Seven years after his role as co-animator on Katsuhiro Otomo’s 1988 landmark feature ‘Akira’, Studio 4°C founder Kōji Morimoto revisits some familiar visual themes in this colourful music video for Ken Ishii’s ‘Extra’…
Koji Morimoto (森本晃司 Morimoto Kōji), born December 26, 1959) is one of Japan’s premier anime directors.
Born in Wakayama, Japan, he graduated from the Osaka School of Design in 1979 and a couple years later joined the studio Annapuru as an animator for the TV series “Tomorrow's Joe”. While working there, he saw some animation by Takashi Nakamura in ‘Gold Lightan’, an otherwise standard mecha TV series by a rival studio. He was impressed, and it inspired him to quit his job and become a freelance animator.
Morimoto often collaborated with Nakamura, most notably in Katsuhiro Otomo’s 'The Order to Stop Construction’ segment of the anthology film ‘Neo-Tokyo’. This opened many doors for him, from working as animation director on Otomo’s landmark feature ‘Akira’ and a chance to direct a short for the ‘Robot Carnival’ anthology. Around this time he founded Studio 4°C with producer Eiko Tanaka and fellow animator Yoshiharu Sato.
Since then, Morimoto has focused almost exclusively on his directing work. His work became increasingly unusual with time. This is best represented by the concert scenes in ‘Macross Plus’ (his only animation work in the past 15 years) and his short film ‘Noiseman Sound Insect’.
Aside from a small cult following, his films have been ignored outside of Japan. This has begun to change in recent years, with his artwork being featured in Takashi Murakami’s Superflat exhibitions worldwide, and being invited by the Wachowski Brothers to direct "Beyond", a segment of The Animatrix. He is currently working on ‘Sachiko’, his second feature-length film.
- Robot Carnival – "Franken's Gears" (1987)
- Akira (1988)
- Fly! Peek the Whale (とべ!くじらのピーク Tobe! Kujira no Peek?) (1991)
- Nine Love Stories – "Hero" (1991)
- Open the door (トビラを開けて Tobira wo Akete?) (1995)
- Memories – "Magnetic Rose" (1996)
- Noiseman Sound Insect (1997)
- Eternal Family (1997)
- The Animatrix – "Beyond" (2003)
- Digital Juice – "The Saloon in the Air" (2003)
- Genius Party Beyond – "Dimension Bomb" (2008)
- KEN ISHII – "EXTRA" (1996)
- The Bluetones – "4-Day Weekend" (1998)
- Glay – "Survival" (サバイバル Sabaibaru?) (1999)
- Ayumi Hamasaki – "Connected" (2003)
- Hikaru Utada – "You Make Me Want To Be A Man" (2005)
- Hikaru Utada – "Passion" (2005)