Shaft, Inc. (株式会社シャフト Kabushikigaisha Shafuto), sometimes referred to as Studio Shaft, is the Japanese animation studio behind the anime adaptation of the Monogatari Series. It was founded on September 1, 1975 by Hiroshi Wakao. Their adaptation of the Monogatari Series started in 2009 with the release of Bakemonogatari.
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. Notable works other than the Monogatari Series include Pani Poni Dash!, Maria Holic, Sayonara Zetsubō Sensei, Hidamari Sketch, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Nisekoi, and Mekakucity Actors.
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 opening sequences of their shows.
The Shaft Head Tilt in particular has become a famous visual trademark of the studio ever since its first appearance in Bakemonogatari, and has appeared in many of their other works.
Important Staff Related to Monogatari Series
- Tatsuya Oishi - director of Bakemonogatari and Kizumonogatari
- Tomoyuki Itamura - director of all TV series adaptations ever since Nisemonogatari
- Akiyuki Shinbo - chief director of all Shaft works