Makoto Shinkai: A Name of Simplicity, Creativity And Emotions


“When I was younger, the sky was closer.” It’s a quote by a Japanese graphic designer and animation film director named Makoto Shinkai. He’s considered to be the second Hayao Miyazaki.

Makoto Shinkai was born in Kaomi, Nagano Prefecture, Japan in February 9, 1973. He was graduated from Chuo University. As he didn’t particularly know what job to take, he started finding work in many fields and at last he was hired in a gaming company. He said in an interview with NHK, “When I had to look for a job, I had no idea what to do and tried to find work at many different fields. The only one that wanted to hire me was a gaming company.”

He was fond of drawing. He was quite good at painting. Thus he became a graphic designer. Later, working with graphic designing he became fascinated with making movies. In an interview he stated, “I loved drawing so I became a graphic designer at the firm and during my time there the nature of games began to change. After doing that kind of work for the gaming company, I really became interested in making film. Instead of making image sequences for games, I wanted to make them for their own sake. As I wanted to make a movie, I started making my own creations at home after work. Then he started his career in a gaming company. The animation and graphic designing of a game made him interested. So he started making his own animated videos. As he was not acquainted with anyone from television, so he started posting the videos online. As internet is worldly used, his videos very soon became well known. This inspired him to create more videos. At this time he got an idea of a movie. He started working on that. But he realized that it’s hard to continue his movie work and office work. So after working for some months he decided to quit. Then he worked for 8 months continuously on his first independent movie “Voices of a Distant Star”. This movie gained him much fame and he started to make more. And he then found himself a crew. The number of crew members gradually increased. Then he made “The Place Promised in Our Early Days”, “5 Centimeters per Second”, “and Children Who Chase Lost Voices from Deep Below”,“ Garden of Words” and many more. His latest movie is “Kimi no Nawa (Your Name)” which was released in August 2016. About the content of his movies he said, “It’s important to be able to enjoy something just for the story and the all-encompassing plot. I focused on the universal as I wanted something that someone could watch and enjoy no matter where they are from.”

In 2000 he won the grand prize at the DoGA CG Animation Contest for a 5 minutes animation video named “She and Her Cat”. Asking about Makoto Shinkai’s work, the producer of DoGA contest said, “What shocked me most about Shinkai’s work wasn’t that it was spectacular, but simply that moved me.” His words completely define Shinkai’s work. He later won many other prizes. The best part of his movies is that he simply designs the nature and splendidly represents the beauty of the nature and the small but sweet and heart-warming emotions related to that. He also uses real photographs to enhance the realistic side of his sketches. There’s also a book of his sketches that he made while working with the studio CoMix Wave named “A Sky Longing for Memories: The Art of Makoto Shinkai”.

Makoto Shinkai also worked on mangas (Japanese comics), video games, picture book and illustration. His movies are famous all over the world. He once said that, “I still don’t really know what it is I make, how it touches customers and what it is I really leave behind.” Makoto Shinkai has a great talent of creating something deep and simple from our day to day life. His stories are not really something spectacular but they are simple, sweet and life-related. His movies can make people feel that he is stating one of their life stories.

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I am a college student. I don't have many things to describe about myself. But some things I can say that i am enthusiast about learning things and doing different kind of works. Even though I've failed many times I still like to try to do something new. And I hope to find more about myself.