Makoto Shinkai’s movies are something else.

Fangirling a couple of a movies by Makoto Shinkai.

I’m not much of an anime fan, but I’ve been hugely impressed by Makoto Shinkai‘s work recently.

Typically, I only ever read the one-line synopsis on Netflix itself, or IMDB if Netflix’s description is just riddled with actors’ names (who cares, Netflix? Tell me the story.)

I had added 5 Centimetres Per Second to my wishlist a few months ago. It really caught my interest. And the movie title is exactly the metaphor I expected.

I felt a deep sense of nostalgia after watching this movie. In a not-so-good way, but also with a hopeful arc. It is part slice-of-life, part extra-realistic (there’s a train scene for 20 whole minutes, apparently — I didn’t count the time but that’s what I read elsewhere).

In 2010, “Trains” magazine rated this film 45th of the 100 Greatest Train Movies.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5_Centimeters_per_Second#cite_note-46

Should you not have had any of the experiences of the main characters, you might find it “boring.” I did not. I was thoroughly engrossed and my mind was playing up my own memories alongside the movie.

Look, I’m not a literary wizard who can do justice to the “depth of emotion” you feel with his work. So I’m relying on others who are.

Shinkai has been hailed as the next Miyazaki, and his dreamy mindscapes often equal or surpass the anime maestro in breadth of detail and depth of emotion. Shinkai extends the innate possibilities of the anime dynamic, reapplying its principles of lush effects, inflated background detail and sometimes undernourished character animation to mirror the interiority of the characters in every nuance of their surroundings.

Ronnie Scheib from Variety

Five Centimeters is ultimately about moving on from past connections instead of just living in the past, about finding a way to become happy in the present rather than just pining for what has been lost over time. In that sense Five Centimeters is Shinkai’s most mature and complicated work yet.

Theron Martin, Anime News Network

Next, I moved on to Your Name (his other critically acclaimed piece) on the recommendation of a (new) friend. And yes, once again, left with a deep sense of awe and wonder about who we are and our place in the universe.

The film achieved the second-largest gross for a domestic film in Japan, behind Spirited Away, and the fourth-largest ever, behind Titanic and Frozen.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Your_Name#Reception

Ahh, lots more to watch and I can’t contain myself. This stuff really hits. 😀

What really (also) gets to me is how so many locations are based on real-life places. I would like to visit them someday. Japan really does seem like an interesting place to be as a tourist. Especially a tourist who believes in many of the values that the local community believes in (from my currently cursory reading): keeping tidy, being on time, and a polite and friendly demeanor towards everyone.

I really do wish cinemas in India had some interest in showing anime on the big screen. There’s another movie coming November 2022 but I guess I’ll have to stick to waiting for it to show up somewhere. Worse yet, at some point in time.


Featured image from https://makotoshinkai.fandom.com.

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