Tale Time: Makoto Shinkai’s New Film And My Tastes in Art

News Re-gag: August Premiere For New Shinkai Film

Guess scenery porn and additions to wallpaper collections are a given.

The renowned director’s newest film, Kimi no Na wa | Your Name, will be debuting August 2016, featuring staff including Movie Director Shunji Iwai (Hana to Alice: Satsujin Jiken) and main casts, Ryuunosuke Kamiki and Moka Kamishiraishi.

Tagline of the key visual: I am searching for you, whom I have never met yet.

Let’s chat: A *Brief* Tale About My Tastes in Anime Art

I’m a visual person. I daresay, that my tastes in works of art are rather lavishing and self-indulging: I enjoy bold colours, vibrant details, extravagant strokes of light and shadows and a general sense of (somewhat) controlled hyperactivity. Shows and films by Kyoto Animation, such as Hyouka, K-on! The Movie, Tamako Love Story and Hibike! Euphonium are some great examples of what I described above, and a good reason as to why I have always regarded KyoAni as one of my favourite animation studios, ever since I’ve joined the anime fandom. Makoto Shinkai is another name I recently latched onto, soon after finishing his short film, The Garden of Words, which just happened to be screening during a visit to my university anime society’s weekly screening session, earlier this year.

Short story long (yes, that’s not a typo), the location of the screening left much to be desired. UNSW; whilst respectable in reputation; tends to leave its backyards rather wanting. Granted, its multi-campus nature and the sheer size of the main campus allowed it partial excuse to leave a few rough spots, during its constant phases of renovations and construction projects, but some buildings and classroom facilities seemed to be stuck in the 1980s, with a few glimpses of the current day stapled in unassumingly. The building-in-question, where our screening room was located, were only equipped with the most basic of classroom furnishings and utilities: the computer and projector screen were unpolished and under-maintained, the chairs’ numbers doesn’t seem to match the space allowed by the desks. The projector itself barely deserved the rating of ‘HD’, and only managed to produce images that are pale and under-saturated. Needless to say, The Garden of Words didn’t get the screening that it deserved. Yet, I was drawn to the film, anyway.

After a few episodes of random airing shows, my eyes thankfully decided to partially adjust themselves to tolerate the subpar quality of the projections. Then the screening director (fancy name for the exec position) starting playing Shinkai’s short film, not long after I heard a few whispers of a reference I had no clue about: “Another ‘Five Wallpapers Per Second’, eh?”

Well, now I realised that it was reference to another of Shinkai’s projects: the film Five Centimetres Per Second. Needless to say, the screening was the beginning phase of me understanding the sheer truth behind this cheeky word play.

After a few seconds of blackness, the speakers kicked in: sprinkles of raindrops and the crisp chirps of distant birds. I had to do a double-take when the footage finally brightened to detectable levels: Is this really animation?! The first few minutes of the film were abrupt in their contrasts between the overwhelming greenery of the pond side gardens and the mundane greyness of the busy train station, but both settings were polished to such a degree, that even the ripples forming on the water’s surface as the raindrops made impact, looked like hype realistic live footage…made sublime by human imagination. This sheer magnificence was just one of the many elements that intrigued me about the man behind the film, especially when I found out about how the film I was watching was practically a solo creation.

The true in-depth exploration of The Garden of Words will no doubt be the subject of a future publication, as my feelings towards the film wasn’t as clear-cut as me fanboying the shit out of its art, but for now, I guess you have a sense of my excitement of seeing Shinkai helming another project.

I suppose my appreciation of well managed aesthetics, framing compositions and choices of fitting colour palettes are just side effects of another one of my downtime hobbies: that old trusty Canon DSLR I still shoot with every once in a while. My interest in photography was literally sparked by an accident (a story for another time), an accident that got me to start teaching myself about the basic manual controls of the instrument in my hands and the eventual elevation of me being the go-to-photographer in my family and friend circles. My obsession of playing with my images and compositions, both on site and during post-processing, means my interest in landscape photography has elevated my appreciation of beautiful anime background art, and its aesthetic pleasure when used in harmony with animation.

Photography is an art form that allows the artist to appreciate reality…by purifying and sometimes exaggerating the beauty buried within the typical and the mundane, something that Makoto Shinkai excels at: the visual exaggeration of the boring and the passionate visual poetry that glorifies normal life and landscapes.

That’s all from me today, hope you enjoyed my little story and gushing at the news.

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