The Kildren, a group of eternally young fighter pilots, experience the sudden loss of innocence as they battle the enemy in astonishing dogfights above the clouds.


Mamoru Oshii


Hiroshi Mori (story and characters), Chihiro Itô (adaptation)
6 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Rinko Kikuchi ... Suito Kusanagi (voice)
Ryô Kase ... Yuichi Kannami (voice)
Shôsuke Tanihara ... Naofumi Tokino (voice)
Megumi Yamaguchi Megumi Yamaguchi ... Mizuki Kusanagi (voice)
Daisuke Hirakawa Daisuke Hirakawa ... Aizu Yudagawa (voice)
Takuma Takewaka Takuma Takewaka ... Uroyuki Shinoda (voice)
Mugihito Mugihito ... Kyoku Yama (voice)
Hôchû Ôtsuka ... Honda (voice)
Mabuki Andô Mabuki Andô ... Fooco (voice)
Mako Hyôdô ... Kusmi (voice)
Hiro Shimono ... Pilot (voice)
Yoshinori Fujita Yoshinori Fujita ... Pilot (voice)
Ayumu Hasegawa Ayumu Hasegawa ... Pilot (voice)
Oki Sugiyama Oki Sugiyama ... Pilot (voice)
Fumie Mizusawa Fumie Mizusawa ... Call Girl (voice)


The Kildren, a group of eternally young fighter pilots, experience the sudden loss of innocence as they battle the enemy in astonishing dogfights above the clouds.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Every day could be your last. Live life like there's no tomorrow.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for material involving violence, some sexual content and smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Director Mamoru Oshii specifically wanted Rinko Kikuchi to be the voice for the character Kusanagi Suito. When asked for the reason, Mamoru replied that he based it on "intuition". See more »

Crazy Credits

SPOILER: After the end credits, a new pilot lands at the airbase and introduces himself to Kusanagi in her office. The scene is almost identical to the opening scene but we do not see the pilot's face. See more »


References Ghost in the Shell (1995) See more »


River of Crystals
Lyrics by Miu Sakamoto
Composed by Kenji Kawai
Performed by Kimiko Itô
Courtesy of Warner Music Japan
See more »

User Reviews

A deep film that demands more patience than it should
9 May 2021 | by latinmelkorSee all my reviews

As another reviewer wrote earlier, I have little doubt that the film's mediocre rating is due to its slowness in developing the thesis that Mamoru Oshii hides behind the plot. It is a film that demands patience, so much in fact, that I find it directly to blame for the negative reviews. It is not a viewer's fault to lose interest when they have already seen more than half of a film and the fog that shrouds the plot remains as dense as it was at the beginning.

Nevertheless, with proper time, the doubts and issues that may have seemed incoherent are explained with efficiency and appeal. What initially looks inconsistent, once the viewer is given the background information, makes complete sense. The characters' erratic behavior, the anachronistic war machines, the nonsensical dialogues: it all makes sense in just a few minutes through an almost epiphany.

The film, very much in Oshii's style, raises philosophical questions revolving around existentialism and the ontology of human beings: what is the role of war in society, are our memories what make us what we are, what is the point of continuing to live day by day? All these questions are treated by the director in a plot that is unnecessarily slow, but still fascinating.

The Sky Crawlers forced me to reexamine the mindset I have when I watch an anime film. When I sit down to watch these types of works, I expect clichéd characters, fantastically absurd plots and flat thoughts that pretend to have depth. While there are plenty of exceptions, it is undeniable that many anime productions use characters and formulas as predictable as Hollywood blockbusters. The Sky Crawlers, to a prejudiced viewer like me, may at first seem like just another film in the long line of those Japanese animated features that rely more on the beauty of their art than their content. This is not the case. This is a deep and thoughtful work that, sadly, moves at a slower pace than what contemporary moviegoers are used to. I insist: the plot is spectacular and not overly complex, it is just slow.

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Release Date:

2 August 2008 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Sky Crawlers See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS-ES | Dolby Digital EX



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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