Mamoru Hosoda (born September 19, 1967) is a Japanese animated film director and animator known for several popular family-friendly anime films, including The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars and Wolf Children.
Originally working for Toei Animation, he went to Madhouse in 2005, and left Madhouse after 2011 to create his own animation studio Studio Chizu. He earned his first Oscar nomination for his film, Mirai of the Future, which is the first non-Ghibli anime film to be Best Animated Feature at the 2019 Oscars.
His works include:
- Digimon: The Movie (2000, with Shigeyasu Yamauchi)
- One Piece: Baron Omatsuri and the Secret Island (2005)
- The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006)
- Summer Wars (2009)
- Wolf Children (2012)
- The Boy and the Beast (2015)
- Mirai of the Future (2018)
- Belle (2021)
Mamoru Hosoda and his works provide examples of:
- Central Theme: Family.
- Summer Wars focuses on relationship with relatives.
- Wolf Children is about the relationship between mother and child.
- The Boy and the Beast is about the relationship between a child and a father figure.
- Mirai is the relationship between siblings.
- Belle focuses on broken families, such as Suzu struggling with the loss of her mother and Kei dealing with an abusive father.
- Coming of Age: Particularly Wolf Children, The Boy and the Beast, and Belle.
- The Metaverse: A version of the internet you can walk around in is present in Digimon the Movie, Summer Wars, and Belle. While in the former two the "internet you could project yourself into" was rather minimalist, it's very maximalistnote in Belle, in response to the real-world progress of this trope following the rapid rise of social media between the latter two films.
- Scenery Porn: One of his films' distinguishing traits.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: More on the idealistic end of the scale.
- Sliding Scale of Realistic vs. Fantastic: Much like Miyazaki, Hosoda combines believable characters with elements more in the fantastical elements, putting it somewhere in the middle.
- What Could Have Been: He was originally commissioned to direct Howl's Moving Castle, but left in early production due to his designs being rejected, leading to the project being shelved until Hayao Miyazaki took over.