chan, Pelsia, Fancy LaLa, and Orange Road.

Haruka Ninomiya directed the 2005 Suki na Mono wa Suki Dakara Shouganai!! television series.

Chikako Shibata has served as an art director for anime productions including Azumanga Daioh, Rozen Maiden, Honey & Clover, Chobits, Fruits Basket, Da Capo, and Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni.

This brief list is just a short sampling of women that have made major contributions to anime. In deference to the thrust of the original question, my answer hasn’t touched upon the contributions to anime made by countless female voice actresses and vocalists, or celebrated musicians like Yoko Kanno. And since the question limited the answer to anime, I haven’t mentioned influential manga artists including Rumiko Takahashi, Ryoko Ikeda, Keiko Takemiya, Yuu Watase, Koge Donbo, Naoko Takeuchi, Arina Tanemura, Ai Yazawa, and too many others to list.


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