Shintani is best known for his series Area 88, which is widely recognized as one of the finest aviator comic titles in the history of manga. In addition to his very popular pilot comics, Shintani has successfully ventured into science fiction, fantasy, comedy, and hentai comics as well. In 1985, he was awarded the Shogakukan Manga Award for shounen for Area 88 and Futari Daka.
Shintani began his career in 1972 as a shoujo artist and was nominated for the Ribon Comics Award for best new artist of that year. After working as an assistant to Leiji Matsumoto, the writer and artist of Captain Harlock and Space Battleship Yamato, Shintani began to publish aviator titles in various comic magazines. Serialization of Area 88 began in 1979 and the title has been popular ever since.
While working as an assistant to Matsumoto, one of Shintani's duties was to construct plastic models for drawing reference. Matsumoto often states that he based the character Yattaran (who appears as a supporting character in several Harlock stories) on Shintani.
He is married to Saeki Kayono and sometimes provides illustrations for her manga.