Yoshiaki Kawajiri

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Yoshiaki Kawajiri
Native name
川尻 善昭
Born (1950-11-18) November 18, 1950 (age 68)
Other namesKisei Choo
OccupationFilm director, screenwriter, character designer, storyboard artist, animator
Years active1969-present


Yoshiaki Kawajiri (川尻 善昭, Kawajiri Yoshiaki, born November 18, 1950) is a writer and director of Japanese animation.[1] He is the creator of titles such as Wicked City, Ninja Scroll, and Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust.

Biography[edit]

Kawajiri was born on November 18, 1950 and grew up in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. After he graduated from high school in 1968, he worked as an animator at Mushi Production Animation until it closed in 1972. He then joined Madhouse as one of the four co-founders, and in the 1970s was promoted to animation director. He finally debuted as a film director with 1984's Lensman: Secret of The Lens, directing jointly with the more experienced Kazuyuki Hirokawa (Kawajiri also did the character design along with Kazuo Tomizawa). Gaining an interest in darker animation, he next directed The Running Man. Afterwards, he was instructed to make a 35-minute short based on Hideyuki Kikuchi's novels, which was released as Wicked City. After completing it, however, his producers were so impressed that he was asked to make it a feature-length film. Kawajiri enjoyed the dark tone, and agreed to manage and complete the film within a year. Which confirms his mastery in filmmaking. That same year he began to work for the Original Video Animation market debuting with "The Phoenix". From 1987 he also wrote his own scripts.

Wicked City received critical and commercial success when released in 1987, giving Kawajiri more creative freedom. He began scripting and designing his own film set in feudal Japan. The result, Ninja Scroll, about the Japanese folk hero Jubei Yagyu, was soon released. After the Western release in 1996, Kawajiri's status as a director received international recognition. He was asked in 2002 to direct a segment, titled Program, of The Animatrix, considered a showcase of the best directors of Japanese animation. Before The Animatrix, he also directed Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, which was based on a novel by Hideyuki Kikuchi.

Kawajiri directed Highlander: The Search for Vengeance. It was released on DVD on 5 June 2007. According to an interview with Ain't It Cool News with producer Galen Walker, Kawajiri disliked the fact that 7–8 minutes of added scenes with no opening exposition text sequence were removed when the film was released, but the director's cut will include the footage.[2] Kawajiri has script approval for a sequel to Ninja Scroll, which was listed as being in pre-production with no specific release date as of 2010.

Trade Marks[edit]

Realistic character animations.

Action scenes featuring elaborate choreography and dynamic camera work.

High levels of graphic violence and nudity/sex.

Female characters in some of his films (specifically Makie in Wicked City and Kagero in Ninja Scroll) are subjected to physical/sexual abuse, which has led to some accusations of misogyny.

Often uses characters with the ability to use shadows as a weapon.

Often includes old men of small stature who act as wise sages.

Often includes teams of demons/monsters with their own unique powers.

Trivia[edit]

Is a fan of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), but not other Stanley Kubrick films.

One of Kawajiri's favorite directors is John Carpenter.

Considers Rawhide (TV series) (1959), Yojimbo (1961), Mission: Impossible (1966), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), Blade Runner (1982) and Die Hard (1988) to be among the films and television shows that have influenced him the most as a director.

Filmography[edit]

Films[edit]

OVAs[edit]

TV series[edit]

Other work[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Web Designed AmberFilmWorks inc. "川尻善昭公式サイト - Profile". yoshiakikawajiri.com. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
  2. ^ http://www.aintitcool.com/node/32882
  3. ^ Wicked City (Audio Commentary with Mike Toole) (DVD). Altamonte Springs, Florida: Discotek Media. 1987.
  4. ^ "Discotek Adds Demon City Shinjuku Anime". Anime News Network. June 15, 2011. Retrieved August 10, 2014.
  5. ^ "Sakuracon-2012 Yoshiaki Kawajiri Q&A". Anime News Network. 6 April 2012. Retrieved 21 October 2014.

External links[edit]