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Anime Director Shoji Kawamori to Co-Produce Osaka's World Expo 2025

posted on by Alex Mateo
Kawamori to work on focus area about "making connections of all life"

The Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) announced on Monday that it has named anime creator and director Shoji Kawamori as one of 10 co-producers of Osaka's Expo 2025. Eight of the producers will each develop a focus area that follow the World Expo's theme: "Design Future Society for Our Lives." Kawamori is working on a focus area that revolves around "making the connections of all 'life' living in our universe, ocean, and earth to protect and nurture one another."

Expo 2025 is scheduled to take place from April 13 to October 13, 2025.

This will be the second time Osaka has hosted a World Expo after Expo '70, 55 years earlier. Kawamori visited Osaka's first World Expo when he was still in elementary school, and he credited the event with inspiring his lifelong exploration of world culture, science, and science fiction.

The Expo's other nine producers are planner and producer Masaru Ishikawa, architect Sosuke Fujimoto, biologist and professor Shinichi Fukuoka, award-winning film director Naomi Kawase, broadcasting writer Kundo Koyama, roboticist and professor Hiroshi Ishiguro, musician and mathematician Sachiko Nakajima, media artist Yoichi Ochiai, and professor of medicine Hiroaki Miyata.

Kawamori is perhaps most famous for being a key creative planner in The Super Dimension Fortress Macross anime series. He designed most of the franchise's iconic transforming "variable fighter" mecha, and oversaw most of the main installments in the franchise, including the latest, Macross Delta.

Kawamori has also created the Aquarion, AKB0048, and Arjuna series, and most recently was chief director on Jūshinki Pandora at Satelight, the anime studio for which he serves as a board director. He has contributed mechanical design work to Patlabor: The Movie, Patlabor 2: The Movie, Eureka Seven, Outlaw Star, Ghost in the Shell, and more. He is credited as the original creator of The Vision of Escaflowne, Basquash!, and Nobunaga The Fool. He has worked in anime production as a director, screenwriter, mechanical designer, and storyboarder.

Outside anime, he designed one of Sony's Aibo robot dog variants and contributed to the designs of Takara's Diaclone Car Robot toys, which eventually became Optimus Prime, Prowl, Ironhide, and other toys in Hasbro's Transformers line. His game contributions include the original mechanical designs for the Armored Core franchise and the Devil Breaker weapons in Devil May Cry 5. Small Worlds, the company behind the world's largest indoor theme park of scale miniatures, appointed Kawamori as its chief creative officer.

The World Expo is held every five years and can last in for up to six months in their host city. The themes of World Expos are designed to raise awareness of and find responses to universal challenges of our time. Milan, Italy held the most recent Expo in 2015 with the theme "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.” Dubai, UAE is hosting the 2020 World Expo, which the BIE General Assembly postponed to 2021 due to the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Sources: BIE, Animation Business Journal (Tadashi Sudo)


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