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Megumi Kagawa (賀川 愛 , Kagawa Megumi, born June 14, 1959) is a Japanese animation director and animator. Although her given name is “Megumi”, the kanji used for her name 「愛 」is most commonly pronounced “ai” which means “love”. As a result, at Studio Ghibli she is known by the nickname Ai-chan.

She is one of Studio Ghibli's senior animators, having worked with Hayao Miyazaki since he directed Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. She was the animation director for Porco Rosso, The Day I Bought a Star for the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka and Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch.[1]


Born on June 14, 1959, in Ehime Prefecture, Japan. Kagawa moved to Tokyo to study animation at Tokyo Designer Gakuin College. After graduating in 1981, she worked at Doga Kobo, an animation production studio formed by former Toei employees. She found herself working on the popular "Toei Animation Magical Girl" such as Lalabel, the Magical Girl (1980) and Hello! Sandybell (1981) for several years before joining Hayao Miyazaki after hearing he would be working on Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind at TopCraft.

When TopCraft was dissolved, Kagawa went on to join the newly formed Studio Ghibli as senior animator, working on films such as Castle in the Sky, Grave of the Fireflies, Only Yesterday and Kiki's Delivery Service. She was appointed animation director for Porco Rosso and later, Spirited Away.

She is said to be the model for Fio Piccolo, one of the heroines of Porco Rosso. Porco Rosso also saw Hitomi Tateno performing animation check duties. While never fully confirmed by Miyazaki, there was a tacit understanding that Fio was indeed modeled after Kagawa. Tateno seemingly confirms this, stating her personality seemed "sedate", however upon seeing the final film, she remarks that "it was more girlish than I expected. Ai-chan is a little too different to be the model."


Television Animation

  • Ikkyū-san (1975-1982)
  • Lalabel, the Magical Girl (1980)
  • Hello! Sandy Bell (1981)
  • I Am a Cat (1982)
  • The Kabocha Wine (1982-1984)
  • Stop!! Hibari-kun! (1983-1984)
  • Adventures of the Little Koala (1984-1985)
  • Gu-Gu Ganmo (1984-1985)
  • Sangokushi (1985)
  • Uchūsen Sagittarius (1986-1987)
  • Tales of Little Women (1987)
  • Little Lord Fauntleroy (1988)
  • Peter Pan: The Animated Adventure (1989)
  • My Daddy Long Legs (1990)
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995-1996)
  • The New Batman Adventures (1997-1998)
  • Now and Then, Here and There (1999-2000)
  • Platinumhugen Ordian (2000)
  • Petite Princess Yucie (2002-2003)
  • Otogi Zoshi (2004-2005)
  • Little Witch Academia (2017)




External links