Zako Akifumi Profile.jpg

Zako Akifumi (座古明史?) is a series director, episode director and storyboard artist working for Toei Animation.

He was the series co-director for Fresh Pretty Cure! and HUGtto! Pretty Cure and directed the movie Go! Princess Pretty Cure: The Pumpkin Kingdom's Treasure. He has been working on Pretty Cure since 2004, where he started with episode direction on some episodes of Futari wa Pretty Cure.

History

Zako Akifumi started working in major directing roles for Toei Animation in 2003, where he worked as Episode Director Assistant for twelve episodes of Ashita no Nadja. He also did the episode direction for episode seven of Ojamajo Doremi Na-i-sho, where he worked with and under Sato Junichi. They would collaborate once again during his work on HUGtto! Pretty Cure, where he shared the role of series director.

As his former work lay in series aimed at young girls, it comes to no surprise that he ended up working on some episodes of Futari wa Pretty Cure and further seasons of Pretty Cure.

Zako's personal style as a storyboard artist and episode director often comes back to more serious and emotional imagery than usual for Pretty Cure. His layouts work with shadows, repetition, unusual perspective and angles and negative space for his composition to set the tone. He also uses backgrounds to contrast or compliment the characters and their emotions.

One example of his serious style is Yes! Pretty Cure 5 episode 23, which featured the evil organization Nightmare threatening and defeating the Cures with warped mirror versions of themselves. The almost-horror like atmosphere and imagery of this episode was uncommon for Pretty Cure’s light-hearted direction. In Futari wa Pretty Cure Max Heart episode 08, he proved his proficiency for emotional heartwarming character-focused episodes. Zako is often assigned to work for the finale episodes of a Pretty Cure season due to his style and due to his strong hand as a storyboard artist for fighting animation.

Work on Fresh Pretty Cure!

Work on HUGtto! Pretty Cure

Work in Pretty Cure

Series Year Episode Director Storyboard Series Director
Futari wa Pretty Cure 2004 - 2005 18, 27, 42, 48
Futari wa Pretty Cure Max Heart 2005 - 2006 08, 21, 31, 45 08, 21, 31, 45
Futari wa Pretty Cure Splash Star 2006 - 2007 11, 21, 32, 41,
49
11, 21, 32, 41, 49
Yes! Pretty Cure 5 2007 - 2008 07, 16, 23, 29,
33, 41, 48
07, 23, 33, 41
Yes! Pretty Cure 5 GoGo! 2008 - 2009 09, 14, 25, 31,
37, 46
14, 46
Fresh Pretty Cure! 2009 - 2010 06, 15, 24, 50 06, 15, 24, 40, 50
(From episode 16 onwards)
Heartcatch Pretty Cure! 2010 - 2011 13, 21, 32 13, 21, 32
Go! Princess Pretty Cure 2015 - 2016 04 04, 11 The Pumpkin Kingdom's Treasure
Mahou Tsukai Pretty Cure! 2016 - 2017 04, 13, 28, 36, 47 04, 13, 28, 36, 47
KiraKira☆Pretty Cure A La Mode 2017 - 2018 12, 21 12, 21
HUGtto! Pretty Cure 2018 - 2019 01, 48 01, 22, 39, 48, 49
Star☆Twinkle Pretty Cure 2019 - 2020 21 21, 30, 38, 46

Gallery

Storyboards / Art / Interviews

Screenshots

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