Shinichiro Watanabe (born May 24, 1965) is a well-known Japanese anime director. He likes to mix different opposing styles into his works to create something new—for example, Cowboy Bebop is cowboy space opera mixed with film noir, martial arts, and jazz. Samurai Champloo fuses traditional samurai with hip-hop music and culture. Space Dandy fuses Raygun Gothic and Zeerust with disco music.
He has directed the following full-length works:
- Macross Plus
- Cowboy Bebop
- Samurai Champloo
- Kids on the Slope
- Space Dandy
- Terror in Resonance
- Carole & Tuesday
He has also worked on:
- Armor Hunter Mellowlink: Supervisor.
- The Animatrix: Directed The Kid and A Detective Story.
- Eureka Seven: Third ending animation.
- Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory: Unit director (6 out of 13 episodes).
- Star Driver: First opening animation.
- Genius Party: Directed the last short, Baby Blue.
- Blade Runner: Black Out 2022: Tie-in short to Blade Runner 2049.
- Blade Runner Black Lotus: Producer.
Tropes found in his work:
- Anachronism Stew: Used exceedingly well.
- Author Appeal: MUSIC. Every one of his directed works had some genre (or genres) of music as a major part of the storyline and/or general theme of the series. And among the works where he's credited but isn't directing, he's usually in charge of the music production for the show.
- Cast of Snowflakes: Taken Up to Eleven in Space Dandy, where every bad guy and alien race is designed by a different artist.
- Creator Thumbprint: Likes to have a focus on a character's eye.
- Doing It for the Art: As above, Space Dandy uses different art styles, moods and directing styles for each episode, plus having every bad guy and alien race designed by a different artist.
- Genre Roulette: Watanabe is well-known for taking many genres and hitting "puree".
- Production Posse: With composer Yoko Kanno, who has to date composed the soundtrack for four of his directorial works.
- Short Run in Peru: Space Dandy yet again. Its U.S. premiere in January 2014 was on Toonami at 11:30, coming a half-hour before its premiere in Japan.
- Tall, Dark, and Handsome: A tendency with his male protagonists, noticeably with his leads in his biggest three animes Spike, Mugen and Jin and Dandy.