Makoto Shinkai, “The Wallpaper Man”

Weathering With You is a hotly anticipated anime film particularly in Japan in 2019. The film successfully replace the Hollywood film Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw and stayed on top of the box office in the initial three weeks of screening. The film publisher, Toho, said Weathering With You produced a greater debut number than Your Name, by Makoto Shinkai.

Makoto Shinkai is a Japanese director, writer, producer, animator, and cinematographer who formally worked behind the big screen since 1999. His works make Makoto Shinkai referred as ‘the next Hayao Miyazaki’. Hayao Miyazaki is a creator of Studio Ghibli films. Both of them do have slightly similar characteristics such as imagination, littlebit mystical and ‘strange’, allude to Japanese culture, and illustrate the connection between characters who are a bit complicated but very strong.

In various interviews, Makoto said that Castle in the Sky, released in 1986, was his favorite anime. The anime is one of Hayao Miyazaki’s works. Various other Hayao Miyazaki’s works such as Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo, Princess Mononoke, The Secret World of Arrietty and The Wind Rises made it into the best 10 anime with the greatest income of all time on the planet.

The film Spirited Away that aired 18 years ago also managed to hold first place, until two years ago Makoto Shinkai replaced the position with Your Name. Makoto never expected his work should be at the top because according to him Your Name was ‘unfinished’. Your Name and Weathering With You are not the only works by Makoto Shinkai to successfully plague and win numerous honors, particularly in Japan.

Other than Your Name, the name Makoto Shinkai has been known since the film The Place Promised in Our Early Days (2004). The film was his first work as a producer and immediately became the Best Animated Film in the 2004 Mainichi Film Award.

Three years later, he released 5 Centimeters per Second (2007). The film consists of three parts namely Cherry Blossom, Cosmonaut, and 5 Centimeters per Second was awarded the Best Long Animation Film trophy in the 2007 Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

In 2011, Makoto Shinkai released Children Who Chase Lost Voice which visibly reminded viewers of Studio Ghibli. This animated film, which shows a beautiful and detailed view of Agartha’s fictional land, won six nominations from a number of famous events, one of which was the Best Art Direction in the 2012 Tokyo Anime Award.

Makoto Shinkai is also known through the film The Garden of Woods (2013). He once said this film was made because it was influenced by his love for Mari Okada’s work in the anime Toradora !. The 46-minute film won the Kobe Theatrical Film Award, the Fantasia International Film Festival and the Sttutgart Festival of Animated Film.

Makoto Shinkai has a special feature in every film. He is always seen using a palette of bright colors, visually vivid and detailed visuals, imaginative, sci-fi plot and fantasy, the relationship of deep touching characters, and the presence of cats as his favorite animals.


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