Makoto Shinkai

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Created on: 8 Oct 2008
The group for Makoto Shinkai fans.

Family Name: Shinkai (新海)
Given Name: Makoto (誠)

Birthday: February 9th, 1973
Birthplace: Koumi-cho, Nagano Prefecture

Academic Background:
Graduated from Chuo University (majored Japanese literature)
Belonged juvenile literature club in the university
Learned painting skill by self-taught
Learned CG skill through the job in gaming company

Job History:
Graphic designer in a gaming company Falcom (1996-2000)

Favorite Anime:
Laputa -Castle of the Sky-

Favorite Novelist:
Haruki Murakami

Makoto Shinkai was born in Nagano Prefecture of Japan in 1973.

Nagano Pref. is ideal for skiing in winter, and famous as a summer resort because of beautiful landscape and cool temperature. The beautiful depiction of the clouds and the sky in his films is from the scenery of his hometown.

After graduating from high school (1991), He got into Chuo University in Tokyo (1992) and majored in Japanese literature. He participated in the juvenile literature club there to draw picture books.

He lived in Saitama Prefecture (near by Tokyo) when he was a university student. The scenery of Japanese town in She and Her Cat and Voices of a Distant Star is mainly here.

According to the interview with Makoto Shinkai by , he did not like Saitama very much at first, because it was a "halfway town": not so industrial, not so residential, and not so as beautiful as his hometown. However, he said that the impression has changed as he lived there longer and had various experiences.

After graduating from the university (1994), he got a job in a computer game company and learned CG for 5 years by making video clips for games and graphic design including web content. He made many wonderful video clips for games, but they are short ones for about several minutes, so he felt dissatisfied. He wanted to make longer anime to demonstrate his creativity and imagination.

She and Her Cat and Voices of a Distant Star

He had been making paper-play like CG works during his school days with a computer. From 1997 onwards, he began to make short CG anime independently on his private time. After some studies such Tooi Sekai, he made a short 5-minute anime film Kanojo to Kanojo no Neko (She and Her Cat).

She and Her Cat won awards in some contests. However, the biggest rewards he got from this film were not awards but Mr Hagiwara (becomes his producer later) and CoMix Wave (company of copyright management and produce).

At that time, Shinkai was making a powerful anime film Hoshi no Koe (Voices of a Distant Star) as his next step.

Although he considered calm story in the beginning, like She and Her Cat, he got some advice from Kamata , the organizer of the contest which he won. Kamata said to Shinkai, "Be more showy entertainment!"

Since Shinkai resigned the game company in order to make Voices of a Distant Star, he was (and still is) a free-lance anime creator. Some anime studios and companies noticed his new work, and Shinkai had many offers from them, but he turned them down; because he wanted to make Voices of a Distant Star with little staff as possible.

With the help of Tenmon, Shinohara, Low, Hagiwara, and other people, the 25-minutes anime Voices of a Distant Star was completed on January 2002. It brought great economical success to Makoto Shinkai.

As a Professional Anime Creator

Makoto Shinkai and CoMix Wave announced the next work Kumo no Mukou, Yakusoku no Basho (The Place Promised in Our Early Days) on December 2002. It was his first fill-length film (it was 50 minutes at the first plan though). Ushio Tazawa and Takumi Tanji joines as new main staff.

Makoto Shinkai says in his website:
"I want to grope the style of anime sending from the place different from (large) studios by a small number of people."

And, he also said he will continue to create stories of junior or senior high boys and girls as central characters. He says in a article of ASCII 24:
"Considering the changes of my mind that I went through when I was growing up from junior to senior high to adult, I feel that various things were not properly digested, and I'm wondering whether I myself have grown enough or not.
I want to take another look at the problems which I had not digested and had passed without solving by making films. I am also turn these feelings into my works."

The Place Promised in Our Early Days was premiered on November 20, 2004.

On July 2006, he announced new work Byousoku 5 Centimeters. He took new style in the short films: three chained short films.

Makoto Shinkai is a very calm and friendly guy. This is one of the reasons why I am a fan of his.

His personal website Other voices (Japanese):


5 Centimeters per Second (Byousoku 5 Centimeters)

The Place Promised in Our Early Days (Kumo no Mukou, Yakusoku no Basho)

Voices of a Distant Star (Hoshi no Koe)

She and Her Cat (Kanojo to Kanojo no Neko)


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