films seen
average score
Japan - 73 years old
Alive and kicking
more info

Legendary anime director who made fame with his raunchy and sexualized horror cinema, happily contributing to anime's bad reputation in the West. At the same, that's what made him so appealing to younger fans. Good stuff.



Meikyu Monogatari
1987 / 48m - Japan
Sci-fi - Anthology, Animation
Neo-Tokyo poster

A couple of directors come together to give the best of themselves, enjoying the freedom to make something that doesn't necessarily need to meet customer demands.

A fine collection of Matrix-related short films, dominated by the Studio 4°C efforts. The anthology sports a varied range of art styles, first-class animation and several interesting takes on the Matrix universe. Not all shorts are a hit, but there are plenty of stand-out pieces that make this one a very easy sell.

Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust

2000 / 103m - Japan
Fantasy, Horror - Animation
Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust poster

A pretty mad mix of action, fantasy and gory, Gothic horror, completely in line with Kawajiri's most famous work. The animation is rich, the styling extremely bold and the pacing furious. This is clearly not for everyone, but if you love yourself some brutal 90s anime, then this is one of the best films out there.

Ninja Scroll

Jûbê Ninpûchô
1993 / 94m - Japan
Horror, Adventure - Animation
Ninja Scroll poster

One of the early films that helped to give anime a bad name. Gruesome, crude and violent, with a bare-bones plot and a strong focus on style. It's vintage Kawajiri, with beefy character designs, crazy demon spawn and lots of torn limbs. It was an eyeopener back when I first watched it, nowadays it's still very entertaining. Delightfully violent.

The Cockpit

Za Kokupitto
1994 / 72m - Japan
Drama, War - Animation
The Cockpit poster

Goku Midnight Eye

1989 / 120m - Japan
Sci-fi, Crime - Animation
Goku Midnight Eye poster

Vintage Kawajiri. A weird mix of sci-fi, fantasy and horror, draped on top of a noirish premise. The two parts are a little disconnected and the whole feels a little rushed, but there are some pretty kick-ass action scenes and monster designs on display here. Not the easiest film to track down, but if you like Kawajiri's work it comes well recommended.

Demon City Shinjuku

Makaitoshi Shinjuku
1988 / 82m - Japan
Fantasy, Horror - Animation
Demon City Shinjuku poster

Phoenix: Space Chapter

Hi no Tori: Uchû-hen
1987 / 48m - Japan
Sci-fi, Adventure - Animation
Phoenix: Space Chapter poster

Kawajiri takes on Tezuka's Hi no Tori manga with Rintaro acting as a producer. It's a pretty impressive array of names, and they were able to deliver. I'm a bit surprised this short anime isn't better known among anime fans, as Kawajiri does a stellar job building up the story within the short amount of time that was given to him. Fans of sci-fi and fantasy won't be disappointed.

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Four astronauts find themselves stranded on a ruined spaceship. Their pilot, Makimura, is found dead in his chair, an apparent suicide. The only option for the four is to board the escape pods and hope for the best. When it transpires that Makimura was killed, everyone needs to worry for their own safety.

The plot is a best-of of sci-fi/space cliches, but Kawajiri packages them well, and the addition of fantasy elements makes it a little less predictable. The animation is fine, the art style classic Tezuka and the pacing is just perfect. Short and sweet, then again, why doubt Kawajiri?

Wicked City

Yôjû Toshi
1987 / 82m - Japan
Sci-fi, Fantasy, Horror - Animation
Wicked City poster

Highlander: The Search for Vengeance

2007 / 85m - USA
Fantasy, Action - Animation
Highlander: The Search for Vengeance poster

Cyber City Oedo 808

Saiba Shiti Oedo 808
1990 / 120m - Japan
Sci-fi, Action - Animation
Cyber City Oedo 808 poster