Shinji Ishihira is a Japanese anime director with an interesting body of work spanning various genres, including the popular 2022 BL series “Sasaki to Miyano,” now available for streaming on Netflix. He embarked on his anime directing career with “Ichi the Killer: Episode 0” in 2002, a 46-minute prequel to “Ichi the Killer” (2001), tracing the origin story of the protagonist, a serial killer. If you’d like to explore some must-watch anime by this director, here’s a list of five titles you might want to consider checking out.

  1. Tsukimichi: Moonlit Fantasy (2021) – Based on the Japanese light novel series written by Kei Azumi and illustrated by Mitsuaki Matsumoto, this anime series packs in a lot of cliches but is a fun fantasy ride that follows Makoto Misumi, a high school student who gets transported into a different world with some classmate & they are all bestowed with special powers. Makoto however is disappointed with his new power, but as he navigates the new world, he learns his weak skill has the potential to be incredibly powerful.
  2. Fairy Tail (2009-2019): Ishihira directed several seasons of this popular anime series, which is based on the manga of the same name by Hiro Mashima. “Fairy Tail” follows the adventures of Natsu Dragneel and his friends in the Fairy Tail guild as they take on various magical quests.
  3. Log Horizon (2013-2015): Ishihira directed the first two seasons of “Log Horizon,” an anime series set in a virtual reality MMORPG where players find themselves trapped and must adapt to their new reality. While the animation of this series isn’t at par with many other titles of the genre, Log Horizon has some great and diverse supporting characters, along with several plot twists that might just keep you hooked to the show.
  4. Super Lovers (2016-17): This is probably the most eyebrow raising title on the list. While it’s also a gay romantic series like “Sasaki & Miyano”, the lead couple are step-brothers, so some viewers might find the basic plot premise uncomfortable. But otherwise, the animation is really good and the story is both complex and comedic, following the journey of two youngsters trying to navigate the tricky waters of family and love.
  5. Tokyo Majin (2007): This anime series combines supernatural and martial arts elements as high school students in Tokyo combat dark forces threatening the city. Even though Tokyo Majin is not a fan favorite due to its slightly chaotic plot execution, it does have interesting characters and a lot of action-packed scenes.

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