The Sky Crawlers (2008)

The Sky Crawlers 2008tt1056437.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: The Sky Crawlers (2008)
  • Rate: 6.7/10 total 2,354 votes 
  • Genre: Animation | Adventure | Drama
  • Release Date: 2 August 2008 (Japan)
  • Runtime: 122 min
  • Director: Mamoru Oshii
  • Stars: Rinko Kikuchi, Ryo Kase and Chiaki Kuriyama
  • Original Music By: Kenji Kawai   
  • Soundtrack: Kon'ya mo hoshi ni dakarete…
  • Sound Mix: DTS-ES | Dolby Digital EX
  • Plot Keyword: Car | Meat Pie | Anime | Death | Genetics

Writing Credits By:

  • Hiroshi Mori (story and characters)
  • Chihiro Itô (adaptation)

Known Trivia

  • Mamoru Oshii: [Basset Hound] 

Plot: Full synopsis »

Story: On an alternate future Earth, there is no longer any war between nations. Peace reigns over the entire planet… See full synopsis »


Synopsis: On an alternate future Earth, there is no longer any war between nations. Peace reigns over the entire planet. However, it’s been found that people need the tension and excitement of war — even experienced vicariously — to truly feel alive. To fill this need, staged "wars" between various corporations provide the excitement and nervous tension that actual wars had provided. The Sky Crawlers follows the events of one group of young pilots working for one of the corporations as they engage in aerial dogfights with pilots of another corporation.

These pilots are apparently-young men and women called Kildren, who are destined to live eternally in their adolescence. How old they really are during the events of the movie is never revealed, but it is implied that they are clones, and that after they are killed in combat they can return to fight again, although with new memories and unaware of their previous lives. One of the pilots describes their existence as like living in a hazy dream.

Created by accident while a rival company was experimenting with genetic manipulations to produce a new drug, the Kildren are conscious that every day could be the last, because they fight the war as entertainment, organized and operated by adults. But as they embrace the reality they are faced with, they live their day-to-day lives to the fullest. They live in constant fear of meeting "The Teacher" in aerial combat, as this mysterious actual adult man is unbeatable and has shot down every rival pilot he’s faced.

If the pilots survive long enough, they gradually come to realize part of the truth of their existence, which leads to anger, fear, resentment and in one case — murder.

{tab=FullCast & Crew}

Produced By:

  • Tomohiko Ishii known as producer
  • Mitsuhisa Ishikawa known as executive producer
  • Toru Kawaguchi known as line producer
  • Seiji Okuda known as executive producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Rinko Kikuchi known as Suito Kusanagi (voice: Japanese version)
  • Ryo Kase known as Yuichi Kannami (voice: Japanese version)
  • Chiaki Kuriyama known as Mitsuya (voice: Japanese version)
  • Shôsuke Tanihara known as Tokino (voice: Japanese version)
  • Megumi Yamaguchi known as Mizuki Kusanagi (voice: Japanese version)
  • Yukari Nishio known as Bus Guide / News Announcer (voice: Japanese version)
  • Troy Baker known as Naofumi Tokino (voice: English version)
  • Doug Erholtz known as Blond-Haired Children (voice: English version)
  • Bryce Hitchcock known as Mizuki Kusanagi (voice: English version)
  • Kirsten Potter known as Fuko (voice: English version)
  • Cindy Robinson known as Towa Sasakura (voice: English version)
  • Stephanie Sheh known as Suito Kusanagi (voice: English version)
  • Michael Sinterniklaas known as Yuichi Kannami (voice: English version)

..{tab=Supporting Department}Art Department:

  • Takashi Watabe known as art setting
  • Kumiko Yusa known as color setting


Production Companies:

  • Nippon Television Network Corporation (NTV)
  • Production I.G.

Other Companies:

  • AUBE  music production
  • Aube Studio  music mixed at
  • Aube Studio  music production
  • Aube Studio  music recorded at
  • Continental Far East  Dolby consultant
  • Daybreak  music coordination
  • Gal Enterprise  trailer editing
  • Hitokuchizaka Studio  music recorded at
  • Imagica  prints
  • Skywalker Sound  post-production sound services
  • Sound City  music recorded at
  • Sound Inn  music recorded at
  • Teru Uchida Strings  orchestra (strings)
  • Tokyo TV Center  dubbing studio


  • Encore Films (2009) (Singapore) (theatrical)
  • Golden Village Pictures (2008) (Singapore) (theatrical)
  • Sony Pictures Classics (2009) (USA) (theatrical)
  • Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA) (2008) (Australia) (theatrical)
  • Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA) (2008) (Brazil) (theatrical)
  • Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA) (2008) (Canada) (theatrical)
  • Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA) (2008) (New Zealand) (theatrical)
  • Warner Bros. (2008) (Japan) (theatrical)
  • Seven Films (2009) (Greece) (all media)
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2009) (Brazil) (DVD)
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2009) (USA) (DVD)
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2009) (USA) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Stage 6 Films

..{tab=Other Stuff}

Special Effects:

  • IKIF (visual effects)
  • Polygon Pictures (visual effects)
  • Umigame Jimusho Corporation (visual effects)

Visual Effects by:

  • Hisashi Ezura known as visual effects
  • Hiroyuki Hayashi known as CGI supervisor
  • Eldred Tjie known as digital artist

Release Date:

  • Japan 2 August 2008
  • Italy 3 September 2008 (Venice Film Festival)
  • Canada 5 September 2008 (Toronto International Film Festival)
  • Finland 23 September 2008 (Helsinki International Film Festival)
  • Spain 5 October 2008 (Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival)
  • Sweden 21 November 2008 (Stockholm International Film Festival)
  • Singapore 27 November 2008
  • Taiwan 5 December 2008
  • Germany 8 February 2009 (European Film Market)
  • Japan 25 February 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • Estonia 3 April 2009 (Japanese Anime Festival)
  • Czech Republic 9 May 2009 (Animefest.CZ Movie Festival)
  • USA 26 May 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • Brazil 9 June 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • Switzerland 12 August 2009 (Locarno Film Festival)
  • UK 24 October 2009 (Sci-Fi-London)
  • Spain 25 November 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • UK 27 February 2010 (Keswick Film Festival)
  • Sweden 28 February 2010 (TV premiere)
  • Hungary 4 March 2010
  • South Korea 28 October 2010

MPAA: Rated PG-13 for material involving violence, some sexual content and smoking


Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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