Koichi Mashimo is the founder and CEO of Bee Train Productions Inc. He is also the leading director for the studio and has directed most of it's productions. Little known fact that Mashimo also has a staple in live action production from his early studies in his university days after interestingly enough, studying Jurisprudence at Sophia University.
In the mid 70's Mashimo joined up at Tatsunoko Productions as a director and assistant director on the TV series Time Bokan and would go on and direct many more projects for the studio. In the mid 80's Mashimo was reported to have suffered an extreme alpine skiing accident which left him hospitalized for a lengthy duration. It is said during his stay in the hospital he got the idea for a small studio that would act as a "Hospital for Animators", a studio that would nurture the creative spirit of it's staff rather than focus on financial or commercial success. Sometime later he formed a group of freelance animators and worked on more projects through the 80s and 90s. Mashimo stated later at Anime Expo that he was also offered to direct for Neon Genesis Evangelion with Production I.G but he turned the offer down.
Around 1997 Mashimo was ready to form a studio of his own, he then took his idea a small independent studio to Production I.G president Mitsuhisa Ishikawa. Ishikawa was impressed and agreed to support Mashimo and IG took his company as it's own subsidiary company. Since 2001 Mashimo directed all series produced for the studio with the exception of Murder Princess and the upcoming Psychic Detective Yakumo. He's also become famous for working with acclaimed composer Yuki Kajiura.
Notable tropes in include:
- Action Girl: The Girls With Guns Trilogy, Avenger Murder Princess (though not directed by him personally)
- Badass Adorable
- Contemplate Our Navels: .hack//SIGN especially infamous for this.
- Expy: Start a head count of how many amnesiacs are in his various works.
- Fan Service: A fair share.
- Scenery Porn: Almost always! Really the art direction in most Bee Train anime surpasses your average series. Only the master tops it.
- Schoolgirl Lesbians: Really have you seen the Girls With Guns Trilogy?
- Shout-Out: He loves dropping references to notable Western films.
- Signature Style: Girls and guns, subtext, ambiguous sexual identities, amnesiacs, badass cuties. As stated above he's paticularly famous for working with Yuki Kajiura but not so much these days. But his loyal fans still hope for the day the two team up again on a new project.
- Teasing Creator: So much so his fans have made it a point of discussion and community motto.
- Twenty Minutes Into the Future: A great deal of his works take place several years into the future. The Girls With Guns Trilogy, .hack// etc.
- Weird Moon: Paint it red and make it big in the sky.