Article Quick Information

Title: Brief spotlight on Makoto Shinkai
Category: Biographical
Author: James
Published: Sat, 11 Mar 2006

James's article

Makoto Shinkai himselfOne of the directors who has risen to prominence in recent years, the small but high quality freelance output of Makoto Shinkai promises much for the future; he has been referred to, despite his protests, as “the new Miyazaki” before. Despite this comparison, however, the work of the two directors differs greatly.

Shinkai was born in 1973 in Nagano, a picturesque setting that he would later claim had a profound influence on his work. After reading Japanese literature at Tokyo, he began to work on videogames. He dealt with creating the more visual aspects of the games’ narratives, such as short anime-based cut scenes, something that influenced his thirst to create lengthier animated work.

The first step towards his current fame came in 1999, with the 5-minute OVA She and Her Cat, which won first prize in the DoGA CG Animation Contest 2005. The feature was monochrome, but infused with beauty, portraying the day-to-day life of a cat and its emotions.

Shinkai took this as his opening, and quit his full-time job to work on the breakthrough OVA, Voices of a Distant Star. Despite offers from numerous companies, Skinkai took a huge decision to remain freelance, and create the whole anime through his own efforts. Mainly self-created, but using a small pool of friends, the 25-minute showpiece appeared in 2002 and rapidly proved a success. With some of the most crystalline and expressive animation in history, and using the voices of himself and his fiancée, Shinkai truly made a name for himself with a short work that, with only a handful of staff, was beyond the quality offered by many large studios.

In December 2002, The Place Promised In Our Early Days was announced, purporting to be a 50-minute film that would take a year to create. It emerged, an hour and a half long, almost two years later, and received an adoring reception. Despite the opportunities for large-studio production, Shinkai still stuck with a small staff, rare in the modern anime world.

Hopefully Makoto Shinkai will continue to produce such heart-tugging stories in the future. His two masterworks have turned him into one of the most influential and famed figures in anime, but he remains freelance, working on projects he personally feels attachment to. Only time will tell the direction he takes next.

Voices of a Distant StarSpotlighted Works

Voices of a Distant Star (2002) was noted on release for its breathtaking CG animation. It could be hard to believe one man had created such a vibrant, detailed setting. Beyond the style, however, lurked a heart-wrenching story of long distance love; Shinkai proved himself to be made of more than presentation, with a particular flair for crating characters. Famously brief, but nothing less than a modern anime classic.

The Place Promised In Our Early Days (2004) shows Shinkai clearly in his element, weaving a tale of relationships and character interaction against an alternate reality backdrop. Expanding the style pioneered in Voices, The Place Promised is another triumph of visuals that manages to appeal to the emotions.

Availability

Voices of a Distant Star and The Place Promised are available in the US separately, or as part of a “Shinkai Collection,” which includes art books and the Voices soundtrack. In the UK, only Voices is available but The Place Promised should appear in the near future. As an aside, the Voices releases contain the She And Her Cat short.

Links

Other Voices, Shinkai’s site
Makoto Shinkai's Fan Web
List of projects
Review of Voices

The Place Promised In Our Early Days

4 responses to "Brief spotlight on Makoto Shinkai"

1. Comment by Paul

You need just look at the pictures above to realize how great Shinkai is; every frame of his movies are a considered, detailed work of art.

With Miyazaki, Tomino et all reaching the twlight years for their illustrious careers; I think Shinkai and Satoshi Kon (and possibly Shinichiro Watanabe) have that same pedigree of consistently producing great, magical anime.

Posted on Sat, 11 Mar 2006.

2. Comment by uoa

this is really nice! ^_^

Posted on Fri, 19 May 2006.

3. Comment by Anonymous

Bring back thundercats!

Posted on Wed, 6 Jun 2007.

4. Comment by Nemphtis

I really enjoyed Shinkai's Voices of a Distant Star. I remember well that after I had seen it, I ran to my forum to tell the others to go watch it ASAP. I've also seen The Place Promised in Our Early Days but to be honest, I don't think it had the same impact on me as his first work. :]

Posted on Mon, 27 Aug 2007.

Post your response to "Brief spotlight on Makoto Shinkai"

Editorial Spotlight

With Saki's memories of Shun fading, she and Satoru find themselves in a race to find Maria and Mamoru before the Committee condemns them to destruction. But the clock is.. Read more (0 comments)
" If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." - Isaac Newton   Finally, one of the most anticipated anime releases of the year is.. Read more (0 comments)
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son! The Jaws that bite, the claws that catch! Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun The frumious Bandersnatch!" - Lewis.. Read more (0 comments)

Got news?

Got some news? E-mail it to news@AUKN

Recent Comments

Speedy Z5 on Elemental Gelade #2

Still just waiting to talk about the movie/book or something WHY ALPHA WHHY WHY DID YOU ABANDON ME!!? (Read more)

KIBA on Princess Mononoke

princess mononoke is a great blend of magic and fantasy that any one young or old would lose them selfs in this fantasy world (Read more)

kiba on Eureka Seven AO (Astral Ocean) #2

i dont think it was as good as the eureka seaven it could have been better but there was to many things going on it was a bit confusing at... (Read more)

thunder on Outlaw Star

I can not wait until it is out on dvd i have been waiting so long for it (Read more)

Kieran on One Piece #3

With so many episodes, I guess you would expect some of them to feel a bit filler - but I loved this collection nonetheless! I fine One Piece so... (Read more)

About Anime UK News

Anime UK News has been going since 2004, want to contact us or learn a little more about the site? Head to the about us page.