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Makoto Shinkai

Anime photo

Don't forget about this year's Makoto Shinkai Day

Catch all of Shinkai's works on Crunchyroll while you can
Mar 15
// Karen Mead
Spring is almost here, and do you know what that means? You might say "the weather is warming up," but here in New York we still have snow on the forecast for Monday, so uh, NO. It is not necessarily warming up all that much....

Japanator Interviews: Makoto Shinkai

Sep 20 // Hiroko Yamamura
Japanator - I just finished watching your masterpiece Garden of Words. Looking back at the film, do you feel like you set out what you wanted to achieve? Shinkai - I feel as though we got what we wanted. Looking back, there's always going to be something you may have done differently, even something as small as color choices for scenes, however I'm very happy with the end result. I hope the viewers are happy. Japanator - Why do you feel the need to Direct, edit, and do cinematography for your works? Do you feel like total control is a key to your success? Shinkai - We are actually a very small company, so it is actually necessary for everyone to wear many hats. However, it does give me the ability to do exactly what I want. In Garden of Words, I am able to get the exact shot, color, and feeling necessary to convey the message. There are less people to appease and have opinions, so this set up works well for me. Japanator - You decided to keep Garden of Words to around 40 minutes. Do you feel like less is often more? Shinkai - I don't like having to think about those kinds of restrictions. Thinking about wether a movie should be 2 hours for the theatre, 30 minutes for TV is not something I want to think about. What it took to do the last movie was 2 hours, while this one was 40 minutes. Japanator - Did you have an idea prior to production on the length of the film? I think as soon as we started writing the story boards we had an idea of the length. Even from concept we had an idea on the compression of ideas. I don't like to think too much about the length of time. However, when the idea for this movie was conceived, I knew it would be best to do it in this length. Japanator - Your films capture environments and moments so beautifully. How important is it that every nuance and detail is captured in a scene. Is hyper realism important to you, or do you feel that that is just a necessary part of anime? Shinkai - I think that's the nature of anime. Part of art is what sets you apart from other anime directors Unlike many other directors, I don't come from an animation and drawing background. I previously worked for a video game company where I focused primarily on background and scenery. I feel that my focus on those aspects is different. I guess you can see my past work in my current work! Japanator - You are often compared to Hayao Miyazaki. Personally, I don’t see much similarity. If there is any Director/Producer you feel like you have similarities with? Shinkai - I appreciate any comparisons to other Directors, however I don't as though there are any that I would necessarily compare myself to. Japanator - What is the significance of Yukari’s inability to taste in the film? Shinkai - In the film, Yukari is going through a tough time where she is unable to return to work. As she goes into the garden within Shinjuku she begins the journey of finding herself. The stresses of her life cause an affliction of her to lose taste. As she she slowly regains her taste. It's is also her finding herself. Japanator - Why choose shoe making for Takao? Shinkai - In the film Yukari mentions how she can not walk many more. Meeting Takao and him being someone who can help her walk again helps illustrate the relationship they have, and the unmentioned need they have for each other. Japanator - Have you considering directing a non-animated film? Shinkai - I actually get this question a lot. This is what I do, and I'm currently not interested currently in other mediums. There is a beauty and focus on things that you can only create with animation. Japanator - Are details part of a film? Or is the film the details? Shinkai - That's the rule of art. When you choose to make art, you are in control of the details or beauty that you are able to express and highlight. The fact that my medium is animation should not change the fact that I want to share the emotion and details. Japanator - Favorite anime or video games? Shinkai - This is probably true for a lot of creators, but I often find that I need to stay away from other people's material to do original work. If I immerse myself in other people's work I find myself influenced by it. It's important that my work comes from within. Japanator - Have you listened to the English dub of Garden of Words? Do you feel it is appropriate for foreign audiences to watch a film with different voice actors? Shinkai - Obviously English is not my native language, so it is hard for me to tell. From what people have told me the voice acting is done well, and just listening I can feel the emotion of the actors come through, so in that respect I feel it's a success. That being said, it will always be different. Where or not it is successful or good is up to the American audience. Japanator - Any messages for your American fans? Shinkai - I don't like to think about where fans as from very much., but I do appreciate all of the support I've gotten from my fan base. In my work, especially Garden of Words, I want to share the beauty of my favorite places in Japan . The park in the film is a real place in Shinjuku that I like to visit. I would like to share the peace and harmony of unique places like this, and the love I have for my country. Maybe it will inspire people to visit.
Shinkai interview photo
A true artist
Wow, talk about an awesome day! Back at Anime Expo this year I had the amazing opportunity to sit down with one of my favorite masters of anime, the illustrious Makoto Shinkai. If you've been living under a rock for the last ...

Shinkai short photo
Shinkai short

How about some Makoto Shinkai for your lunch break?

Always stunning
Sep 10
// Hiroko Yamamura
I hope you've settled down with a lovely lunch this afternoon. If you have a few minutes to spare I suggest you throw some headphones on and nestle up to a fantastic new short film by the always amazing Makoto Shinkai. Even ...
5 mins of Garden of Words photo
5 mins of Garden of Words

Watch 5 minutes of Makoto Shinkai's The Garden of Words

May 12
// Brad Rice
Get the tissues ready. Makoto Shinkai's latest work, The Garden of Words, is hitting wide release in Japan at the end of the month, and last night we saw the first five minutes of it air on TV Tokyo. In this snippet, we get ...

Garden of Words at GCFF  photo
Garden of Words at GCFF

Cheers, Australians: Garden of Words to be shown at GCFF

Australians are in for a great show.
Apr 02
// Salvador GRodiles
Congratulations, anime fans of Australia, the Gold Coast Film Festival in the Broadbeach area of Queensland, Australia is going to feature the world premiere of The Garden of Words as part of their 'Cool Japan'...
Global Shinkai Day photo
Global Shinkai Day

YES: Children Who Chase Lost Voices to join Shinkai Day

One Shinkai movie stream-athon coming right up!
Mar 14
// Salvador GRodiles
So I just realized that Global Shinkai Day is starting this Friday, and Crunchyoll is adding more content to its special Makoto Shinkai weekend event. To be more specific, Children Who Chase Lost Voices will be stre...

The Garden of Words trailer looks like a garden of feet

Look at those lush colors
Feb 21
// Salvador GRodiles
Oh man, Makoto Shinkai really knows how to setup a beautiful scene in his stories. Even though I am not a big fan of his works, I cannot deny the sheer gorgeousness found in the colors and lighting of the first trailer for T...

Makoto Shinkai's 'Someone's Gaze' teaser trailer

Heart crying entertainment
Jan 27
// Josh Totman
Just like with his previous works (Voices of a Distant Star, 5 Centimeters Per Second, Children Who Chase Lost Voices) Makoto Shinkai can create gorgeous anime. His new anime short Dareka no Manazashi (Someone's Gaz...

Review: Children Who Chase Lost Voices

Dec 29 // Brittany Vincent
Children Who Chase Lost Voices (DVD)Studio: Section 23 Director: Makoto Shinkai Licensed by: Sentai FilmworksRelease Date: November 13, 2012MSRP: $39.98 Watase Asuna is a sprightly young student who lives a solitary life. She passes the time ever since her father passed on listening to a special radio. It's actually powered by a special crystal, which allows her to pick up a bizarre song one specific night. Deep in the heart of her rural town she's confronted by a strange creature, but thankfully a handsome older boy swoops in to rescue her. Shun hails from another world known as Agartha, and has a secret agenda of his own. One thing leads to another, and soon Asuna finds herself on a journey to Agartha with Shun and her substitute teacher (of all people) to unlock the secrets of a world hidden away below the earth's surface.While the film's obvious strengths lie in its picturesque landscapes, lush greenery, and hypnotic visuals, fortunately it excels in assigning belivable motives and personalities to each character, each with their own agendas, both deeply personal and touching. Asuna is an accessible lead with bright-eyed enthusiasm and a loneliness that feels as though it could envelop one whole and Shun is a delightful puzzle that you'll want to work out before the film ends, which feels entirely too early once you've gotten engaged.Despite the spunky young leads and obvious overtones of young love, surprisingly Asuna's teacher's personal mission is the most touching of all: he's looking to harness the power of Agartha to potentially resurrect his deceased wife. He commands the same kind of longing and hollowness felt in Shinkai's previous outing like The Place Promised in Our Early Days exhibited so strongly, and that's an integral part of the thread that ties this decidedly more grandiose feature to the filmmaker's earlier work. But it's not all sadness and despair, of course -- the same sense of wonder and amazement is amplified throughout the feature, especially when Agartha's many impressive details come to life. The ruins of a civilization long gone, a tribe of bizarre humanoids, and the adorable mascot character Mimi work in tandem to ensure the mythical world is painted as brilliantly to the audience as it does to the three leads. And it's a joy to explore along with them.The English dub cast did a fantastic job bringing the script to life, but Hilary Haag as Asuna left a bit to be desired, as I preferred the Japanese cast for Asuna's energetic self, adding a bit more zest to the older, more mature version voiced by Haag. Otherwise, the dub is solid -- if you're looking to enjoy it without reading subtitles, instead drinking in the gorgeous animation and the new direction Shinkai seems to be moving in. While it feels like a departure in ways from more solitary works like 5 Centimeters Per Second, Children Who Chase Lost Voices is a slick and quite beautiful adventure that fans of Makoto Shinkai's work (and Miyazaki films in general) should seek to add to their collection -- especially if you've worn out that copy of Totoro and need something a little more adult to tide you over. 8 - Great. 8s are great examples of their genre that everyone should see, regardless of their interest.  
A gorgeous journey through Agartha
Makoto Shinkai has grown and evolved with each subsequent project, and his latest feature Children Who Chase Lost Voices is one of his best works yet. He's come a long way since the glory days of the moving Voices of a Distan...


Season's Greetings: Makoto Shinkai is making a new movie

Are you ready for some more breathtaking skies and scenery?
Dec 24
// Salvador GRodiles
I am going to be perfectly honest with everyone on here, I'm not the biggest Shinkai fan around here. Though I will admit that his movies do get better with each new film that pops out of his mind. Before you smite me with yo...

Sentai licenses Shinkai's Children Who Chase Lost Voices

Jun 15
// Brad Rice
Sentai Filmworks is at it again -- licensing yet another Makoto Shinkai property. Back in the days of ADV Films, the company licensed 5 Centimeters Per Second and Voices of A Distant Star, so it's no huge surprise that t...

Crunchyroll holds fourth annual Global Shinkai Day

Mar 02
// Bob Muir
For the fourth year in a row, Crunchyroll is streaming three films by Makoto Shinkai in what it's calling Global Shinkai Day. From March 9-11, you can see Shinkai's most well-known work: Voices of a Distant Star, The Place Pr...

Otakon 11: Makoto Shinkai press panel interview

Aug 24
// Jeff Chuang
Long delayed, but nonetheless, here is the first part of a series of write-up promised about a man who waxed poetic about loving at a distance in anime film. You might know him as Makoto Shinkai, but I know him as a humble gu...

Monday Madness: Our Innocence

Aug 01
// Itsa Timmy
So this weekend I finally got around to watching the highly acclaimed 5 Centimeters per Second and I was pretty much utterly destroyed. The story and writing in that show is fantastic, and it probably doesn't help t...

Otakon 11: Otakon to host Shinkai premiere [Update]

Jul 22
// Brad Rice
[Update: The film will now have subtitles, says Otakon staffers. Hooray!] Have you been dying to see Makoto Shinkai's latest work, Children Who Chase Lost Voices from the Deep? Well, Otakon's got your back. Sort of. The film ...

Makoto Shinkai's latest: Hoshi o Ou Kodomo trailer now up

Nov 09
// Ben Huber
Do you like gorgeous animation? Do like being able to pause a movie at any given time and have that frame always be a perfect computer wallpaper? Do you wonder what Makoto Shinkai has been working on all this time?You're in l...

Makoto Shinkai's latest project: Hoshi o Ou Kodomo

Nov 08
// Brad Rice
Break out the tissues because Makoto Shinkai is back with a vengeance. His latest work, Hoshi o Ou Kodomo (Children Who Chase the Stars), is going at full force, and according to ANN, a teaser trailer for the work w...

Crunchyroll licensing Shinkai's 5cm per second! Buy it!

Aug 14
// Josh Tolentino
Makoto Shinkai's an anime auteur easily on par with the likes of Miyazaki and Oshii. His works are a bright spot of complexity and depth in an industry that many perceive to be in creative downfall, soon to be drowned in a se...

Global Shinkai Day START on Crunchyroll

Mar 05
// Karen Mead
THE TIME HAS COME. You have until 5PM(PST) on Sunday to watch Voices of a Distant Star, Five Centimeters Per Second, and Place Promised in Our Early Days, all of which are temporarily available streaming on Crunchyroll, and f...

Surprise! Makoto Shinkai is working on another film

Dec 21
// Brad Rice
On Sunday, musical sensation Eminence Symphony Orchestra had a surprise guest: Makoto Shinkai made his way on stage (punching out several security guards and members of the band in the process) to talk with the audience. Afte...

Thank you, Bandai: BE rescues Shinkai's 5 Centimeters Per Second [Update]

Jan 12
// Brad Rice
Wow, this is some great news to wake up to. Off of Neb's, Fanboy Review brings up that people at Bang Zoom have started listing voicing credits for 5 Centimeters Per Second, one of the long-lost ADV titles. Apparently, ADV h...

ADV discontinues more titles -- they better still have Five Centimeters per Second at their Otakon booth

Jul 11
// Brad Rice
Great. More titles have been canceled. I was eyeing picking up Five Centimeters per Second at AnimeNEXT, but decided to pay an extra $10 and get Kino's Journey as a box set. So now, you better still have a decent stock when I...

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