Top 5 Must Watch Makoto Shinkai Anime Movies
- December 17, 2022
- Culture and Entertainment
Anime have become a global sensation since the beginning of the 21st century. It is experiencing an unprecedented rise in popularity overseas, with a contributing role to its record sales. Anime has the power to connect people throughout the world in a way that sometimes writing and live-action films cannot. Given their visual and narrative freedom, they have more room for experimentation in their overarching stories, and also to stuff imagination into the details making them compelling and gorgeous on their own.
One of the greatest works that took the whole world by storm was the box-office hit Your Name released in 2016, directed by Makoto Shinkai. Thematically, he’s been incredibly consistent, from his first indie short to the highest-grossing anime of all time.
Following is a list of the best Makoto Shinkai anime films ever. (In no particular order)
The Garden of Words (2013)
A short love story with a shorter runtime that is rendered with great detail which makes it perfect as the film commands an impressive sense of setting. The focus of the film is on the two main characters who grow closer across chance meetings that feel well-realized and heartfelt. Shinkai’s tribute to the beauty of rain is breathtaking to witness. With its hyper-realistic backgrounds and gorgeous lighting, this film is a visual poem of water dripping from leaves, drops forming puddles, and ripples decorating ponds.
The Place Promised in Our Early Days (2004)
The story is set in a fictional Japan in 1996, where two middle schoolers named Hiroki and Takuya has put their hearts into completing a plane to fly to the symbolic, mysterious tower, scrambling to realize their fragile dream of adolescence that seems all but over. And sometimes a place must be lost for a future to be gained. Amid lofty romances and an array of supernatural twists, audiences can see glimpses of elements that would become common in Shinkai’s later works. This movie perfectly captures the essence of “that one summer back in middle school” in a quite magical, dreamy way.
Voices Of A Distant Star (2002)
This movie marks Shinkai’s first major anime and a passion project, an aspiring filmmaker’s wet dream that came to be. The story presents star-crossed lovers separated by insuperable distances, caught up in an interstellar war, as her messages take longer and longer to reach her partner as she gets further from Earth. Shinkai manages to pull at the heartstrings with visual symbolism right from the start of the film.
5 Centimeters Per Second (2007)
This movie with its strongest narratives isn’t very subtle about what it wants the audience to feel. It also put Shinkai on the radar of the world’s anime fans. Divided into three segments, the story deals with the first love, its loss, and the realities of growing up. It is packed with nostalgia, reminiscing about the time that the protagonist can’t seem to let go pondering upon what was and might not be, over and over again. The train rides shown in the film almost feel like an endless journey nearing the edge of the world. Don’t miss this gut-wrenching spectacle that will hit you on an entirely different level.
Your Name (2016)
Hands down, one of the best animes made in the history of Japanese cinema. From its unique plot, gorgeous visuals, and emotional rawness, to its compelling narrative, twists that keep the plot moving ahead at a brisk pace, and great musical sensitivity, this movie has it all. All the praise and recognition it received for the remarkable work is totally worth it. It went on to become a worldwide phenomenon, dominating the box office everywhere. But on a deeper level, the film encompasses feelings of loss and longing that is visceral and touches the consciousness of every human being.
If you have not witnessed this masterpiece. Remember you are missing out on what could be an Artistic Visual brilliance that will leave you dumbstruck nonetheless.
It is often the over-saturated sunsets depicted in his films, that are drenched with melancholy yearnings for what was or might have been, cherished by star-crossed lovers, estranged families, and childhood friends separated by time, space, age, or any combination of these, makes his works so different from others. Using his mastery of lighting and artfully captured beauty, he immerses the audience in the protagonists’ heightened state of mind, making us feel, see, and even smell what they are experiencing. He is an absolute brilliance.
His latest ventures Suzume no Tojimari, released on November 2022, debuted at number one at the Japanese box office, surpassing Weathering with You to become the biggest three-day opening for a Shinkai film. Are you excited about his next ventures?
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