Kabushiki-gaisha SHAFT, also known as Studio SHAFT, is a famous Japanese animation studio renowned for the production of a variety of classic titles, including the Monogatari Series (2009-2019), Puella Magi Madoka Magica (2011), and Nisekoi (2016).
SHAFT has gained a reputation for its avant-garde cinematography and visual style since it was formed, culminating in the development of one of the studio''s finest visuals: the SHAFT head-tilt. What exactly is the SHAFT head-tilt, and why is it such a major feature of SHAFT''s productions? Let''s look at it.
In 2004, Akiyuki Shinbo was promoted to a studio at SHAFT when Hiroshi Wakao took over as president. Kubota had an interest to transform SHAFT into a studio with recognizable characteristics, and he saw Shinbo as just the right person to do that, despite seeing the director''s influence on different genres. The SoulTaker, a 2001 sci-fi anime series, was also promoted by SHAFT.
Shinbo developed a visual contrast with previous SHAFT titles for Bakemonogatari, allowing it to perform as a character. In the end, the film adaptation NisioIsiN''s Bakemonogatari was revealed in 2008.
Shinbo''s vision was more subdued, with his aim being to "do things the right way," according to the creators of Tsukuyomi: Moon Phase. Shinbo''s vision would go on to be SHAFT''s blueprint, eventually making avant-garde visual choices and interesting camera angles the studio''s creations. Fire Force would be produced by David Production, like Reo Honjouya, Kousuke Matsunaga, and CG artist Shiny
Along with the interesting take to the visual aspects of Shinbo''s work, Shinbo''s pose became synonymous with the director and SHAFT itself, which he created as a result of, but not just the diverse teams he approached, including the members of the group Shinbo (Shinbo himself, Shin Onuma, and Tatsuya Oishi, both of whom Shinbo mentored).
Shinbo''s artistic freedom under the studio, as well as the influences of several others, like Oishi, who have been credited with the "faceless mob characters" in SHAFT productions. This is because of Shinbo''s artistic freedom, as well as the use of exaggerated techniques, and the SHAFT head-tilt.
The incredibly dramatic nature and ludicrous angle of the craned necks of characters filmed in SHAFT productions made sense to western viewers as the "SHAFT Head Tilt," which has been designated at least as early as 2011.
According to Akiyuki Shinbo, the pose depicts a character looking over their shoulder at a subject below their eye level. Despite her extreme presentation of the phenomenon, Bakemonogatari''s Hitagi Senjogahara is a character formerly known as the "SHAFT head Tilt." The Japanese name for this phenomenon is the "SHAFT kakudo," which depicts the dark magical girl anime, and Puella Magi Madoka Magica.