From Makoto Shinkai's Children Who Chase Lost Voices from Deep Below
Tokyo, like New York, can be a dreary place, but anime director Makoto Shinkai looks for moments of beauty and grace and then brings them into his films, which have been compared to the work of Hayao Miyazaki.
Shinkai, whose visit to New York Comic Con was co-sponsored by the anime site Crunchyroll, discussed his work and inspirations in a spotlight panel, and his latest film, Children Who Chase Lost Voices from Deep Below, had its North American premiere at the con.
Shinkai is not your run-of-the-mill anime director. He started his career as a graphic designer and worked in the gaming industry before he began making anime, and he broke into the field with short film, She and Her Cat. His films, which include Voices of a Distant Star and Five Centimeters Per Second, often center on themes of loneliness and lost love, and are visually very beautiful. And he does much of the work himself. As Japanamerica author Roland Kelts, who interviewed Shinkai for the panel, pointed out, “Shinkai-san is a triple threat. He basically writes illustrates, animates, directs, he does the whole thing. He is an anime auteur of the highest order.”
Kelts began by asking Shinkai how his background affected his work.
“First of all, like we said, my background is in digital whereas in traditional places like Ghibli they do everything hand drawn,” Shinkai answered, speaking through a translator. “When I first started making these videos I was an amateur. I was working in a gaming company, but I really wanted to make animation. I didn’t really have anything special, no special tools at my disposal so I used what I had on hand like Photoshop, and that's really how I started.” Read More...