Staff | Interview with the Director

Director/Screenwriter: Akio Nishizawa

Akio Nishizawa

Though he once dreamed of becoming a film director, Akio Nishizawa chose to pursue his career in education. Under his motto: "In order to change today's Japan, we need to reform the base of Japanese education system," he developed WAO Corporation into a nationwide general educational service provider.
"NITABOH," the very first movie Nishizawa scripted and directed, has been officially screened in various film festivals all over the world. It has won the grand prize at the 10th Seoul International Cartoon & Animation Festival SICAF, the Best Picture Award at the REEL 2 REAL International Film Festival and the Public Award for Best Animated Film at the Asian Film Festival of Lyon. In his second movie "JAPAN, Our Homeland," Nishizawa has created an original story based on his own childhood with some fictional elements.
Interview with the Director

Character Design and General Animation Director Hiroshi Kugimiya

Hiroshi Kugimiya joined the production of "Kuma no Putaro" as an animation director, "Hare' Guu" (both TV series and video) as character designer and general animation director, "NITABOH ? Unauthorized Biography of Father of Tsugaru-Shamisen" as a general animation director, and "Bayside Shakedown 2" as animation director. He also directed the animation "Zettai Zetsumei Dangerous Jiisan.

Technical Director Masakatsu Iijima

Masakatsu Iijima is an experienced technical director who worked for numerous TV animations. He directed "Rokushin Gattai God Mars" (video), "HAPPY隨倥・ESSON THE FINAL 2" and the theatrical animation "Yu Yu Hakusho: Meikai Shito Hen ? Hono no Kizuna." As a technical director, he participated in "Pokemon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew" and will join the production of the latest movie of "Pokemon" in 2006.

Music Director Makoto Kuriya

A graduate of West Virginia University with a major in linguistics, Makoto Kuriya was already performing his music in local live houses while he was still in school. After graduation, he started his career as a jazz pianist. He won the First Prize Pianist Award in Ohio Jazz Competition and Westinghouse Cultural Award. He was invited for the "International Music Day" to perform jazz with nine world-class artists at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris in October 2004. His participation to "NITABOH ? Unauthorized Biography of Father of Tsugaru-Shamisen" as a music director gained a great reputation.

Art Director Tadashi Kudo

As an art director Tadashi Kudo has been involved in works such as "Lupin the 3rd: Farewell to Nostradamus," "Rurouni Kenshin: Requiem for the Ishin Patriots," "Pikachu's Summer Vacation," and "Queen Emeraldas" written by Leiji Matsumoto. His artistic depiction of background sceneries in "NITABOH - Unauthorized Biography of Father of Tsugaru-Shamisen" is highly evaluated overseas.

Storyboad : Keiichiro Furuya
Animation Directors : Takeshi Ito / Hiroaki Noguchi / Futoshi Higashide / Satoshi Hirayama / Masaya Yasutome / Makoto Yoshizaki
Director of Digital Image : Mitsunobu Yoshida
Color Design : Yuko Kanamaru
Editing : Soshi Goto
Sound Director : Yaku Shioya
Sound Engineer : Studio Mausu
Sound Mixer : Tsukuru Takagi
Associate Producer : Naoki Ishihara
Setting Coordinator : Miki Matsumura
Assistant Producer : Ryo Segawa
Music Producers : Tsutomu Tsuchiya / Keiko Ushida
Recording Studio : Studio Mausu
Mixing Studio : Tokyo TV Center
Planning&Web Producer : Masae Nishizawa
Executive Producer : Masahiro Murakami