Makoto Shinkai is a Japanese director best known for creating productions possessing incredible artwork, each involving bittersweet plots about the distance between his romantic leads. He has established his own animation studio named Comix Wave.
Shinkai is famous for drawing, producing, and even voicing Voices of a Distant Star himself and for the extreme success it had despite its humble creation. He has been referred to as "the new Miyazaki" in some circles (though he himself dislikes the nickname, calling it an "overestimation").
His productions to date
- She and Her Cat (1999)
- Voices of a Distant Star (2002)
- The Place Promised in Our Early Days (2004)
- Five Centimeters Per Second (2007)
- Children Who Chase Lost Voices From Deep Below (2011)
His works features examples of:
- Author Appeal: Trains are present in all of his works.
- Award Bait Song: Voices Of A Distant Star and The Place Promised In Our Early Days apply these songs in their endings to great effect.
- Bittersweet Ending: These are prevalent in all of his works, with the exception of the novelizations, where the dénouement is explored in greater detail.
- I Will Wait for You: This is played straight in Voices Of A Distant Star and The Place Promised In Our Early Days, but deconstructed in Five Centimeters Per Second, where it contributes to the melancholy of the protagonist as the story reaches its end.
- Long Title: Most of the productions have rather long titles. In particular, Five Centimeters Per Second's proper title is 5 Centimeters Per Second: A Chain Of Short Stories About Their Distance.
- One-Man Army: Makoto Shinkai did everything save the music and the female lead's voice in Voices Of A Distant Star. In his subsequent works, he has had a production team helping him.
- Scenery Porn: This is a given in his works -- consider that his art has a tendency to make Real Life appear dreary and low-resolution. In particular, the art in Five Centimeters Per Second surpasses those of his previous works: see Scenery Porn and Cherry Blossom trope images.
- The Mario: Shinkai himself is a real jack-of-all trades filmmaker. For Five Centimeters Per Second, he was responsible for writing, directing, storyboarding, directing the sound, animating, supervising and drawing the backgrounds, cinematographer, and editing. He also wrote the lyrics to the theme song to The Place Promised in Our Early Days, and as mentioned previously, did everything in the creation of Voices Of A Distant Star aside from voice the female lead during the initial run, which was provided by his wife.