Monday, 11 August 2014

A little about Makoto Shinkai and some of his films (My favourite anime directors part 1)

As you all know, I harbour a strong love for anime and have a keen eye for stunning animation and art (though I am in no way an expert, just someone that has way too much time on their hands).  About four years ago (possibly five... where has the time gone?) I happened to be browsing the web for some new anime that might interest me when I stumbled across a really beautifully detailed image of a train. Now, personally, trains don't excite me one bit but it was the quality of the image that had me intrigued. I knew it couldn't possibly be an image from Studio Ghibli (the only Japanese anime company I had really known at the time) as it was a little too realistic for their art and after some further snooping and research I discovered Makoto Shinkai's films.

5 Centimeters Per Second

Makoto Shinkai is a Japanese anime director, producer and previous graphic designer. Shinkai's films are extremely detail oriented and have a special life-like quality, spanning across all of his films, that I have yet to find in another director. His films are quickly becoming more and more popular in Western countries and he has even been praised as "The New Miyazaki" (in reference to Studio Ghibli's Hayao Miyazaki). I wanted to share my three favorite Makoto Shinkai films with you all today, as I hope as many people as possible will be exposed to his amazing animation, stories and art. 

1. Five Centimetres Per Second (Byōsoku Go Senchimētoru) ~ 2007

This was the first Makoto Shinkai film I ever had the pleasure of watching (the image I had found was from this film) and I still think the art, animation, soundtrack and actual plot line of the film all work in perfect harmony together to create a masterpiece. Five Centimetres Per Second is actually made up of three acts; Cherry Blossom, Cosmonaut and 5 Centimetres Per Second. All three of these acts focus on a young boy named Takaki Tōno who, in act 1, befriends a girl named Akari Shinohara when she transfers to his elementary school. The two children quickly form a strong bond of friendship that they both thought would last a lifetime until Takaki has to move away after graduating from elementary school. There's not much else I can say about the plot of this charming, emotional film without giving too much away, so hopefully this has gotten you at least a little bit interested! 

2. Children Who Chase Lost Voices (Hoshi o Ou Kodomo) ~ 2011

Children Who Chase Lost Voices is Shinkai's longest film yet and is often described as his best. Due to the death of her father and her mother's long hours at the hospital as a nurse, Asuna has had to 'grow up' quickly. She spends her days listening to a mysterious radio left to her by her father and wandering over to her 'clubhouse' located across a bridge near a forest. On one of her journeys across the bridge, Asuna is attacked by a horrible creature and saved by a boy named Shun who also manages to get himself injured. Asuna and Shun continue onto her clubhouse where Asuna treats Shun's wound and he explains that he is from a country called Argatha and that he has come here to find something. Again, I can't say too much more without giving away spoilers (I suck at writing small summaries) but all in all, Children Who Chase Lost Voices is the story of a young, curious girl and her journey to say "farewell" and I'm sure you will all love Asuna's journey just as much as I did!

3. The Garden of Words (Kotonoha no Niwa) ~ 2013

The Garden of Words is Shinkai's most recent film and definitely his most aesthetically pleasing film. The art and animation in this film is ridiculously flawless and I have no doubt that all of you will love each and every frame. The Garden of Words follows the story of a young high school student named Takao when he suddenly decides to skip school one rainy day to draw and sketch shoe designs. The aspiring shoe designer has no idea how much this decision will effect his life when he meets the beautiful and slightly older Yukino. Despite their differences the two strike up an unusual relationship that effects both of their lives dramatically. In my opinion, The Garden of Words does not have as much of an engaging, entertaining, always-something-happening plot as the two previous films I've mentioned, but that does not mean it's not as enjoyable! 

I hope you decide to watch at least one of Makoto Shinkai's films and I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!
Love from Maddie xo


  1. Those images looks so amazing wtf

  2. The animation looks stunning. I've been looking for new films to watch and these will definitely go on my list. Hopefully I'll be able to watch one this weekend during my staycation/visit home.

    1. I know I'm replying to this late but I hope you enjoyed them!