One Piece Anime Breaks Tradition with Henry Thurlow as Non-Japanese Episode Director

(Last Updated On: June 10, 2023)

On Friday, Henry Thurlow, an American animator employed in Japan, took to Twitter to confirm the news featured in the July edition of Newtype magazine. Thurlow revealed that he has been appointed as the episode director for episode 1,066 of the renowned One Piece anime. Notably, both Thurlow and the diligent Toei Animation production team believe that he is the inaugural non-Japanese director for One Piece, and quite possibly for any television series produced by Toei Animation. Mark your calendars for June 25, as that’s when this remarkable episode is set to be broadcasted.

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Thurlow has gained experience in various Japanese animation studios, such as Nakamura Productions, Pierrot, and Bang Bang Animation. His notable contributions encompass well-known titles like Sweetness & Lightning, Nurse Witch Komugi R, ClassicaLoid, Naruto Shippūden, and Tokyo Ghoul. In July 2021, Thurlow joined Toei Animation as an animator, where he has actively participated in projects like One Piece and One Piece Film Red.

Arthell Isom, along with Darnell Isom and Thurlow, established D’Art Shtajio in 2016, making it the inaugural Black-owned animation studio in Japan.

Several foreign anime directors, all of whom have not helmed television series for Toei Animation, include Sunghoo Park (renowned for Jujutsu Kaisen), Kyoung Soon Park (known for directing Doraemon movies), Jan Scott Frazier (credited as the first foreigner to work in a Japanese animation studio’s production department with Susie-chan & Marvy), and Michael Arias (recognized for his work on Tekkonkinkreet).


Source: Henry Thurlow’s Twitter account

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Amar Reddy
Amar Reddy, an IT professional based in Bangalore, combines his tech-savvy career with his passion as a part-time anime writer. A big fan of Goku and Vegeta, his love for these characters often seeps into his engaging and imaginative narratives, enchanting his reader base.

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