Biography of Shinji Higuchi

The Special Effects Director

Written by Barney Buckley

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Shinji Higuchi was born on September 22, 1965 he is 49 years of age as of today. He was born in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan. His spouse’s name is Noriko Takaya and Shinji Higuchi is a storyboard artist. He has done some notable work: Lorelei: The Witch of the Pacific Ocean, Nihon Chinbotsu, Hidden Fortress: The Last Princess. Even one a Japanese Academy old war or prize for special technology award based on special effects in movies.

During his teenage years he has become a fan of this particular genre. Started out as one of the founding forefathers our company call Daicon films is now called “Gainix” all along with fellow director Hideaki Anno, Yoshiyuki Sadamoto and Takami Akai. A highly talented artist, he worked on many of their early anime and tokusatsu productions, doing storyboarding as well as special effects.

Soon, he got to help out special effects director Teruyoshi Nakano as an uncredited assistant for The Return of Godzilla (1984). But his first major FX credit came with Daicon’s 1985 low-budget daikaiju epic-comedy, The Eight-Headed Giant Serpent Strikes Back. He continued to be a storyboarder for anime such as Gunbuster (1988) and Otaku no Video (1991), and was the special effects director for Toho/Tsuburaya Productions’ 1991 SF-thriller, Mikadoroid.

Shinji Higuchi was a key player and member of Daicon/Gainix and he also played a major part in the creation of one of the most popular anime series in Japan. This anime series is called Neon Genesis Evangelion. He was a writer and assistant director and art director as well a story border for the series. According to the anime series ShinjiIkari is the namesake to Shinji Higuchi. A little-known piece of trivia you would later voice at a musician modeled after himself in episode 2 of Karekano.

It would be later that year would have a turning point for Shinji Higuchi as he would eventually go on to direct the special effects for the highly acclaimed revamped or remastered Gamera trilogy. All 3 films were directed by Shesuke Kaneko. Shinji Higuchi proved himself to be a top master in the field of Japanese special effects with the final film of Gamera 3: Awakening of Irys which would come out in 1999. He continued to direct FX for movies such as Sakuya – Slayer of Demons (2000), Princess Blade and Pistol Opera, both 2001. That same year, he helped out with the sequence in Kaneko’s Godzilla film, Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, where Godzilla is confronted by JSDF jet fighters, and retaliates with his radioactive breath.

Shinji Higuchi also provided the CG animation for the 1st Hamtaro movie and storyboards as well as the fight scenes for the CGI tokusatsu superhero epic Casshern which came out in 2004 is based on the 1973 anime series of Tatsua Yoshida.

By the year 2005 he would go on to direct the tokusatsu SF/World War II epic, Lorelei, which became a box-office success in Japan. His next project was a remake of the classic 70s Toho disaster film Japan Sinks, released in 2006. The latter film was a massive success at the box office, but was poorly received by critics and won second place at the Bunshun Kiichigo Awards (the Japanese equivalent of the Razzie Awards) in 2006. Recently Shinji Higuchi directed Hidden Fortress:

The Last Princess, released on May 10, 2008. It is a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress. The next film is a live action film of the animated series they call “Attack on Titan” which has already been released and I believe it is a two-part series the 1st part is already out there as you would go on to do the next project that most Godzilla fans will appreciate and it is remake of Gojira, which is based on a screenplay by Hideaki Anno.


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