For those of you who are new to anime these are the people behind the movies that I and many others would recommend you start with

The greatest anime filmmakers include:

Hayao Miyazaki: Known for Princess Mononoke and Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind Also he is considered the best of the group

Isao Takahata: Known for the tragic Grave of the Fireflies, considered Miyazaki's right hand man at Ghibli

Mamoru Oshi: Most famous for Ghost in the Shell and the Patlabor movies, best work is Angel's Egg and Jin-Roh style is darker than Ghibli's

Katsuhiro Otomo: Known for Akira and Memories, has contributed to other movies such as Perfect Blue and Spriggan.

Satoshi Kon: Great young director, known for the "Magnetic Rose" segment of Memories, Perfect Blue and most reciently Millenium Actress. He is really talented, and may eventually be on par with Miyazaki, and Takahata.

Anno Hideaki: Used to work for Ghibli, but quit and helped found Gainax. The animation director of Wings of Honneamise and creator of the Evangelion Movies. Persionally I don't like his work, but he is worth respect.

Shinichiro Watanabe: Director of Macross Plus and Cowboy Bebop. A really good director, helped start Studio Bones, which is the production company that did escaflowne a girl in Gaia, and the excellent Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' on Heaven's Door. Hopefully he will be directing more.

And lets not forget the one who started it all...

Osamu Tezuka,
whose work is great! I've only read one of his manga Adolf and it is one of the best manga I've read. Also if you want to see his visual style (which owes alot to Disney and Max Fletcher shorts of the 1930s) in a modern anime, watch Metropolis.

Sources: IMDb various anime web sites

Please suggest any that I didn't think of.

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