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December 26, 1959|
Co-founder of Studio 4°C
Kōji Morimoto (森本晃司 Morimoto Kōji, born December 26, 1959) is a Japanese anime director. Some of his works include being an animator in the Akira film; shorts in Robot Carnival, Short Peace, and The Animatrix; and key animation in anime such as Kiki's Delivery Service, City Hunter, and Fist of the North Star. He is the co-founder of Studio 4°C.
Born in Wakayama, Japan, he graduated from the Osaka Designers' college in 1979 and a couple years later joined the studio Annapuru as an animator for the TV series Tomorrow's Joe. While working there, he saw some animation by Takashi Nakamura in Gold Lightan, an otherwise standard mecha TV series by a rival studio. He was impressed, and it inspired him to quit his job and become a freelance animator.
Morimoto often collaborated with Nakamura, most notably in Katsuhiro Otomo’s "The Order to Stop Construction" segment of the anthology film Neo-Tokyo. This opened many doors for him, from working as animation director on Otomo's landmark feature Akira and a chance to direct a short for the Robot Carnival anthology. Around this time he founded Studio 4°C with producer Eiko Tanaka and fellow animator Yoshiharu Sato.
Since then, Morimoto has focused almost exclusively on his directing work. His work became increasingly unusual with time. This is best represented by the concert scenes in Macross Plus and his short film Noiseman Sound Insect.
Aside from a small cult following, his films have been ignored outside Japan. This has begun to change in recent years, with his artwork being featured in Takashi Murakami's Superflat exhibitions worldwide, and being invited by The Wachowskis to direct "Beyond", a segment of The Animatrix. He is currently working on Sachiko, his second feature-length film.
- Robot Carnival – "Franken's Gears" (1987)
- Akira (animator, 1988)
- Fly! Peek the Whale (とべ!くじらのピーク Tobe! Kujira no Peek) (1991)
- Nine Love Stories – "Hero" (1991)
- Open the door (トビラを開けて Tobira wo Akete) (1995)
- Memories – "Magnetic Rose" (1995)
- Noiseman Sound Insect (1997)
- Eternal Family (1997)
- The Animatrix – "Beyond" (2003)
- Digital Juice – "The Saloon in the Air" (2003)
- Mind Game (2004)
- Genius Party Beyond – "Dimension Bomb" (2008)
- First Squad (2009)
- Short Peace (2013) – opening sequence
- KEN ISHII – "EXTRA" (1996)
- The Bluetones – "4-Day Weekend" (1998)
- Glay – "Survival" (サバイバル Sabaibaru) (1999)
- Ayumi Hamasaki – "Connected" (2003)
- Hikaru Utada – "You Make Me Want To Be A Man" (2005)
- Hikaru Utada – "Passion" (2005)
- Aoki, Deb; Evan, Minto (2015-09-29). "Interview: Koji Morimoto". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2017-02-07.
- Saabedra, Humberto (2012-01-23). ""Akira" Animator Koji Morimoto to Appear at AnimeFest Convention". Crunchyroll.
- Macias, Patrick (December 21, 2006). "Anime through an American eye". The Japan Times Online. Retrieved 1 January 2011.
- "Short Peace (2013) - Full Cast & Crew". IMDb. Retrieved 2016-03-15.
- Briers, Peter (4 June 2016). "Ken Ishii achter draaitafels van Antwerpse Ampere" (in German). Retrieved 27 July 2016.