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Shaft Head Tilt (Japanese: シャフト角度, Shafuto Kakudo; abbr. シャフ度, Shafudo; lit. “Shaft Angle”), refers to an iconic posing that sometimes appears on anime franchises produced by Japanese anime studio Shaft. This posing is also a famous motif for illustrations in online illustrators communities.
The father of this head tilt is a Japanese anime director Akiyuki Shinbo. His favorite posing, a character is overly tilting his/her head and suggestively looking down something over his/her shoulder, has been occasionally appeared on his works since before. Besides, this posing has been particularly struck by anime characters in Shaft productions because Shinbo has participated to most of Shaft’s productions since 2004.
The first instance of this posing which caught an attention among anime viewers is the extreme head tilt by Hitagi Senjougahara, a heroine of the original TV anime for the Monogatari Series Bakemonogatari, that was directed by Shinbo and produced by Shaft in 2009.
In the first half of 2011, a large amount of people came to recognize this posing by Puella Magi Madoka Magica, the great succeeded TV anime produced by Shaft. Then, the posing finally became to be dubbed as “Shaft Angle” among Japanese viewers, which name was given by getting an inspiration from its extreme head tilt angle. At the same time, it also became to the topic in forums on the English-speaking web such as reddit, and given the nickname “Shaft Head Tilt”.
By getting a nickname, the concept of “Shaft Head Tilt” succeeded to be shared widely among people. Thus, “Shaft Head Tilt” is nowadays one of the famous motifs for illustrations in online illustrators communities pixiv and Nico Nico Seiga. It has been also practiced on deviantART though its amount isn’t large. And many of those instances are reprinted on Tumblr.
Notable Media Appearance
In 2013, a Japanese morning news show covered “Shaft Head Tilt” in their reports for Madoka Magica the movie. In addition, Yuki Aoi, the voice actor of Madoka Kaname, struck the posing along with a TV reporter in the interview for her aired on September 6th, 2013.
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