American animator Henry Thurlow has been working hard on anime in Japan, and he regularly tweets about his experiences working on the One Piece anime. Now he’s making history for the series, confirming on Twitter that he is serving as episode director for episode 1,066. According to Thurlow and other members of the Toei Animation production staff, this makes him the first non-Japanese episode director for all of One Piece and possibly for “any Toei Animation television series.”
We’ll get to see the results when Thurlow’s episode airs on June 25.
Reported in Newtype:
I, Henry Thurlow, am the episode director of One Piece 1066 airing this month.
As far as I can tell (& as far as the production staff knew when I asked) there has never been a non-Japanese ep director for OP, or possibly any Toei Animation TV series… ever. pic.twitter.com/y99tVE6U2l
— Henry Thurlow (@henry_thurlow) June 9, 2023
In addition to credits that include the likes of Naruto Shippuden, Tokyo Ghoul, Sweetness & Lightning and more, Thurlow was one of the founders of Japan’s first Black-owned animation studio, D’Art Shtajio, along with Arthell Isom and Darnell Isom. He has been working on One Piece and worked on One Piece Film Red since starting as an animator at Toei Animation back in July 2021.
In other One Piece news, the manga is going on hiatus for one month while author Eiichiro Oda gets eye surgery.