Makoto Shinkai

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Makoto Shinkai
Makoto Shinkhai in Moscow.JPG
Makoto Shinkai in Moscow 2013
Born Makoto Niitsu
(1973-02-09) February 9, 1973 (age 43)
Koumi, Nagano, Japan
Occupation Film director, Producer, Writer, Animator, Voice actor, Manga artist
Known for Voices of a Distant Star
The Place Promised in Our Early Days
5 Centimeters Per Second
Children Who Chase Lost Voices
The Garden of Words

Makoto Shinkai (新海 誠 Shinkai Makoto?), born as Makoto Niitsu (新津 誠 Niitsu Makoto?, born February 9, 1973) is a Japanese director of anime and former graphic designer. A native of Nagano Prefecture, Shinkai studied Japanese literature at Chuo University where he was a member of juvenile literature club where he drew picture books. He traces his passion for creation to the manga, anime, and novels he was exposed to while in middle school. His favorite anime is Castle in the Sky by Hayao Miyazaki. Shinkai has been called "The New Miyazaki" in several reviews, including those by Anime Advocates and ActiveAnime—comparisons which he himself calls an "overestimation".[1]


After graduating from Chuo in 1994 he got a job at Falcom, a video game company and where he worked for 5 years by making video clips for games and graphic design including web content. During this time he met musician Tenmon who would later collaborate in many of his movies by providing the music score.

In 1999, Shinkai released She and Her Cat, a five-minute short piece done in monochrome. It won several awards, including the grand prize at the 2000 DoGA CG Animation contest. The short details the life of a cat, entirely from the cat's perspective, as it passes time with its owner, a young woman.

After winning the grand prize, Shinkai began thinking about a follow-up while he continued for Falcom. A few months later in June 2000, Shinkai was inspired to begin Voices of a Distant Star by drawing a picture of a girl in a cockpit grasping a cell phone. Some time later, he was contacted by Mangazoo, who offered to "work with him," giving him a grant to turn his idea into an anime they could sell. In May 2001, he quit his job at Falcom and began to work on Voices. In an interview, Shinkai noted that production took around seven months of "real work".

Voices of a Distant Star was followed by the 90 minute long The Place Promised in Our Early Days, which was released nationwide in Japan on November 20, 2004. It was critically acclaimed, winning many honors. Shinkai's next project was titled 5 Centimeters per Second and premiered 3 March 2007. It consists of three short films titled Cherry Blossom, Cosmonaut, and 5 Centimeters Per Second. The total play time is about 63 minutes. In September 2007 Nagano's leading newspaper, Shinano Mainichi Shinbun, released a TV commercial animated by Makoto Shinkai. Aside from his own projects, Shinkai also assists in animating visual novel opening movies for Minori, a visual novel company.

Shinkai spent 2008 in London, resting since the completion of 5 Centimeters per Second. He returned to Japan in 2009 to start work on his next project. He released two concept drawings for this film in December 2009. Shinkai noted that this film would be his longest animation film to date and described the story as a "lively" animated film with adventure, action, and romance centered on a cheerful and spirited girl on a journey to say "farewell".[2] In November 2010, he revealed that his next work would be titled Children Who Chase Lost Voices from Deep Below. A teaser trailer was released on November 9, and the film was released on May 7, 2011.[3][4]

His latest feature, Kotonoha no Niwa (Garden of Words) was released on May 31, 2013.

Shinkai's new film, Kimino Na Wa. has been set to release on August, 2016.



  • Other Worlds (遠い世界 Tooi Sekai?) - Director / Animator, 1997 (short film)
  • She and Her Cat (彼女と彼女の猫 Kanojo to Kanojo no Neko?) - Director / Writer / Animator / voice of Her Cat, 1999 (short film)
  • Voices of a Distant Star (ほしのこえ Hoshi no Koe?) - Director / Writer / Producer / voice of Noboru Terao (original voice), 2002
  • Egao (みんなのうた「笑顔」 Minna no Uta "Egao"?) - Director, 2003 (Music Video for Hiromi Iwasaki)
  • The Place Promised in Our Early Days (雲のむこう、約束の場所 Kumo no Mukō, Yakusoku no Basho?) - Director / Writer / Producer / Storyboards / Background art / Design/Modeler / Theme Song Lyrics, 2004
  • 5 Centimeters Per Second (秒速5センチメートル Byōsoku Go Senchimētoru?) - Director / Writer / Producer / Storyboard / Art Director / Color design, 2007
  • A Gathering of Cats (猫の集会 Neko no Shūkai?) - Director / Storyboards / Background art / Color design / Photography, 2007 (TV short film featured on Ani*Kuri15)
  • Children Who Chase Lost Voices (星を追う子ども Hoshi o Ou Kodomo?) - Director / Writer / Producer, 2011
  • Dareka no Manazashi (だれかのまなざし?, lit. Someone's Gaze) - Director, 2013 (short film)
  • The Garden of Words (言の葉の庭 Kotonoha no Niwa?) - Director / Writer / Photography / Color design / Editing, 2013
  • Your name. (君の名は。 Kimi no na wa.?) - Director / Writer / Color design, 2016


  • Bosphorus tunnel (ボスポラス海峡トンネル Bosuporasu kaikyō ton'neru?) - Director / Background art, 2011 (TV commercial released by Taisei Corporation)[5]
  • Sri Lanka highway (スリランカ高速道路 Suriranka kōzokudōro?) - Director / Storyboards / Photography / Editing, 2013 (TV commercial released by Taisei Corporation), featuring the theme song Fight (ファイト Faito?) by Anri Kumaki[6]
  • Vietnam Noi Bai Airport (ベトナム・ノイバイ空港 Betonamu noibai kūkō?) - Director / Storyboards / Shooting / Editing, 2014 (TV commercial released by Taisei Corporation)[7]
  • Z-Kai: Cross Road (Z会 「クロスロード」 Kurosu Rodo?) - Screenplay / Storyboards / Production / Supervision, 2014 (TV commercial released by Z-Kai)[8]

Video games[edit]

Literary works[edit]

  • Slug, 1994 (picture-book)
  • 5 Centimeters per Second, 2007 (novel)
  • "The Garden of Words", 2014 (novel)


  • Beyond the Tower, 2002
  • Voices from a Distant Star, 2004
  • The Place Promised in Our Early Days, 2005–present
  • 5 Centimeters per Second, 2010-2011
  • Children who Chase Lost Voices from Deep Below, 2011


  • I Dream to Protect You (きみを守るためにぼくは夢をみる Kimi wo Mamoru Tame ni Boku wa Yume wo Miru?) - Illustrator, 2003 - 2011


  1. ^ "MAKOTO SHINKAI - THE PLACE PROMISED IN OUR EARLY DAYS DIRECTOR". Active Anime. 2005-09-27. Retrieved 2011-12-19.  Query Wayback Bibalex Wayback WebCite Wikiwix
  2. ^ "Distant Star's Shinkai Posts Images for Next Anime". Anime News Network. 2009-12-24. Retrieved 2010-08-28. 
  3. ^ "Paradise Kiss, Mardock Scramble, Gon Promos Streamed (Makoto Shinkai's latest work, Hoshi o Ou Kodomo, to have teaser on November 9)". Anime News Network. 2010-11-02. Retrieved 2010-11-04. 
  4. ^ "Makoto Shinkai's Hoshi o Ou Kodomo Teaser Posted in HD". Anime News Network. 2010-11-09. Retrieved 2010-11-09. 
  5. ^ "Other voices-遠い声- » 大成建設テレビCM" [Other voices - Taisei TV CM] (in Japanese). Makoto Shinkai / CoMix Wave Films. Retrieved October 10, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Other voices-遠い声- » 大成建設テレビCM「スリランカ高速道路」篇" [Other voices - Taisei TV CM "Sri Lanka highway"] (in Japanese). Makoto Shinkai / CoMix Wave Films. Retrieved October 10, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Other voices-遠い声- » 大成建設テレビCM「ベトナム・ノイバイ空港」篇" [Other voices - Taisei TV CM "Vietnam Noi Bai Airport"] (in Japanese). Makoto Shinkai / CoMix Wave Films. Retrieved October 10, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Other voices-遠い声- » Z会「クロスロード」" [Other voices - Z-Kai: Cross Road] (in Japanese). Makoto Shinkai / CoMix Wave Films. Retrieved October 10, 2014. 

External links[edit]