Kwajiri Yoshiaki is an acclaimed Japanese creator of animated films. Born in Yokohama in 1950, he began working as a line animator straight out of high school. Gradually working his way up the ranks to director, he first gained attention with his 1987 neo-noir/horror masterpiece Wicked City. Given more freedom to pursue his own projects after the success of Wicked City], he wrote and directed the 1993 anime classic Ninja Scroll, loosely based on the life of legendary feudal-era samurai Yagyu Jubei. He followed up with another megahit in the form of 2000's Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust which was based on a novel by Kikuchi Hideyuki. By 2002, his international profile was high enough that he was selected as one of the "best of the best" Japanese animators to create a short for the Animatrix anthology, set in the universe of the Matrix trilogy of films. More recently, he has written and directed an officially sanctioned Highlander-series animated film, Highlander: The Search for Vengeance, and is working on a sequel to Ninja Scroll.