Shinichiro Watanabe (渡辺 信一郎) is a Japanese director and writer for the famed anime series, Cowboy Bebop. He is noted for blending multiple genres together such as in Bebop where classic cowboy western mixes with 1940/50's New York film noir, Hong Kong action movies, and plenty of other personal influences.
He also is known for his love of music. This is reflected in the blend of jazz, blues, bebop, funk and New Age music into every note on the soundtrack of Cowboy Bebop. He accomplishes this blend on Bebop thanks to his collaboration with critically acclaimed composer Yoko Kanno and a semi-fictional band called the Seatbelts.
His directorial debut was noteworthy among anime fans, as a co-director for the well-received Macross update, Macross Plus. After finishing the 26 episode Cowboy Bebop, his solo-directorial debut came in 2001 with a theatrically-released movie from his afformentioned series. Until 2003, Watanabe would direct his first anime for (and from) Americans with "Kid's Story" and "A Detective Story" both part of The Animatrix, an anthology of animated shorts of back stories from the box office movie hit, The Matrix. His next directorial effort, Samurai Champloo, is set to be broadcast in Japan in Spring 2004. Like Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo is a curious blend of disparate influences, including Okinawa, Hip-Hop, modern-day Japan, and Samurai.