The Works of Makoto Shinkai

When I first saw Your Name, I was immediately enamored. It didn’t become my favorite movie overnight, though. It wasn’t until the third or fourth viewing that it took that spot. I evangelized the movie to anyone who would listen, and devoured any internet coverage I could find of it. In doing so, I learned about its creator Makoto Shinkai and his previous works. Most agreed they were beautifully drawn, good movies, but the occasional hardcore Shinkai fan claimed that they were superior to Your Name. (This came across much like a hardcore fan of a band telling you they were better before they went commercial.) Delighted as I was with Your Name, I decided to track a few of these down. The two that were mentioned the most were the Garden of Words (largely due to its cameos and references in Your Name) and 5 Centimeters Per Second, which some claimed as Shinkai’s true masterpiece. That one was relatively easy to find, so one night I watched it.

This set me on a journey to watch all of Shinkai’s movies, but the journey didn’t proceed as planned. I only just finished them over the past weekend. This is the story of that journey. I’ll try to avoid specific spoilers, but I can’t help but touch on themes and things like which movies had a happy ending, so if you want to watch these movies without any idea what you’re in for, skip this post.

Continue reading “The Works of Makoto Shinkai”

Weathering With Makoto Shinkai

I attended the special fan preview screening of Weathering With You, which included a recorded interview with Makoto Shinkai. In it, he made clear his intentions to create a movie that would hit audiences all across the world like Your Name did in Japan. In this, I fear he is going to be bitterly disappointed.

Following up Your Name, my favorite movie and I would argue one of the best-constructed movies ever, was no easy task. Shinkai appears to have tried to reproduce a similar story but on a slightly grander scale. A lot of the specific trappings of Your Name are there, but it just doesn’t work the same way. I have a lot of thoughts on this, but they do involve Your Name spoilers. (I will refrain from posting significant Weathering With You spoilers, though if there’s one thing the movie has over Your Name it’s that at least you can discuss it without everything¬†being a spoiler!)

Continue reading “Weathering With Makoto Shinkai”