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Mamoru Oshii

Mamoru Oshii, born in Tokyo, is one of the most remarkable personalities in modern Japanese filmmaking. He succeeded in introducing the complexity of fanta-politics and introspective philosophical speculation into the world of animation. He joined Tatsunoko Production in 1977, and then moved to Studio Pierrot upon its formation. At Studio Pierrot, Oshii became the chief director of the 1981 anime television series Urusei Yatsura, based on the popular manga artist Rumiko Takahashi's bestseller. For three years the show was a ratings success, bringing Oshii into the spotlight.

In 1983, Oshii made his feature film debut with Urusei Yatsura: Only You, but his first major success came the following year with Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer, a surrealistic re-interpretation of Rumiko Takahashi's world, that won enthusiastic acclaim from many film critics. However, after directing the enigmatic Angel's Egg in 1985, he turned his back on mass entertainment and started making both animated and live action films that expressed his unique worldview. In 1988, Oshii became one of the minds behind the name Headgear, the group of talented creators that gave birth to the project entitled Mobile Police Patlabor. Other Headgear members included comic artist Masami Yuuki, character designer Akemi Takada (Urusei Yatsura), writer Kazunori Ito (Gamera 2) and mechanics designer Yutaka Izubuchi (Gundam 0080, Record of Lodoss War). Starting as a short straight-to-video series and then expanding into a TV series and three movies, Patlabor added new realism to the robot genre in animation, introducing serious elements such as coup d'etat and urban terrorism. In 1995, Oshii released the first Ghost in the Shell, which gathered a cult following and was better received in the United States and Europe than in his home country. Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, is his first directorial effort in animation in nine years.

Oshii has also directed a number of live-action features, including The Red Spectacles (1986), Stray Dog (1991) and Talking Head (1992). The world of The Red Spectacles and Stray Dog was further developed in the animated feature Jin-Roh - The Wolf Brigade (1999), produced by Production I.G from Oshii's script and directed by Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence character designer, Toshiyuki Okiura. Oshii's latest live-action film, entitled Avalon (2001), filmed entirely in Poland, was presented out of competition in Cannes. With Avalon, Oshii experimented for the first time with Domino's digital editing capabilities, and decided to rely on the same technology for Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, making it the first animated movie to utilize this process.

Presently, Oshii he enjoys his quiet life with his beloved dogs—a Bassett Hound named Gabriel and a mutt called Daniel—in Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture, developing his next feature film, which he says, is probably not going to be an anime.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2004.
Read earlier biographies on this page.

Mamoru Oshii Facts

OccupationAnimator, Director
BirthdayAugust 8, 1951 (71)
BirthplaceTokyo, Japan

Selected Filmography

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence
Ghost in the Shell: 25th Anniversary Edition
Ghost In The Shell
The Sky Crawlers
Patlabor: The Movie
Ghost In The Shell 2.0
Garm Wars: The Last Druid
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