Shinichirō Watanabe (渡辺 信一郎 Watanabe Shin'ichirō) (born May 24, 1965 in Kyoto) is a Japanese anime filmmaker, screenwriter, and producer. He directed Cowboy Bebop.


Watanabe joined Sunrise, a Japanese animation studio, and worked in production and storyboards on anime productions including Armor Hunter Merowlink and Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory. His directorial debut was the video anime Macross Plus OVA in 1994. Cowboy Bebop was his first TV series as director in 1998 and he directed Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' on Heaven's Door in 2001 as a feature-length movie.[1]

Watanabe is known for incorporating multiple genres into his anime creations. In Cowboy Bebop, for example, Watanabe blends classic cowboy western with 1960s/1970s New York City film noir, jazz/blues music, Hong Kong action movies, and sets the entire series in space. In his later work, Samurai Champloo, Watanabe unites the cultures of Okinawa, hip hop, modern-day Japan and chanbara.

Notable works

TV productions

  • Obatarian (1990; episode supervision)
  • Genki Bakuhatsu Ganbaruger (1992; episode supervision)
  • Cowboy Bebop (1998; director)
  • Samurai Champloo (2004; director)
  • Eureka Seven (2005; supervision of third ending theme)
  • Tetsuwan Birdy DECODE (2008; storyboard supervision, episode 12)
  • Michiko to Hatchin (2008; music producer)
  • Space Dandy (2014; director)
  • Carole and Tuesday (2019; director)


  • Armor Hunter Mellowlink (1988-1989; episode supervision)
  • Capricorn (1991; co-supervision of storyboard)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory (1991; episode supervision)
  • Macross Plus (1994; director)
  • The Animatrix (2003; episode direction)


  • Macross Plus: Movie Edition (1995; director)
  • Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' on Heaven's Door (2001; director)
  • Mind Game (2004; music producer)
  • Genius Party (omnibus): Baby Blue (2008; director)
  • Cowboy Bebop (2011 film; associate producer)
  • Blade Runner 2049 Blackout (director)


  • Three shows he directed (Cowboy Bebop, Space Dandy, Carole and Tuesday) all feature Woolong's currency. Whether this means that the shows are connected is currently unknown.


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