In order to really get into anything that Makoto Shinkai does you might have to be an avid lover of anime or manga, or both. Quite honestly the guy seems to have done some very impressive things when it come to reading his bio since he started out pretty simple and has become responsible for some truly interesting films that people have come to really care about. When anyone bothers to say that cartoons can’t really be as big as live action films then remind them that there are plenty of anime, manga, and animated film fans that would like to have a word with them about the veracity of such a statement. Seriously, thinking that anything animated isn’t a contender when it comes to film is a huge fallacy at this point since some films have proven to be more well-received than live action at times.
Here are some of the best films that Makoto has directed so far.
5. Voices of a Distant Star
When Mikako is recruited for a mission that will take her deep into space she’s not quite sure what she’s going to be getting into, but as the ship she’s on goes deeper and deeper into the void her messages back home take longer and longer to reach earth. Eventually a transmission takes around eight years to reach her home planet, during which time she is forced to fend off a hostile alien force all one her own. By the time the message reaches earth her friend has joined the same program that she was enlisted for, and is attempting to rally help so that it might be sent to her. It’s a touching story that a lot of people might find kind of interesting.
4. Children Who Chase Lost Voices
The realms of Life and Death are separated for a reason even in literature and movies. The two simply can’t coincide with one another for fear of an imbalance, and because it’s often the penance of the living to go on with the pain of losing a loved one. Asuna was curious to see what Agartha was like, and so followed those she was with into the other world in order to encounter something she hadn’t seen before. Idle curiosity however is not a great idea when dealing the difference between Life and Death since one will be happy to relinquish its hold while the other is all too eager to take another soul into its embrace.
3. Dareka no Manazashi
Cats are sometimes used as very big plot devices for movies to move forward with, and yet sometimes they don’t work as well as others. In this short film however the cat is a way for the young woman to get over the fact that her mother is away so often at work and therefore doesn’t have a lot of time for her. Pets do in fact have a strange but pleasing effect on people that are missing something, or someone, in their lives, as they fill a void that people might otherwise feel in their own manner without really needing much more than care and affection on a constant basis, kind of like people, but without the constant need to speak.
2. The Garden of Words
The young man in this film is not the first to fall in love with a woman that is far beyond him and he likely won’t be the last when it comes to film, but the subject alone is enough to offend some folks and the implications are enough to offend others. And yet you can’t help but realize that while he does admit his love for her there’s nothing else going on since she manages to tell him the truth about what’s going to happen in her life and is patient as she can be with him. The type of puppy love that a boy feels for an older woman at times isn’t always bound to go anywhere real, but the feeling that comes from finding someone that treats you with some respect is hard to shake.
1. Your Name
This is a rather compelling love story that is quite a bit like The Lake House since the two lovers are separated by a span of three years. The other similarity is that one of them has passed away in the original time line due to a chunk of comet that fell to the earth and decimated their town. When this is discovered however the other does their best to switch bodies with and warn those in the village of their impending doom. As the film advances five years near the end it’s discovered that there were survivors of the calamity, and among them is the one person that the other was attempting to save.
So he kind of takes off of other ideas at times, but that’s pretty normal, so long as it’s not plagiarism he’s doing pretty good.