Makoto Shinkai (新海 誠 Shinkai Makoto?), born Makoto Niitsu (新津 誠 Niitsu Makoto?) (born February 9, 1973) is a Japanese anime director, animator, and principal voice actor. A native of the Nagano prefecture in Japan, he studied Japanese literature in university. He traces his passion for creation to the manga, anime, and novels he was exposed to while in middle school. His favorite anime is Castle in the Sky by Hayao Miyazaki. Shinkai has been called "The New Miyazaki" in several reviews including Anime Advocates and ActiveAnime, comparison which he calls an "overestimation".
In 1999, Shinkai released She and Her Cat, a five minute short piece done in monochrome. It won several awards, including the grand prize at the 2000 DoGA CG Animation contest. The short details the life of a cat, entirely from the cat's perspective, as it passes time with its owner, a young woman.
After winning the grand prize, Shinkai began thinking about a follow-up while he continued to work as a graphic designer for Falcom, a video game company. Some months later in June 2000, Shinkai was inspired to begin Voices of a Distant Star by drawing a picture of a girl in a cockpit grasping a cell phone. Some time later, he was contacted by Mangazoo, who offered to "work with him," giving him a grant to turn his idea into an anime they could sell. In May 2001, he quit his job at Falcom and began to work on Voices. In an interview, Shinkai noted that production took around seven months of "real work."
Voices was followed by the 90 minute long The Place Promised in Our Early Days, which was released nationwide in Japan on November 20, 2004. It was critically acclaimed, winning many honors. Shinkai's next project was titled 5 Centimeters per Second and premiered 3 March 2007. It consists of three short films titled Cherry Blossom, Cosmonaut, and 5 Centimeters Per Second. The total play time is about 63 minutes. In September 2007 Nagano's leading newspaper, Shinano Mainichi Shinbun, released a TV commercial animated by Makoto Shinkai. Aside from his own projects, Shinkai also assists in animating visual novel opening movies for Minori, a visual novel company.
Shinkai spent 2008 in London, resting since the completion of 5 Centimeters per Second. He returned to Japan in 2009 to start work on his next project. He released two concept drawings for this film in December 2009. Shinkai noted that this film would be his longest animation film to date and described the story as a "lively" animated film with adventure, action, and romance centered on a cheerful and spirited girl on a journey to say "farewell". In November 2010, he revealed that his next work would be titled Children who Chase Lost Voices from Deep Below. A teaser trailer was released on November 9, and the film is expected to be released in May 2011.
- ↑ "MAKOTO SHINKAI - THE PLACE PROMISED IN OUR EARLY DAYS DIRECTOR". activeanime.com. 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2010-08-28.
- ↑ "Distant Star's Shinkai Posts Images for Next Anime". Anime News Network. 2009-12-24. Retrieved 2010-08-28.
- ↑ "Paradise Kiss, Mardock Scramble, Gon Promos Streamed (Makoto Shinkai's latest work, Hoshi o Ou Kodomo, to have teaser on November 9)". Anime News Network. 2010-11-02. Retrieved 2010-11-04.
- ↑ "Makoto Shinkai's Hoshi o Ou Kodomo Teaser Posted in HD". Anime News Network. 2010-11-09. Retrieved 2010-11-09.
- Makoto Shinkai's Website (Japanese)
- Official Byousoku 5 Centimeter Website (Japanese)
- Makoto Shinkai at the Internet Movie Database
- Makoto Shinkai at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
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