Shaft (company)

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Shaft
Native name
株式会社シャフト
HepburnKabushiki gaisha Shafuto
IndustryJapanese animation
FoundedSeptember 1, 1975; 46 years ago (1975-09-01)
FounderHiroshi Wakao
HeadquartersSuginami, Tokyo, Japan[a]
Key people
Mitsutoshi Kubota (CEO)
Board members
    • Hiroshi Wakao
    • Natsuko Fukuhara
    • Kouji Tanoue
    • Miku Ooshima
    • Nobuki Maki
    • Natsuko Kubota
    • Kayoko Mizusawa
Total equity¥ 10,000,000
Number of employees
70[1]
DivisionsDigital@Shaft[b]
Shaft Ten[c]
Shaft CGI Animation Room[d]
Shaft Umegumi[e]
Websitewww.shaft-web.co.jp

Shaft (stylized as SHAFT; Japanese: 株式会社シャフト, Hepburn: Kabushiki-gaisha Shafuto), also known as Studio Shaft, is a Japanese animation studio headquartered in Suginami, Tokyo, and founded in 1975. Since 2004, the studio's productions have been broadly influenced by director Akiyuki Shinbo, whose visual style and avant-garde cinematography are featured in works including Hidamari Sketch (2007), Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei (2007), the Monogatari series (2009–2019), Puella Magi Madoka Magica (2011), Nisekoi (2014), and March Comes In like a Lion (2016).

History[edit]

1975–1984: Early sub-contracting work[edit]

Shaft was founded on September 1, 1975, by ex-Mushi Production employee Hiroshi Wakao.[2][3] Much of the company's early work was sub-contracting work for larger animation studios,[4] which includes credits to cel painting and color coordination work, such as with Brave Raideen (1975–76),[5] and occasionally credits as an assistant production studio for projects including Pierrot's Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer (1984).[6]

1984–2004: Move to animation production[edit]

In 1984, Shaft was sub-contracted by studio Zuiyo to animate the Elves of the Forest television series, marking the company's first project as a primary animation studio.[f] Not until 1987, however, with the release of the Yume kara, Samenai original video animation (OVA),[8] did the studio release its first wholly-original production. In the same year, the studio produced the first episode of the Taiman Blues: Naoto Shimizu-hen OVA series.[9]

For the next several years, the company returned to sub-contracting work based on animation production services rather than its painting services, such as with the Mushi Production film Ushiro no Shoumen Daare (1991).[10] In 1995, the studio moved to producing full-length series, starting with Juuni Senshi Bakuretsu Eto Ranger.[11] By this time, several directors and animators had joined the studio, such as Toshimasa Suzuki and Kunitoshi Okajima, who returned for Sakura Diaries (1997) and Dotto! Koni-chan (2000).[12][13]

Shaft entered co-operations with studios Gainax and TNK around 2000. The first of the productions under these co-operations was Mahoromatic (2001) and its sequel Mahoromatic: Something More Beautiful (2002–03), both with Gainax.[14] 2002 was also the release of the studio's production with TNK, G-On Riders.[15] In 2003 and 2004, the studio produced an adaptation of the visual novel Popotan,[16] and later This Ugly yet Beautiful World, an original series co-produced with Gainax.[14]

2004–2017: Kubota and Team Shinbo era[edit]

In 2004, Wakao was succeeded as Shaft's representative director by production manager and color designer Mitsutoshi Kubota, though he remained a chairman on the studio's board.[2] After watching The SoulTaker (2001) and Le Portrait de Petit Cossette (2004), both works directed by Akiyuki Shinbo, Kubota decided that he wanted to work with Shinbo to create a uniquely identifiable brand for the studio.[17] In October 2004, the studio animated its first production with Shinbo as director, Tsukuyomi: Moon Phase,[18] and he began serving as an executive director and mentor to the studio's staff.[4]

Shaft's final co-production with Gainax came in 2005 with He Is My Master.[19] The same year saw the first animated production under the influence of "Team Shinbo", a director trio consisting of Shinbo, Shin Oonuma, and Tatsuya Oishi, who played a vital role in the studio's early stylistic decisions.[4][20] The next two years also saw the release of REC (2006) and Kino's Journey: Country of Illness -For You- (2007),[21][22] which would be the last series produced by Shaft not to feature any involvement by Shinbo for more than a decade.

During the mid-to-late 2000s, a number of new directors joined the studio as employees or associates, including Ryouki Kamitsubo, Naoyuki Tatsuwa, Kenichi Ishikura, Yukihiro Miyamoto, Shinichi Omata, Tomoyuki Itamura, and Gekidan Inu Curry.[g] Kamitsubo and Oonuma, however, left by the end of the decade, with the latter joining Silver Link where he established a similar role to Shinbo's. Pani Poni Dash! and Negima!? character designer Kazuhiro Ōta left the same year.

In 2009, Shinbo and Oishi directed Bakemonogatari, which was later characterized as a hallmark of the studio's unique aesthetics. It gained a cult-like following among fans in both Japan and the West for its narrative and "visually striking" animation and artistic qualities.[23][24][25] Polygon named it as the series that "pushed studio Shaft into the spotlight",[26] and the series was chosen as the "best anime series of 2009" by the Tokyo Anime Award Festival in 2017.[27] Following Bakemonogatari, the studio produced yet another critical and financial hit two years later with Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Madoka Magica is regarded by several publications and critics as one of the greatest anime productions of all time,[28][29][30] and the series' financial and critical success spawned a franchise consisting of several films, television series, and games produced in part or in whole by Shaft. Along with the Monogatari series, Madoka Magica is considered to be one of the most financially successful anime products in Japan, with both series maintaining the highest average sales of DVDs, Blu-Rays, and re-releases in Japan.[31] In 2012, the studio returned to animating the Monogatari series with Nisemonogatari, albeit with director Tomoyuki Itamura in place of Oishi.[32] Itamura and Shinbo produced a subsequent Monogatari season every year up until Zoku Owarimonogatari (2018), which is the only Monogatari season to feature Shinbo as the sole director.[33]

English logo used from 2010–⁠2017

The early-to-mid 2010s brought more changes to the studio's creative staff. Kenichi Ishikura left after serving as assistant director on Mahō Sensei Negima! Anime Final in 2011, Shinichi Omata left the studio around 2012 (his final credit being storyboard work for Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb (2012)),[34] and Naoyuki Tatsuwa left after directing Gourmet Girl Graffiti in 2015.[g] A number of other notable directors joined at this time, such as directors Yuki Yase, Kenjirou Okada, Hajime Ootani, and Midori Yoshizawa.[g] Tatsuya Oishi disappeared from the public spotlight in the early 2010s after about four years directing the Kizumonogatari film trilogy, released in 2016 and 2017.[35] Shaft's animation work on the trilogy has been praised as being uniquely experimental with 2D and CG effects, which some reviewers described as not always mixing well, but has nonetheless been called "gorgeous."[35][36][37]

In the late 2010s, a number of other creative staff left the studio. Yuki Yase left after directing The Beheading Cycle: The Blue Savant and the Nonsense Bearer (2016–17),[38] taking production generalizer Kousuke Matsunaga with him to work on Fire Force at David Production; Tomoyuki Itamura, who had directed the rest of the Monogatari series after Oishi's commitment to Kizumonogatari, left after the production of Owarimonogatari II (2017);[39] Izumi Takizawa, a veteran color designer with the studio since Pani Poni Dash!, followed Itamura.[40][g]

2017–present: Post-Team Shinbo[edit]

In 2017, directors Kenjirou Okada and Nobuyuki Takeuchi directed their debuts as series/film directors with March Comes In like a Lion (2016–18) and Fireworks (2017),[41][42] but the following year experienced a hiatus from the animation industry. The film version of Zoku Owarimonogatari was the studio's only original, non-continuing release that year, and its televised release was the studio's only main project the following year. The studio was, however, outsourced to for an episode of Tezuka Productions' adaptation of The Quintessential Quintuplets (2019). A majority of the episode was produced at Shaft, with Midori Yoshizawa as episode director, Rei Egami as co-photography director (the sole episode to feature a second photography director), and animation direction by Shaft animators Nobuhiro Sugiyama, Akihisa Takano, and Hiroki Yamamura (as well as Shaft associate animator Kana Miyai).[43]

In 2020, Shaft returned to producing full-length series with Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story, an adaptation of a spin-off mobile game series based on the studio's Madoka Magica franchise. It was the first series since 2007 not to be directed in part by Akiyuki Shinbo (although he served as an animation supervisor),[44] and was instead directed by Doroinu of Gekidan Inu Curry, one of the original series' alternate space designers.[44] Shaft's second and final project of the year, Assault Lily Bouquet, was also the first time since 2007 that Shinbo had not been involved with one of the studio's main projects entirely. Bouquet was instead directed by former Gainax member Shouji Saeki and Shaft member Hajime Ootani.[45]

Shinbo returned to the director's chair in 2021 with his adaptation of Pretty Boy Detective Club, which he co-directed alongside Ootani.[46] The series served as the debut for Shaft's CGI animation division,[47] as well as the Umegumi division.[48]

Style[edit]

Visual style[edit]

Directors Akiyuki Shinbo, Shin Oonuma, and Tatsuya Oishi, who formed "Team Shinbo",[4] are essentially responsible for defining Shaft's production culture and experimental stylistic visuals in the mid-to-late 2000s.[4] They each brought separate stylistic strengths that contributed to the eventual "Shaft style" the studio embraced, despite the fact that neither Oonuma nor Oishi had much prior experience as directors.[4] Oonuma and Oishi's success with the studio is in part due to the "mentorship" system created at Shaft, which was centered around Shinbo.[49] The two former directors would work under Shinbo and the Shaft system as episode directors and storyboard artists until they were promoted to series directors with Shinbo maintaining a supervising role over them.[49] In turn, they, too, could begin mentoring other directors; in particular, Oonuma mentored Yukihiro Miyamoto, Tomoyuki Itamura, and Naoyuki Tatsuwa, and Oishi's influence has been exerted across the Shaft studio as a whole (and most likely Itamura, who took over the Monogatari series from Oishi).[50] Team Shinbo, Miyamoto, and Itamura's styles within Shaft as a whole tend to be more experimental in nature, whereas Tatsuwa was the sole director who took a more grounded approach to the series he was involved with (while still maintaining Shaft's style).[51]

Several techniques that the studio's directors still employ were popularized by Team Shinbo, such as the usage of ostentatious or simple backgrounds and tones, unique editing cuts, flat color contrasts, the insertion of real-world objects into the animated medium, monochromatic color schemes, minimalistic and abstract backgrounds, extreme changes in background art, abd sharp color contrasts.[4] which are used to facilitate certain surrealistic narratives and imagery, but despite this, consistently exist through each of the studio's productions.[52] Miyamoto brought to the studio sharp color contrasts and changing color palettes, which Itamura was stylistically influenced by; Itamura himself also created his own style defined by the usage of "chapter breaks" and paper cutouts.[4][53] Tatsuwa, in contrast to the others, maintained series with less visual surrealism, albeit he continued to use several of the stylistic elements from the other directors.[51] One of the studio's most well-known stylistic insertions, the so-called head-tilt, has also been acknowledged by Shinbo as one of the studio's staples.[4][54]

Miyamoto brought to Shaft the art troupe Gekidan Inu Curry in 2008 during (Zoku) Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sense, and the duo's style greatly influenced the studio's animation style as a whole, which later defined the Madoka Magica franchise that Miyamoto and Shinbo directed two years later.[55]

Narrative style[edit]

Shaft's work culture has also influenced the narrative writings of the studio's productions, which have been described as existing "somewhere between comedy and despair",[56] which can be best seen through the works of director Miyamoto, who has headed some of the studio's most depressive series, and also their most comedic.[55] The studio's works oftentimes also include unconventional characters and experimentation within the genre of the series the studio produces, while also diverging from the expectations of the audience.[52]

Production style[edit]

Following Wakao's retirement in 2004, Kubota decided to restructure the studio's system itself.[31] While the arrival of Shinbo, Oonuma, and Oishi was a part of this restructuring, Kubota also founded Shaft's in-house photography, painting, and visual effects division, which would move the already-existing painting team, in 2004. The division, named Digital@Shaft, made its first appearance on Gakuen Alice episode 4, which was outsourced to Shaft.[57] In August 2020, Shaft posted a recruitment notice for 3DCG animation staff,[58] and the Shaft CGI Animation Room (a division spun-off from Digital@Shaft) debuted in the studio's Pretty Boy Detective Club series the following year.[47] The same series also debuted Shaft Umegumi, a division presumably headed by director Yasuomi Umetsu, who directed the series opening title animation.[48] In 2021, Digital@Shaft formed a background art team as well. Kubota has also emphasized a particular focus on putting full studio effort into each of their works, and not increasing the number of productions purely to satiate demand.[59]

Beyond the in-house culture the studio emphasizes in its works, Shaft has also emphasized using a common workflow from project to project to ease the transition from production to production.[17] The purpose of such commonality between productions is to allow for consistency and the continuity of Shaft's style between productions.[17] While this system allows for Shaft's style to manifest throughout each of their productions, it also allows for more creative freedoms across all individuals working with the studio, such as Shinbo's philosophy of "mix[ing] participating staffer’s feelings".[60] Madoka Magica screenwriter Gen Urobuchi described the work environment as giving him a level of freedom he'd never had before, and that "I did not think I could have written this screenplay in any other place", and both original character designer Ume Aoki and alternate space designers Gekidan Inu Curry have expressed similar perspectives.[61]

Shaft is also one of the only studios that manages an in-house online shop– Shaft Ten, which sells Blu-Rays, production materials, and other merchandise for series the company owns the rights to.[62]

Productions[edit]

Anime television series[edit]

Year Title Director(s) Original run start Original run end Eps. Note(s) Refs.
1995 Juuni Senshi Bakuretsu Eto Ranger Kunitoshi Okajima April 7, 1995 January 26, 1996 39 Original series. [11]
2000 Dotto! Koni-chan Shinichi Watanabe (#1–13)
Kenji Yasuda (#14–26)
November 26, 2000 May 29, 2001 26 Original series. [13]
2001 Mahoromatic: Automatic Maiden Hiroyuki Yamaga October 6, 2001 December 29, 2001 12[h] Adaptation of the manga by Bunjūrō Nakayama.
Co-animated with Gainax.
[63]
2002 G-On Riders Shinichiro Kimura July 2, 2002 October 1, 2002 13[i] Original series.
Co-animated with TNK.
[15]
Mahoromatic: Something More Beautiful Hiroyuki Yamaga September 27, 2002 January 17, 2003 14 Sequel to Mahoromatic: Automatic Maiden.
Co-animated with Gainax.
[65]
2003 Popotan Shinichiro Kimura July 18, 2003 October 3, 2003 12 Adaptation of the visual novel by Petit Ferret. [16]
2004 This Ugly yet Beautiful World Shouji Saeki April 2, 2004 June 18, 2004 12 Original series, created by Gainax.
Co-animated with Gainax.
[22]
Tsukuyomi: Moon Phase Akiyuki Shinbo[i] October 5, 2004 March 29, 2005 25 Adaptation of the manga by Keitarō Arima. [18]
2005 He Is My Master Shouji Saeki April 8, 2005 July 1, 2005 12 Adaptation of the manga by Mattsuu.
Co-animated with Gainax.
[19]
Pani Poni Dash! Akiyuki Shinbo
Shin Oonuma[ii]
July 4, 2005 December 26, 2005 26 Adaptation of the manga by Hekiru Hikawa. [20]
2006 Rec Ryūtarō Nakamura February 2, 2006 March 31, 2006 9[j] Adaptation of the manga by Q-Tarō Hanamizawa. [21]
Negima!? Akiyuki Shinbo
Shin Oonuma[iii]
October 4, 2006 March 28, 2007 26 Spin-off adaptation of the manga by Ken Akamatsu. [66]
2007 Hidamari Sketch Akiyuki Shinbo[i]
Ryouki Kamitsubo[iii]
January 12, 2007 March 30, 2007 12[k] Adaptation of the manga by Ume Aoki. [67]
Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei Akiyuki Shinbo July 8, 2007 September 23, 2007 12 Adaptation of the manga by Kōji Kumeta. [68]
Ef: A Tale of Memories Shin Oonuma October 7, 2007 December 23, 2007 12 Adaptation of the visual novel by Minori. [69]
2008 (Zoku) Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei Akiyuki Shinbo
Yukihiro Miyamoto[iv]
January 6, 2008 March 30, 2008 13 Sequel to Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei. [70]
Hidamari Sketch × 365 Akiyuki Shinbo July 4, 2008 September 26, 2008 13[l] Sequel to Hidamari Sketch. [72]
Ef: A Tale of Melodies Shin Oonuma October 7, 2008 December 23, 2008 12 Sequel to Ef: A Tale of Memories. [73]
2009 Maria Holic Akiyuki Shinbo
Yukihiro Miyamoto[ii]
January 8, 2009 March 26, 2009 12 Adaptation of the manga by Minari Endō. [74]
Natsu no Arashi! Akiyuki Shinbo
Shin Oonuma[ii]
April 6, 2009 June 29, 2009 13 Adaptation of the manga by Jin Kobayashi. [75]
Bakemonogatari Akiyuki Shinbo
Tatsuya Oishi[ii]
July 3, 2009 June 25, 2010 15[m] Adaptation of the light novels by Nisio Isin. [76]
(Zan) Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei Akiyuki Shinbo
Yukihiro Miyamoto[iv]
July 5, 2009 September 27, 2009 13 Sequel to (Goku) Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei. [80]
Natsu no Arashi! Akinai-chū Akiyuki Shinbo
Shin Oonuma (#1–7)[ii]
Kenichi Ishikura (#8–13)[ii]
October 5, 2009 December 28, 2009 13 Sequel to Natsu no Arashi!. [81]
2010 Dance in the Vampire Bund Akiyuki Shinbo
Masahiro Sonoda[ii]
January 7, 2010 April 1, 2010 12 Adaptation of the manga by Nozomu Tamaki. [82]
Hidamari Sketch × Hoshimittsu Akiyuki Shinbo
Kenichi Ishikura[ii]
January 8, 2010 March 25, 2010 12[n] Sequel to Hidamari Sketch × 365. [84]
Arakawa Under the Bridge Akiyuki Shinbo
Yukihiro Miyamoto[ii]
April 5, 2010 June 28, 2010 13 Adaptation of the manga by Hikaru Nakamura. [85]
Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge Akiyuki Shinbo
Yukihiro Miyamoto[ii]
October 4, 2010 December 27, 2010 13 Sequel to Arakawa Under the Bridge. [86]
And Yet the Town Moves Akiyuki Shinbo[i] October 8, 2010 December 24, 2010 12 Adaptation of the manga by Masakazu Ishiguro. [87]
2011 Puella Magi Madoka Magica Akiyuki Shinbo
Yukihiro Miyamoto[ii]
January 7, 2011 April 22, 2011 12 Original series, created by Magica Quartet. [88]
Maria Holic Alive Akiyuki Shinbo[i]
Tomokazu Tokoro[ii]
April 8, 2011 June 24, 2011 12 Sequel to Maria†Holic. [89]
Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl Akiyuki Shinbo[i]
Yukihiro Miyamoto[ii]
April 15, 2011 July 1, 2011 12 Adaptation of the light novels by Hitoma Iruma. [90]
Hidamari Sketch × SP Akiyuki Shinbo October 30, 2011 November 6, 2011 2 Special episodes for Hidamari Sketch × Hoshimittsu. [91]
2012 Nisemonogatari Akiyuki Shinbo
Tomoyuki Itamura[ii]
January 8, 2012 March 18, 2012 11 Continuation of the Monogatari series. [32]
Hidamari Sketch × Honeycomb Akiyuki Shinbo
Yuki Yase[ii]
October 5, 2012 December 21, 2012 12 Sequel to Hidamari Sketch × Hoshimittsu. [92]
Nekomonogatari (Black) Akiyuki Shinbo[i]
Tomoyuki Itamura
December 31, 2012 4 Continuation of the Monogatari series. [93]
2013 Sasami-san@Ganbaranai Akiyuki Shinbo January 11, 2013 March 29, 2013 12 Adaptation of the light novels by Akira. [94]
Monogatari Series: Second Season Akiyuki Shinbo[i]
Tomoyuki Itamura
Naoyuki Tatsuwa (#6–9)[ii]
Yuki Yase (#14–17)[ii]
July 7, 2013 December 29, 2013 23[o] Continuation of the Monogatari series.[p] [95]
2014 Nisekoi Akiyuki Shinbo[i]
Naoyuki Tatsuwa[96]
January 12, 2014 May 25, 2014 20 Adaptation of the manga by Naoshi Komi. [97]
Mekakucity Actors Akiyuki Shinbo[i]
Yuki Yase[98]
April 13, 2014 June 29, 2014 12 Based on the mixed-media project by Jin. [99]
Hanamonogatari Akiyuki Shinbo[i]
Tomoyuki Itamura
August 16, 2014 5 Continuation of the Monogatari series.[q] [100]
Tsukimonogatari Akiyuki Shinbo[i]
Tomoyuki Itamura
December 31, 2014 4 Continuation of the Monogatari series. [101]
2015 Gourmet Girl Graffiti Akiyuki Shinbo[i]
Naoyuki Tatsuwa
January 9, 2015 March 27, 2015 12 Adaptation of the manga by Makoto Kawai. [102]
Nisekoi: Akiyuki Shinbo[i]
Yukihiro Miyamoto[iv]
April 15, 2015 July 1, 2015 12 Sequel to Nisekoi. [103]
Owarimonogatari I Akiyuki Shinbo[i]
Tomoyuki Itamura
October 4, 2015 December 20, 2015 13 Continuation of the Monogatari series. [104]
2016 March Comes In like a Lion Akiyuki Shinbo
Kenjirou Okada[ii]
October 8, 2016 March 18, 2017 22 Adaptation of the manga by Chica Umino. [41]
2017 Owarimonogatari II Akiyuki Shinbo[i]
Tomoyuki Itamura
August 12, 2017 August 19, 2017 7 Continuation of the Monogatari series. [39]
March Comes In like a Lion 2nd Season Akiyuki Shinbo
Kenjirou Okada[ii]
October 14, 2017 March 31, 2018 22 Sequel to March Comes In like a Lion. [105]
2018 Fate/Extra Last Encore Akiyuki Shinbo[i]
Yukihiro Miyamoto[ii]
January 28, 2018 July 29, 2018 13 Based on the PSP game by Type-Moon. [106]
2019 Zoku Owarimonogatari Akiyuki Shinbo[33] May 19, 2019[r] June 23, 2019 6 Continuation of the Monogatari series. [108]
2020 Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story Doroinu[s][i]
various[t]
January 5, 2020 March 29, 2020 13 Based on the mobile game by f4samurai. [44]
Assault Lily Bouquet Shouji Saeki
Hajime Ootani[iv]
October 2, 2020 December 25, 2020 12 Based on the mixed-media franchise by Azone International. [45]
2021 Pretty Boy Detective Club Akiyuki Shinbo[i]
Hajime Ootani
April 11, 2021 June 27, 2021 12 Adaptation of the novel by Nisio Isin. [46]
Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story - Eve of Awakening Doroinu[s][i]
Yukihiro Miyamoto
August 1, 2021 September 26, 2021 8 Sequel to Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story. [109]
Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story - Dawn of Light Dreams TBA Q4 2021 TBA TBA Sequel to Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story - Eve of Awakening. [110]
2022 Luminous Witches Shouji Saeki 2022 TBA TBA[u] Spin-off of Strike Witches. [112]

Anime films[edit]

Year Title Director(s) Release date Eps. Note(s) Refs.
2007 Kino's Journey: Country of Illness -For You- Ryūtarō Nakamura April 21, 2007 30m Adaptation of the light novels by Keiichi Sigsawa. [113]
2011 Mahō Sensei Negima! Anime Final Akiyuki Shinbo August 27, 2011 76m Sequel to Mahō Sensei Negima!: Mō Hitotsu no Sekai.
Co-animated with Studio Pastoral.
[114]
2012 Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Beginnings Akiyuki Shinbo[i]
Yukihiro Miyamoto
October 6, 2012 130m Recap of Puella Magi Madoka Magica. [115]
Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Eternal October 13, 2012 110m [116]
2013 Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion October 26, 2013 116m Sequel to Puella Magi Madoka Magica. [117]
2016 Kizumonogatari I: Tekketsu Akiyuki Shinbo[i]
Tatsuya Oishi
January 8, 2016 64m Continuation of the Monogatari series. [118]
Kizumonogatari II: Nekketsu August 19, 2016 69m [119]
2017 Kizumonogatari III: Reiketsu January 6, 2017 83m [120]
Fireworks, Should We See It from the Side or the Bottom? Akiyuki Shinbo[i]
Nobuyuki Takeuchi
August 18, 2017 90m Adaptation of the live-action film directed by Shunji Iwai. [42]
TBA Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie: Walpurgisnacht: Rising Akiyuki Shinbo[i] TBA TBA Sequel to Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion. [121]

Original video animations[edit]

Year Title Director(s) Release start Release end Eps. Note(s) Refs.
1987 Yume kara, Samenai Osamu Inoue February 26, 1987 1 Based on a manga by Yumi Shirakura. [8]
Taiman Blues: Shimizu Naoto-hen Takao Yotsuji April 5, 1987 1 Based on a manga by Yū Furusawa. [9]
1997 Sakura Diaries Kunitoshi Okajima March 21, 1997 October 22, 1997 12 Adaptation of the manga by U-Jin. [12]
2002 Arcade Gamer Fubuki Yūji Mutō February 25, 2002 January 25, 2003 4 Adaptation of the manga by Mine Yoshizaki. [122]
2006 Mahō Sensei Negima!: Spring (Haru) Akiyuki Shinbo[i]
Shin Oonuma
October 25, 2006 1 Sequel to the TV anime Negima! by Xebec. [123]
Mahō Sensei Negima!: Summer (Natsu) November 22, 2006 1 Sequel to Mahō Sensei Negima!: Spring (Haru). [123]
2008 Mahō Sensei Negima!: Shiroki Tsubasa Ala Alba Akiyuki Shinbo[i][124]
Hiroaki Tomita (#1)
Yukihiro Miyamoto (#2)
Tomoyuki Itamura (#3)
August 12, 2008 February 17, 2009 3 Sequel to Mahō Sensei Negima!: Summer (Natsu).
Co-animated with Studio Pastoral.
[125]
(Goku) Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei Akiyuki Shinbo
Yukihiro Miyamoto[iv]
October 17, 2008 February 17, 2009 3 Sequel to (Zoku) Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei. [126]
2009 Mahō Sensei Negima!: Mō Hitotsu no Sekai Akiyuki Shinbo[i]
Kōbun Shizuno (#1–2)
Tomokazu Tokoro (#3–4)
Tatsufumi Itō (#5)
September 17, 2009 November 17, 2010 5 Sequel to Mahō Sensei Negima!: Shiroki Tsubasa Ala Alba.
Co-animated with Studio Pastoral.
[127]
(Zan) Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei Bangaichi Akiyuki Shinbo
Yukihiro Miyamoto[iv]
November 17, 2009 February 17, 2010 2 Sequel to (Zan) Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei. [128]
2011 Katteni Kaizō Akiyuki Shinbo[i]
Naoyuki Tatsuwa
May 25, 2011 October 26, 2011 6 Adaptation of the manga by Kōji Kumeta. [129]
2013 Hidamari Sketch: Sae & Hiro's Graduation Arc Akiyuki Shinbo[i]
Yuki Yase
November 27, 2013 2 Sequel to Hidamari Sketch × Honeycomb. [130]
2014 Nisekoi OVAs Akiyuki Shinbo[i]
Naoyuki Tatsuwa
October 3, 2014 April 3, 2015 3 Additional episodes released with Nisekoi manga. [131]
2015 Magical Suite Prism Nana Yukihiro Miyamoto (#1)
Seiya Numata (#2)
Hajime Ōtani (#3)
November 29, 2015 TBA 7 Original series, created by Prismnana. [132]
2016 Nisekoi: OVAs Akiyuki Shinbo[i]
Yukihiro Miyamoto[iv]
January 4, 2016 2 Adaptations of manga shorts of Nisekoi. [133]
The Beheading Cycle: The Blue Savant and the Nonsense Bearer Akiyuki Shinbo[i]
Yuki Yase
October 26, 2016 September 27, 2017 8 Adaptation of the light novels by Nisio Isin. [38]

Original net animations[edit]

Year Title Director(s) Release start Release end Eps. Note(s) Refs.
2016 Koyomimonogatari Akiyuki Shinbo[i]
Tomoyuki Itamura[134]
January 10, 2016 March 27, 2016 12 Continuation of the Monogatari series. [135]
2021 Assault Lily Fruits Shouji Saeki July 20, 2021 TBA TBA Spin-off of the Assault Lily Bouquet anime series. [136]

Other productions[edit]

  • Shina Dark (OVA, March 21, 2008) – four music video shorts for the manga by Bunjūrō Nakayama; directed by Naoyuki Konno, Shinpei Tomooka, Shin Oonuma, and Toshimasa Suzuki.[137][138]
  • Palutena's Revolting Dinner (ONA, March 19, 2012) – two promotional shorts for Kid Icarus: Uprising; directed by Akiyuki Shinbo.[139]
  • Fate/Extra CCC (video game, January 24, 2013) – opening animation for the PSP game; directed by Akiyuki Shinbo.[140]
  • Goddess of Light (ONA, June 10, 2014) – Palutena character reveal trailer for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.[141]
  • Okitegami Kyouko no Bibouroku x Monogatari (ONA, December 31, 2014) – promotional video for Nisio Isin's Boukyaku Tantei Series, featuring characters from the Monogatari series; directed by Yukihiro Miyamoto.[142]
  • IRoid: Koi no Yūkō Frontier (ONA, December 14, 2015) – Promotional short for the dating simulator app IRoid by QUICK.[143]
  • Kakushigoto (ONA, June 14, 2016) – promotional short for the manga by Kōji Kumeta; directed by Yukihiro Miyamoto.[144]
  • Fate/EXTELLA (video game, September 11, 2016) – opening animation for the PS4 and PS Vita game; directed by Yukihiro Miyamoto.[145]
  • Magia Record (video game, 2017–present) – opening animations and in-game cutscene animations for the mobile game; directed by Seiya Numata.[146]
  • Akuma no Memumemu-chan (ONA, January 22, 2018) – promotional short for the manga by Keitarо̄ Yotsuya; directed by Seiya Numata.[147]
  • "Ikebukuro PR Animation" (ONA, January 17, 2019) – promotional short for the Ikebukuro district in Tokyo's Toshima ward; directed by Yukio Takatsu.[148]
  • "Hungry Days" (ONA, May 21, 2019, September 12, 2019, December 5, 2019, February 7, 2020) – series of four commercials for Nissin's Cup Noodles featuring characters from One Piece; directed by Yūsuke Takase[149][150][151]
  • Monogatari Series PucPuc (video game, August 2018) – opening animation for the mobile game.[152]
  • Crystar (video game, October 18, 2018) – opening animation for the PS4 game; directed by Tatsuya Oishi.[153]
  • Assault Lily Last Bullet (video game, January 20, 2021) – opening animation for the mobile game; directed by Seiya Numata.[154]
  • Choujuu Giga Gao Road Chocolate Dai 0-dan (ONA, February 20, 2021) – promotional commercial directed by Kiyoyuki Amano.[155]
  • YOASOBI: Taishou Nami-shuu (music video, September 16, 2021) – music video for Taishou Nami-shuu by YOASOBI; directed by Yūsuke Takase.[156]

See also[edit]

  • Millepensee—studio founded by ex-Shaft production manager Naoko Shiraishi
  • Diomedéa—studio currently represented by ex-Shaft animator Makoto Kohara
  • Silver Link—studio that ex-Shaft director Shin Oonuma works with in a similar role to Shinbo's at Shaft

Notes[edit]

Production notes[edit]

  1. ^ Both head office and production studio
  2. ^ Photography, painting, and visual effects division established circa 2003. Around 2020, the CG group within Digital@Shaft became an independent division Shaft CGI Animation Room. In 2021, the division formed a background art team.
  3. ^ A merchandise shop operated by the studio.
  4. ^ CGI division established circa 2020, and spun-off of Digital@Shaft.
  5. ^ Division headed by director Yasuomi Umetsu established circa 2020.
  6. ^ Note: While Shaft is credited for "Production assistance", Zuiyo itself (in 1984) did not have its own animation department, so Shaft is the studio that was outsourced to for main animation work.[7]
  7. ^ a b c d While there is a lack of third-party or primary sources that can confirm or deny several of these directors' employment or exclusive work with the studio, a look at their filmography shows that many worked only on Shaft-produced series for several years. Ishikura, for example, worked almost exclusively with Shaft between 2007 and 2011. The same is also true for many who have left the studio.
  8. ^ A summary episode of Mahoromatic: Automatic Maiden aired on December 15, 2001.[63]
  9. ^ An original video animation episode of G-On Riders was released on March 28, 2003.[64]
  10. ^ An original video animation episode of Rec was released on June 30, 2006.[21]
  11. ^ Two special episodes of Hidamari Sketch aired on October 19, 2007.[67]
  12. ^ Two special episodes of Hidamari Sketch × 365 aired on October 18, 2009 and October 25, 2009, respectively.[71]
  13. ^ TV: July 3, 2009 – September 25, 2009 (12 episodes).[76] ONA: November 3, 2009 – June 25, 2010 (3 episodes).[77][78][79]
  14. ^ Two special episodes of Hidamari Sketch × Hoshimittsu aired on October 24, 2010 and October 31, 2010, respectively.[83]
  15. ^ Nekomonogatari (White): July 7, 2013 – August 4, 2013 (5 episodes). Kabukimonogatari: August 18, 2013 – September 8, 2013 (4 episodes). Otorimonogatari: September 22, 2013 – October 13, 2013 (4 episodes). Onimonogatari: October 27, 2013 – November 17, 2013 (4 episodes). Koimonogatari: November 24, 2013 – December 29, 2013 (6 episodes).
  16. ^ Consists of the Neko (White), Kabuki, Otori, Oni, and Koi light novel arcs. Shaft's adaptation of the Hana light novel arc, which was originally published between the Kabuki and Otori arcs, was delayed until 2014.
  17. ^ The Hana light novel arc was originally published between the Kabuki and Otori arcs, which were previously adapted by Shaft in 2013 as part of Monogatari Series: Second Season.
  18. ^ Zoku Owarimonogatari was originally released as a film in theaters in Japan on November 10, 2018.[107]
  19. ^ a b Doroinu credited as "Gekidan Inu Curry (Doroinu)"
  20. ^ See main page for list of series directors.
  21. ^ A special episode of Luminous Witches was released on December 23, 2020.[111]

Credit notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af Credited as Chief Director (総監督, Sō Kantoku). Occasionally translated as "Executive Director", "General Director", or "Supervising Director."
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Credited as Series Director (シリーズディレクター, Shirīzu Direkutā).
  3. ^ a b Credited as Chief Director (チーフディレクター, Chīfu Direkutā).
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Credited as Chief Director (チーフ演出, Chīfu Enshutsu).

Works cited[edit]

  • Rubin, Lucy Paige (2017). Between Comedy and Despair: The House Style of Studio Shaft (Bachelor of the Arts). Wesleyan University. Retrieved May 24, 2021.

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    撮影監督: 染谷和正, 江上怜
    演出: 吉澤翠
    作画監督: 宮井加奈, 杉山延寛, 高野晃久, 山村洋貴
    制作協力: シャフト
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