Kenji KAMIYAMA was born in 1966 in Saitama prefecture and made his debut in animation specializing in sets. He joined Studio Fuga and worked on the movie Kiki's Delivery Service and Maison Ikkoku. He then switched to working as a freelancer on major projects such as the movies Silent Möbius and Roujin Z.
In 1996, he joined the studio Production I.G where the star director Mamoru OSHII (Patlabor, Ghost in the Shell, Avalon…) took him under his wing. He worked on the film Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade (1998), in the direction team, and wrote the script for a few episodes of Wild Arms, for which the studio was in charge of digital effects. He also wrote the script of the middle-length movie Blood: The Last Vampire (2000), before switching to directing with the OVAs Minipato, a parody of Patlabor.
As the studio was starting the Herculean production of the second Ghost in the Shell film, producer Mitsuhisa ISHIKAWA decided to entrust him with the eponymous series which Kenji KAMIYAMA named Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. He brought together a team of young artists and released the series in 2002, and then its sequel, Ghost in the Shell: SAC 2nd GIG, in 2004. The world success of the series led him to realize the TV film GitS: SAC Solid State Society in 2005. As he found inspiration from his mentor to direct Stand Alone Complex, he also got closer to Masamune SHIROW’s manga, giving the series and the film a more humane vision than Mamoru OSHII’s.
From then on, Kenji KAMIYAMA became a major director in the studio. He adapted the novel Seirei no moribito as an anime series in 2007, and an episode of Tachiguishi-Retsuden, an omnibus by Mamoru OSHII.
In 2009, he came back over the terrorist threat in the series Eden of the East, an original creation. He ended the story with two feature films: The King of Eden and Paradise Lost. As the TV film GitS: SAC Solid State Society got a 3D release in cinema theatres, Kenji KAMIYAMA carrid on with a project started by Mamoru OSHII: the sequel of Shotaro ISHINOMORI’s manga, Cyborg 009. The feature film was made with computer-generated images and released in late 2012 as 009 Re:Cyborg. In this work, he mixed Shotaro ISHINOMORI’s world to his own obsessions, such as memory loss, government-related groups, and terrorist threats, which already pervaded Eden of the East and Stand Alone Complex.
In his next film, Hirune Hime, planned for 2017, Kenji KAMIYAMA turned to a different style by portraying a school girl, while remaining attached to science fiction.
Kenji KAMIYAMA will be meeting you at Japan Expo 18th Impact and he'll be coming with Yoshiki SAKURAI, Ghost in the Shell screenwriter, and producer of his new movie Hirune Hime: meet him at signings and panels. He will also be part of a panel about the 100th anniversary of Japanese animation as part of the Animé 100 project. For more about his schedule, follow our news!
Kenji KAMIYAMA is invited in partnership with @Anime
Japanese animation is 100 years old: come celebrate with us!