I speculate that there might be some sort of spectrum of the honorifics to use for manga-ka/anime directors.

For example, I think one might be able to get away with addressing younger, and more, for lack of a better word, lively, producers like Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches' Miki Yoshikawa and Hiro Mashima with -san. However, I feel that -san doesn't do justice for people like Hayao Miyazaki or Akira Toriyama, who created works that many of us regard as classics or masterpieces that have influenced other manga-ka/anime producers very heavily. And then there are people I feel lie in between the two bounds like Eiichiro Oda and Masashi Kishimoto, who are in their own right, very successful, but can't be cited for nearly as much influence as the aforementioned two.

That being said, under what Japanese honorific should manga/anime fans address manga-ka/anime directors?

  • 2
    'Sensei' is traditional for all mangaka regardless of how influential. Since it puts them on the same level as teachers and doctors, that should be enough respect for anyone.
    – tsleyson
    Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 22:37

2 Answers 2


They are directors, and therefore can be referred to with -kantoku (監督, director) as a suffix in place of other honorifics.

Example: Intro to this interview


Another example from an interview with someone directly addressing him as 宮崎監督.

This also works for people who are presidents of companies among other job-specific titles. See articles like this:



It's common to use the word 「先生」 for honorifically referring artists (incl. manga and anime), as well as teachers and doctors.

Example: wikipedia article あだちは、自身が少年誌にこだわる理由として「高橋先生の存在が大きい」と述べている

I have also heard this in 月刊少女野崎くん, and similar.

You can also use the word 監督 for anime directors, but I believe that 先生 is more polite.

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