Hiroyuki Imaishi (今石 洋之, Imaishi Hiroyuki, born October 4, 1971) is a Japanese key animator and anime director and one of the co-founders of Studio Trigger. His style is marked by fast and frantic animation combined with elaborate storyboarding and punchy direction. Prior to founding Trigger, he was an animator and director at Gainax.

Hiroyuki Imaishi
Connichi2008 GAINAX Imaishi Hiroyki.JPG
Imaishi in 2008
Native name
今石 洋之
Born (1971-10-04) October 4, 1971 (age 47)
Occupationanime director, animator, character designer
Years active1995–present


Early careerEdit

Before his animation career, Imaishi drew manga for a doujinshi circle, and after that briefly worked as a commercially published manga creator.

Imaishi began his animation career at Gainax in 1995 as a key animator on Neon Genesis Evangelion. Some of his early works include animation direction, storyboarding, and key animation in FLCL episode 5, Diebuster, Oval X Over, and the ending animation of Paradise Kiss. Imaishi was also known for his "manga" scenes in Kare Kano (His and Her Circumstances) and FLCL. He went on to direct Dead Leaves, a 2004 anime film produced by animation studio Production I.G., and the first episode of Re: Cutie Honey.


His series director debut was Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (2007).[1] The anime received an Excellence Prize at the 2007 Japan Media Arts Festival,[2] and Imaishi himself received an individual award at the twelfth Animation Kobe Festival.[3] In 2008, the anime received both "best television production" and "best character design" from the Tokyo International Anime Fair.[4] Later he went on to work as director in the 2010 anime series, Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt. His main influence of being an animator and director are Yoshinori Kanada and his works, in which all his anime titles such as Dead Leaves, Gurren Lagann and Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt pay special tributes to him and his art.

In 2011, Imaishi branched off Gainax to form a new studio, Trigger, alongside Masahiko Ohtsuka and others.[5][6] His first directorial work at the studio is Kill la Kill.[7] He directed the opening for season 2 of Black Dynamite.

Notable worksEdit




  1. ^ "Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann". (November 2006) Newtype USA. p. 17.
  2. ^ "Coo, Gurren-Lagann, 'Kafka' Win Media Arts Awards". Anime News Networks. Retrieved 2007-12-11.
  3. ^ "Gurren Lagann's official blog" (in Japanese). Gainax. Retrieved 2007-12-18.
  4. ^ "Eva 1.0 Wins Tokyo Anime Fair's Animation of the Year". Anime News Network. February 26, 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-26.
  5. ^ http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2011-10-06/animator/gurren-lagann-helmer-imaishi-establishes-studio
  6. ^ http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/interest/2011-10-07/hiroyuki-imaishi-new-studio-name-website-revealed
  7. ^ http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2013-05-08/kill-la-kill-anime-reunites-gurren-lagann-director-writer

External linksEdit