Mamoru Oshii will be receiving the Winsor McKay Award for Lifetime Acheivement at the 44th Annual Annie Awards, Anime News Network reports. Oshii is best known for directing the acclaimed 1995 animated sci-fi film, Ghost in the Shell. The movie, which followed a cyborg named Motoko Kusanagi as she worked for a special ops unit in a futuristic Japan, enjoyed international success and inspired films like The Matrix.
The Winsor McKay award is "given to individuals in recognition of lifetime or career contributions to the art of animation in producing, directing, animating, design, writing, voice acting, sound and sound effects, technical work, music, professional teaching, and for other endeavors which exhibit outstanding contributions to excellence in animation". Anime giants like Osamu Tezuka (Kimba the White Lion, Astro-Boy) and Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke) have previously won the award. The Annie Awards are held in the United States and touted as "the highest honor given to excellence in animation".
The award will be granted to Oshii on February 4, 2017. While Ghost in the Shell is his most well known work, it's far from his only one. He's also worked on animated projects like Urusei Yatsura 2: The Beautiful Dreamer, Angel's Egg and Blood: The Last Vampire.
He's also recently been doing live-action works, including The Last Druid: Garm Wars and Nowhere Girl. Even now, he's keeping himself busy and directing the live-action/CGI Hybrid series Sand Whale and Me. That series is set to debut on Toonami.
Oshii is certainly an incredibly influential and talented artist, so it's good to see him get recognized for his work. Are you a fan of his work? Are you looking forward to the Annie Awards? Talk about it in comments!