|Hideaki Anno ca. 2003|
Hideaki Anno (庵野秀明 Anno Hideaki?) was born in Ube, Yamaguchi Prefecture on 22 May 1960. While attending the Osaka University of Arts his work as an amateur animation artist was noticed and led to a recommendation and chance to join the production of Nausicaa, where he was responsible for the dramatic Ohmu vs. God Soldier battle scenes. Later, he worked on the production of Grave of the Fireflies as a key animator. Some of the other well-known, non-Ghibli shows on which he has worked include the NHK TV series Nadia - The Secret of Blue Water and the acclaimed TV and movie series Shinseiki Evangerion (Neon Genesis Evangelion).
Anno has worked in every area of production, from layout and storyboards to directing, and has said he considers Miyazaki to be his mentor. He was one of the founding members of the fan-created animation studio Gainax (nee Daicon Film) in the 1980s. In 2006 he left Gainax to found his own studio, Khara, Inc. where he currently serves as president.
In 2013 Anno added voice acting to his list of production credits, providing the voice of Jiro Horikoshi, the main character in Miyazaki's The Wind Rises.
In 2015 Anno joined the board of directors at a new startup, Deho Gallery a joint venture by Studio Khara, Dwango, and Studio Ponoc. Deho Gallery's mission statement is to preserve the art of hand-painted backgrounds for works of animation (including Ghibli projects Ponyo, Arrietty, The Wind Rises, Ronia the Robber's Daughter, and When Marnie Was There) as well as video games and commercial advertising. Veteran Ghibli background artist Kazuo Oga serves there in an advisory role.