Sunday 20th August

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Anime Architecture: Backgrounds of Japan

Anime Architecture: Backgrounds of Japan


This is the UK’s first ever exhibition of handmade background illustrations for classic sci-fi anime films. It will feature drawings and paintings from some of the most influential productions in the genre’s 1990s heyday, including Production I.G’s phenomenally influential 1995 film Ghost in the Shell.

This collection of artists, who share an interest in presenting convincing visions of future worlds, have had a defining influence on the style of anime we think of as typical today.

The show will include Hiromasa Ogura’s watercolour paintings for Ghost in the Shell, an anime epic that informed pioneering sci-fi works such as The Matrix and Avatar. Inspired by Asia’s emerging megacities and based on photographs of Hong Kong, Ogura’s work depicts the striking contrast between a derelict Chinese town and ruthless urban development.

Pencil drawings by Takashi Watabe – one of the most important Japanese illustrators of his generation – for 2008’s sequel Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence will also feature. His meticulously realistic style has become a hallmark of Japanese anime films as a whole.

The exhibition will also include work from Patlabor: The Movie (1989) and Metropolis(2001), by Mamoru Oshii and Atsushi Takeuchi.

Since the success of Akira (1988) and Ghost in the Shell, Japanese anime films have been at the heart of global pop culture. A live action remake of Ghost in the Shell starring Scarlett Johansson is released on 31 March 2017.

In association with Les Jardins des Pilotes, Berlin.



  • Date(s) and time:

    6 May to 10 Sep 2017

  • Opening Hours:

    10:00am - 6:00pm

  • Admission Price:

    £4 - £7.50

  • Ticket info:

    Your ticket covers admission to all current House of Illustration exhibitions that are open on the day of your visit. Please make sure you have checked our What's On page for full details. House of Illustration is open 10:00-18:00 Tuesdays through Sundays. Final admission is at 17:30.

  • Website:

  • Phone Number:

    020 3696 2020

  • Nearest Tube:

    King's Cross St Pancras