Why are One Piece fans excited about Henry Thurlow directing the latest episode of the anime series, 1066, this weekend?

The global One Piece community has been eating well over the past few months and especially over the past few weeks following Netflix’s live-action teaser trailer going viral.

Now, all eyes are back on the anime series, which is just about to reach a landmark milestone for the franchise, but not for the reasons you may have been expecting.

So, why are One Piece fans excited about the directorial debut of Henry Thurlow in episode 1066, set to release around the world on June 25 via Crunchyroll?

Luffy prepares a coiled attack with yellow light outlining his body
One Piece/Toei Animation/Crunchyroll Collection YouTube channel

Why are One Piece fans hyped about Thurlow directing episode 1066?

One Piece fans around the world are excited about Henry Thurlow directing episode 1066 because he is reportedly the first ever non-Japanese director of an episode.

This is not only a landmark moment for the One Piece franchise as it continues to expand into the global mainstream audience, but also a remarkable achievement for Thurlow himself.

Sharing a screenshot from Newtype, Thurlow revealed his directorial debut on June 9:

“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.”

Thurlow first worked on the One Piece series in episode 903 when he helped produce the Luffy vs Urashima fight sequence, with additional animator roles including for episodes 972, 995, 1000, 1017, and 1033 – in episode 1017, he started helping out with storyboarding too.

Responding to the reaction from the global One Piece community, he would acknowledge that “it feels weird seeing people analyze my stuff so closely” but admitted that he appreciated the support.

What other anime has he worked on before One Piece?

Thurlow is a veteran of the anime industry who founded the D’Art Shtajio animation studio and has previously worked on various well-known titles including:

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