Since graduating from Osaka Municipal College of Design, Hiroko Utsumi has been involved in the production of many famous anime, most notably The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya (2010; Key Animator and Episode Director), K-On! Movie (2011; Key Animator and Unit Director), Free! (2013; Series Director, Storyboard Artist, and Episode Director), Free! -Eternal Summer- (2014; Series Director, Storyboard Artist, and Episode Director), and My Hero Academia (2nd Season) (2017; Storyboard Artist and Episode Director). Most recently she directed the hit new series BANANA FISH as well as acting as a Storyboard Artist, and Episode Director.
Since 1996, Akemi Hayashi has been involved in numerous major productions as a supervising animation director and character designer. Some of her most well-known works are Revolutionary Girl Utena (1997; Animation Director), Fruits Basket (2001; Character Designer and Supervising Animation Director), Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo (2012; Animation Director), and Doukyusei (2016; Character Designer, Storyboard Artist, and, Supervising Animation Director). On BANANA FISH, she played major roles as Character designer and Supervising Animation Director.
Ayumi Yamada has played key roles in the production of numerous hit series, most notably Kids on the Slope (2012; Animation Director), Attack on Titan (2013; Main Animator), Terror in Resonance (2014; Animation Director), Seraph of the End (2015; Sub-character Designer and Supervising Animation Director), Mob Psycho 100 (2016; Animation Director), and Attack on Titan (2nd Season) (2017; Sub-character Designer and Supervising Animation Director). On BANANA FISH she served as a Supervising Animation Director.
After working on Yuri!!! on ICE (2016; Production Assistant) and Kakegurui (2017; Setting Producer), Ando supported the production of BANANA FISH (2018) as the Setting Producer. As hundreds of people are involved in the creation of an animated series, establishing a fixed setting is integral to production. This setting becomes the common language with which animation studios standardize the visualization of characters, backgrounds, and props and maintain overall quality. As the setting producer, it was Ando’s job to gather reference materials and to manage the thousands of settings so that the production runs smoothly and efficiently.
Andrew Upton joined MAPPA in 2016 where he handles Pre-production and Planning as well as spearheading International Development. A graduate of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Upton holds degrees in Asian Languages and Cultures and History. He also spent two years at Keio University’s Japanese Language Program. Since joining MAPPA, Upton has been involved behind the scenes on numerous titles including, Garo Vanishing Line, Kakegurui, Banana Fish, Zombie Land Saga, and Dororo.