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:
: Known for Princess Mononoke
and Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind
Also he is considered the best of the group
: Known for the tragic Grave of the Fireflies
, considered Miyazaki's right hand man at Ghibli
: Most famous for Ghost in the Shell
and the Patlabor
movies, best work is Angel's Egg
style is darker than Ghibli
: Known for Akira
, has contributed to other movies such as Perfect Blue
: 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 nausicaa.net various anime web sites
Please suggest any that I didn't think of.