The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced its list of membership invitations on Monday. The list includes 842 invitations, the second-largest number of invitations in the Academy's history, more than the 774 invitations of 2017, but less than last year's record high of 928. The invitations are part of a series of new membership rules to promote diversity in the Academy's ranks, after 2016's nominations led to a backlash against the perceived lack of diversity among nominees. The Academy initiated the changes in January 2016, with the intent to radically diversify its membership by the year 2020.
The Academy extended invitations to the following people involved with Japanese content:
- Director Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell, Patlabor 2)
- Director Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira, Steamboy)
- Director Takashi Nakamura (Harmony, Fantastic Children)
- Director Mako Kamitsuna (We Are X, Blackhat)
- Actress Akira Saki (live-action Ajin)
- Editor Shigeru Nishiyama (Mirai, Sword Art Online the Movie: Ordinal Scale)
- Production designer Akiko Matsuba (Shoplifters, 'Like Father, Like Son')
- Producer Yuichiro Saito (Mirai, The Boy and The Beast)
- Visual artist Ryo Sakaguchi (Game of Thrones, live-action Speed Racer)
The Academy invited Atsuko Hirayanagi ("Oh Lucy!"), Mamoru Hosoda (The Boy and The Beast, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars), Sunao Katabuchi (In This Corner of the World, Mai Mai Miracle), Ru Kuwahata ("Negative Space," "Something Left, Something Taken"), Makoto Shinkai (your name., Children Who Chase Lost Voices, 5 Centimeters Per Second), Sion Sono (Tokyo Vampire Hotel, The Whispering Star, Suicide Club, Tokyo Tribe), Takeshi Kaneshiro (Red Cliff, House of Flying Daggers), Issei Ogata (Silence, Yi Yi), , Yoko Kanno (Our Little Sister/Umimachi Diary, Macross Plus, Cowboy Bebop), and Keiko Mitsumatsu (Our Little Sister/Umimachi Diary, Nobody Knows) last year.
The Academy has invited Hayao Miyazaki at least four previous times, and it also invited Studio Ghibli co-founder and producer Toshio Suzuki in 2014. Miyazaki's Spirited Away film won an Oscar in 2003, and he personally came to Los Angeles to accept his Honorary Academy Award in 2014.
Composer Joe Hisaishi (Spirited Away, Departures), a frequent collaborator on Miyazaki's films, was invited in 2013. Kunio Katō was invited in 2009 after becoming only the second Japanese animator to win an Oscar with his "La Maison en Petits Cubes" ("Tsumiki no Ie" or House of Blocks) short.