Rintaro is the pseudonym of Shigeyuki Hayashi, a well-known director of anime. He works frequently with the animation studio Madhouse, though he is a freelance director not employed directly by any one studio. He began working in the animation industry—at age 17—as an in-between animator on the 1958 film Hakujaden. His works have won and been nominated for multiple awards, including a nomination for Best Film at the 2001 Festival de Cine de Sitges.
Rintaro is a fan of science fiction, and has been influenced by American westerns, gangster films, film noir, and French films. Additionally, he was influenced by Osamu Tezuka, and worked with him on Kimba the White Lion and Astro Boy. He said that when he was making Metropolis, which was based on Tezuka's manga of the same name, he "wanted to communicate Tezuka's spirit". Rintaro personally introduced the film at the Big Apple Anime Fest in 2001, where it was screened before its theatrical release by TriStar Pictures.
Rintaro has also worked under the name Kuruma Hino, in addition to his best known pseudonym and his birth name. His pseudonym is sometimes miswritten as Rin Taro or Taro Rin. He is a founding member of the Japanese Animation Creators Association labor group.