Shaft (company)

Shaft, Inc.
Animation studio
Industry Japanese animation
Founded September 1, 1975 (1975-09-01)
Headquarters 1-29-15 Kami-Igusa, Suginami, Tokyo, Japan
Key people
Mitsutoshi Kubota

Shaft, Inc. (株式会社シャフト Kabushikigaisha Shafuto) is a Japanese animation studio founded on September 1, 1975 by Hiroshi Wakao. Ever since 2005 they began working exclusively with the director Akiyuki Shinbo, who is best known for his unique use of gags, references, and avant garde cinematography notably in Pani Poni Dash!, Maria Holic, Sayonara Zetsubō Sensei, Hidamari Sketch, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, and Bakemonogatari


Shaft was founded on September 1, 1975 by Hiroshi Wakao, former Sunrise's animator. The company was originally founded to paint the animation but later worked on animation production as a subcontractor. They were able to produce their own first original series, Yume kara, Samenai (夢から、さめない Yume kara, Samenai) in 1987.

In 2000, after Shaft cooperated with Gainax to produce a DVD special of remastered Gunbuster, they were in joint production with Gainax to produce Mahoromatic, This Ugly and Beautiful World, and He is My Master. After Hiroshi Wakao's retirement in 2004, Kubota Mitsutoshi has become Shaft's representative director. Their painting group has also been downsized in order to strengthen their digital group. Since the joint works with Gainax, Shaft focused their efforts on adaptations of acclaimed manga and light novels until 2011 when they released their first original anime series in a decade, Puella Magi Madoka Magica.


Since 2004, Akiyuki Shinbō, Tatsuya Oishi and Shin Ōnuma have participated in most of Shaft's productions, starting with Tsukuyomi: Moon Phase. The studio is unique due to their use of gags and references to other anime through writing on a classroom chalkboard or any available empty space in the background. The studio is also known for the use of various animation styles in a single series, changes in art style, a characteristic head tilt, abstract background designs, and use of unusual music for the opening sequences of their shows.

Produced series

Anime television series

Other works

North American productions


  1. "Madoka Magica's Shinbo, SHAFT Animate Sasami-san@Ganbaranai". Anime News Network. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  2. "Madoka Magica's Shinbo, SHAFT Animate Vocaloid Producer Jin's Kagerō Project". Anime News Network. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  3. "Madoka Magica's SHAFT Launches Prism Nana Project Anime". Anime News Network. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  4. "Magical Suite Prism Nana Slot Machine Shown in Video". Anime News Network. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  5. 【スマブラ3DS・WiiU】 光の女神. 10 June 2014. Retrieved 28 March 2016 via YouTube.


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