Renaissance man of anime, Mamoru Oshii is respected around the world for his fantastic and philosophical storytelling and stylistic flair. As a young man, the future writer/director/animator was a fan of the filmmaking greats like Fellini, Godard, and Tarkovsky. After he graduating from Tokyo Gakugei University in 1976, he was hired as an artist at Tatsunoko Productions. There he worked on the "Urusei Yatsura" TV series, and went on to direct two "Urusei Yatsura" films in the early 1980s. Soon he worked on the very first original video animation (OVA), called "Dallos"; these are series made specially for release in home-video formats, and are a major part of the anime world today. Before long, Oshii was asked by his friend Kazunori Ito to join Headgear, where he went on to direct the "Patlabor" movies/series. Throughout the early 1990s, Oshii explored directing live action films, but it was in 1995 that he made his crowning achievement, a landmark in the world of anime: "Ghost in the Shell." The feature, a cyberpunk thriller, won Oshii worldwide acclaim and helped legitimize the anime genre in the eyes of the film world. After a five-year hiatus, he helmed the Japanese-Polish feature "Avalon," before taking on the hotly anticipated sequel "Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence." Since then, he has directed a number of features, including 2008's "The Sky Crawlers," which competed for the Golden Lion in the Venice Film Festival.