Takayuki Hirao


-He, at first, wanted very hardly to be a mangaka, but with the time, he decided to instead, try a career on anime industry, entering on the Osaka Design Vocational School, after spending two years here, he was employed by Tokyo Studio Madhouse.

-He started out on the studio as a Production Assistant, as early as 1999, with him being only twenty years old, debuted on the Akitaro Daichi’s anime Jubei-Chan as a Production Assistant, and spent approximately four years on that position

-After being trained under  Kou Matsuo, he finally did his debut on TV anime with the episode eight of Hiroshi Hamasaki’s full series directorial debut: Texhnolyze

-With only one year of entering as Episode Director, he was charged with his more important role so far: Being the episode director of Paranoia Agent’s episode one, and process Satoshi Kon’s storyboard, at the end, he did a good job at it, doing assistant episode director duties on other six episodes, including the final episode and one of the best and most ambitious episodes of all time, episode nine.

-After that, he left Madhouse and joined ufotable, being his first series on the studio also his full directorial debut, Futakoi Alternative, with him on charge of the creative process while Hikaru Kondo was on charge on the planning and the technical process of the series, since Hikaru Kondo wasn’t as good as Hirao on the creative.

-His work on Futakoi Alternative presented a lot of his trademarks, including dynamic camerawork and precise control of timing and the passage of time, with slow-motion and speed-ups, tightly controlling the pacing of the scenes, and have a good sense of what you can do on anime controlling the space and the time of the series.

-He’s mainly inspired by three directors: The legendary Satoshi Kon, his friend Tetsuro Araki and Kawajiri’s student Hiroshi Hamasaki, taking clues of the screen organization of the first, the timing and the camerawork of the second and the color choices of the third to create his unique style, separated from them and incredibly recognizable, and you can feel it perfectly on his storyboards:


-On the scene of this storyboard, belonging to the fifth movie of Kara no Kyoukai, that he directed, by the way, ufotable used CG models as reference, like Kyoto Animation did about the same time for K-ON!.

-He was still tied to Madhouse, and he directed four more pieces at Madhouse: Kurozuka #9, were Araki ask to overdo the truck action, and he delivered pretty well, High School of The Dead #8, where Araki asked again to something funny with the breasts and Hirao did the best thing possible: MATRIX TITS, that is still one of my favorite scenes of all time despite its absurd, Shigurui #7, delivering one of the best episodes of said series and Death Note #36, as you can see, all of that episodes are by the series of Tetsuro Araki and Hiroshi Hamasaki, two of his best Madhouse friends.

-After being involved on the Kara no Kyoukai series for ufotable, he was put on charge of a promotional video for the videogame God Eater:


-Said promotional video was written, SB’d and directed by Hirao himself, so it’s good to check his style, with his dynamic camerawork and sense of timing, i’m going to adjunt the storyboard for the action scenes:



-After directing various OVAs at ufotable as Sakura no Ondo, Gyo and Majocco Shimai no Yoyo to Nene, he was put on charge of God Eater, which production was heavily troubled, delays and delays, unfinished episodes, difficult designs, that ended up on a horrible production that ended up its original premiere with only nine of the 13 planned episodes, with a lot of delayed episodes and weeks and weeks without episodes at all, finally the episodes 10, 11, 12 and 13 were premiered over six months later, on that series, Hirao wrote all the episodes, SB’d all the episodes and even was the sound director, being his major project to date, check it out if you want to see a talented director handling more than the production can and said production collapsing pretty fast because this, difficult designs and tight schedule, enjoy!




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