films seen
10
average score
3.50*
nationality
Japan - 70 years old
status
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.

Rare treats

Neo-Tokyo

by Yoshiaki Kawajiri, Rintaro, Katsuhiro Otomo
Also known as
Meikyu Monogatari
Specifics
Japan [1987] - 48m
Genre
Sci-fi, Anthology, Animation
More info on
rating
4.5*/5.0*
toplist position
Neo-Tokyo poster

Neo-Tokyo (together with Robot Carnival, another 1987 anthology sporting promising names) helped to pave the way for a respectable stream of animated anthology films coming out of Japan.

The good stuff

The Animatrix

by Peter Chung, Andrew R. Jones, Yoshiaki Kawajiri, Takeshi Koike, Mahiro Maeda, Koji Morimoto, Shin'ichirô Watanabe
Specifics
Japan, USA [2003] - 100m
Genre
Sci-fi, Action, Anthology, Animation
More info on
rating
4.0*/5.0*
toplist position
The Animatrix poster

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

by Yoshiaki Kawajiri
Specifics
Japan, USA [2000] - 103m
Genre
Fantasy, Horror, Animation
More info on
rating
4.0*/5.0*
toplist position
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

by Yoshiaki Kawajiri
Also known as
Jûbê Ninpûchô
Specifics
Japan [1993] - 94m
Genre
Horror, Adventure, Animation
More info on
rating
4.0*/5.0*
toplist position
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.

Solid pieces

The Cockpit

by Takashi Imanishi, Yoshiaki Kawajiri, Ryôsuke Takahashi
Also known as
Za Kokupitto
Specifics
Japan [1994] - 72m
Genre
Drama, War, Animation
More info on
rating
3.5*/5.0*
The Cockpit poster

Goku Midnight Eye

by Yoshiaki Kawajiri
Specifics
Japan [1989] - 120m
Genre
Sci-fi, Crime, Animation
More info on
rating
3.5*/5.0*
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

by Yoshiaki Kawajiri
Also known as
Makaitoshi Shinjuku
Specifics
Japan [1988] - 82m
Genre
Fantasy, Action, Horror, Animation
More info on
rating
3.5*/5.0*
Demon City Shinjuku poster

Wicked City

by Yoshiaki Kawajiri
Also known as
Yôjû Toshi
Specifics
Japan [1987] - 82m
Genre
Sci-fi, Fantasy, Horror, Animation
More info on
rating
3.5*/5.0*
Wicked City poster

The inoffensive

Highlander: The Search for Vengeance

by Yoshiaki Kawajiri, Takuji Endo, Hiroshi Hamazaki
Specifics
USA [2007] - 85m
Genre
Sci-fi, Romance, Fantasy, Action, Animation
More info on
rating
3.0*/5.0*
Highlander: The Search for Vengeance poster

Plain forgettable

Cyber City Oedo 808

by Yoshiaki Kawajiri
Also known as
Saiba Shiti Oedo 808
Specifics
Japan [1990] - 120m
Genre
Sci-fi, Action, Thriller, Crime, Animation
More info on
rating
1.5*/5.0*
Cyber City Oedo 808 poster