Makoto Shinkai News

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Every year when the cherry blossoms bloom, the internet holds an online film festive where everyone watches a film(s) by Makoto Shinkai. This year, Crunchyroll will once again stream all of the Shinkai films excluding the one that's about to be released. This event will start on Friday, March 15 and will end on Sunday, March 17. The films that will be streaming are: 5 Centimeters Per Second, Voices of a Distant Star, The Place Promised in Our Early Days, and the Children Who Chase Lost Voices. All of the following summaries are provided by Crunchyroll. You can access all the movies tomorrow using this link.

Voices of a Distant Star

It is 2046 when a mysterious alien force begins their annihilation of the human race. Leaving behind the one person she loves, Mikako joins the interstellar battle as a pilot. As Mikako flies further into space, her only connection with Noboru are text messages sent from her mobile phone. And so - while Mikako risks her life to save mankind - Noboru waits. At first days, then months, then years for each new message that will let him know whether Mikako is still alive. And, while she barely grows older in the timelessness of space, Noboru ages. The two lovers, worlds apart, desperately strive to remain connected as the gap between them widens at a frightening pace.

The Place Promised in Our Early Days

In school, they were best friends. And they shared two passions: the plane they built together, christened Bela Cielo, and a girl. Sayuri.
Oblivious to the tense internation environment, the three form an indelible bond and it seems nothing can ever come between them and their dream. The boys believe that someday they will reach the distant tower - and touch Sayuri's heart- however far away it may be.
But time passes. War esclates. Alliances are changed. Friends become enemies. And Sayuri falls into a dreamlike state that seems inexplicably linked to the mysterious tower of their youth. At the brink of a World War, Sayuri seems to be the key to a new world peace...or a frightening and bitter end to life as we know it.

5 Centimeters Per Second

Tohno Takaki and Shinohara Akari are two classmates in an elementary school. During their time together they have become close friends. Their relationship is tested when Akari transfers to another city because of her parents' jobs. Both of them struggle to keep their friendship alive as time and distance slowly pulls them apart. When Takaki finds out that he is moving farther away, he decides to visit Akari one last time.

Children Who Chase Voices

When she hears a strange song from a crystal radio, Asuna tunes into more than just a magical stream of music. Soon, she is transported to a mysterious world where mythical beasts roam and brave warriors fight for their lives. Agartha is a land of breathtaking beauty and unimaginable danger - a place where, it is believed, even the dead can be brought back to life. But at what cost?Every year when the cherry blossoms bloom, the internet holds an online film festive where everyone watches a film(s) by Makoto Shinkai. This year, Crunchyroll will once again stream all of the Shinkai films excluding the one that's about to be released. This event will start on Friday, March 15 and will end on Sunday, March 17. The films that will be streaming are: 5 Centimeters Per Second, Voices of a Distant Star, The Place Promised in Our Early Days, and the Children Who Chase Lost Voices. All of the following summaries are provided by Crunchyroll.
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It covers the man himself as well as his views and techniques for using 3D animation as well as some information about animation in general. It's a very cool read. I won't post the whole thing here because it's well written and Tested deserves the hits for writing it, but here is the opening...

2D ANIMATION IN THE DIGITAL ERA: INTERVIEW WITH JAPANESE DIRECTOR MAKOTO SHINKAI
by Wesley Fenlon on Sept. 20, 2012
In May 2001, a young Japanese graphic designer named Makoto Shinkai left his job at a video game company to create a short animated film called Voices of a Distant Star. Despite having almost no experience combining narrative and animation, Shinkai told a uniquely poignant story, blending science fiction with the drama and angst of adolescence. More importantly, the short film looked incredibly good for a one-man project. Voices was a breakout success for an amateur animator, and Shinkai has created three more films in the past decade, establishing himself as one of the anime industry's preeminent creators.
Shinkai belongs to a new generation of animators who have never worked in the traditional pen-and-paper format, and Voices of a Distant Star is a testament to how dramatically computers have changed the animation industry in the past decade. He created the 25 minute short in seven months, using only a Power Mac G4 at a time when PowerPC processors were still reaching for the 1GHz barrier.
"If I had been born 10 years earlier, I don’t think I would be an animator," wrote Makoto Shinkai in an email interview about the evolving landscape of 2D and 3D animation. "Oh, I might have drawn some things, but I doubt I would have been able to do it for a living. When I became obsessed, in my twenties, with the need to express myself, it was just at the point when computers and digital tools had matured enough to make that possible."
Aspiring animators can now create their passion projects with technology that's cheaper and more approachable than it's ever been, and Shinkai's follow-ups to Voices of a Distant Star have embraced that technology to create some of the industry's most beautiful imagery. All of his art has a distinct visual feel thanks to a combination of warm lighting and detailed vistas.
But Shinkai proposes an important distinction between the technology and style of digital animation: Though the process is brand new, the technique is still rooted in the cel tradition. And tradition is slow to change...
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CRUNCHYROLL TO PARTICPATE IN GLOBAL SHINKAI DAY

Online Anime Distribution Leader and Fans to Celebrate the Work of Acclaimed
Anime Director Makoto Shinkai on February 28, 2009

San Francisco, California and Tokyo, Japan (February 24, 2009) ­  When fans
speak Š Crunchyroll listens. With blessings from CoMix Wave Films, Makoto
Shinkai English fan forum and fansite,
http://cherryblossomsfalling., and the online anime
distribution leader, Crunchyroll, will collaborate in honoring one of the
anime industry¹s celebrated directors and visionaries for one day only on
February 28, 2009. More information can be found at the company¹s website at
www.crunchyroll.com <http://www.crunchyroll.com> .

5 CENTIMETERS PER SECOND, VOICES OF A DISTANT STAR and A PLACE PROMISED IN
OUR EARLY DAYS are titles that are synonymous with world famous anime
director Mr. Makoto Shinkai ("Hailed as the 'Next Miyazaki'" - The Japan
Times), and Crunchyroll is celebrating his ³awesomeness² with 24 hours of
Shinkai¹s most celebrated works to all Crunchyroll members at up to 480p.

³We are very happy to see how the world has embraced Mr. Shinkai¹s work²,
states Mr. Kazuki Sunami of CoMix Wave Films, ³anime is a wonderful art form
and CoMix Wave Films is very proud to work with Crunchyroll  in bringing Mr.
Shinkai¹s vision to the world.  We hope everyone enjoys it.²

In addition, anime fans will have an opportunity to celebrate Mr. Shnkai¹s
work by participating in the official Makoto Shinkai forum pages moderated
by Makoto Shinkai English fan forum and fansite (and long time fan!) owner,
Mr. Laz Long, ³I'm really excited that Crunchyroll is hosting these films
online and allowing us to share these amazing films with people all over the
world.²

Titles to air include:

·     5 CENTIMETERS PER SECOND
·     VOICES OF A DISTANT STAR
·     A PLACE PROMISED IN OUR EARLY DAYS

Shinkai¹s work debuted at many high profile film festivals such as the
Ottawa International Animation Festival and has won countless awards such as
the animation grand prize at Italy¹s Future Film Fest in 2008 for 5
CENTIMETERS PER SECOND.

"Hailed as the 'Next Miyazaki'" - The Japan Times

"Legendary anime" - IGN.com

Crunchyroll Anime Member benefits include higher quality streams of all
shows (in some cases at 720p High Definition Video) with no advertisement
and early access to simulcast shows such as NARUTO SHIPPUDEN, GINTAMA,
NATSUME YUJINCHO, SKIP BEAT, SHUGO CHARA!, WEB GHOSTS PIPOPA, LINEBARRELS OF
IRON, THE TOWER OF DRUAGA ­ THE SWORD OF URUK - and additional titles as
early as one (1) hour after its Japan Broadcast.

About Crunchyroll
Headquartered in San Francisco, California ­ Crunchyroll is hailed as a
leading online entertainment brand with the largest international online
community and destination focused on Asian entertainment including anime,
drama, music in addition to electronic entertainment and auto content.
Crunchyroll¹s distribution channel and partnership program delivers content
to over four million passionate fans worldwide. Crunchyroll is funded by the
premiere group Venrock.  More information can be found at its website
http://www.crunchyroll.com.
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ANIME FANS WORLDWIDE TO CELEBRATE GLOBAL SHINKAI DAY 2009

Fans of Japanese anime creator Makoto Shinkai are gathering worldwide in cyberspace February 27-28 for Global Shinkai Day 2009. The unofficial English-language fansite Cherry Blossoms Falling (http://cherryblossomsfalling.myfastforum.org) is hosting the event with discussion and contests, calling upon fans from every part of the globe to show their appreciation and support for the works of this highly-acclaimed director. A chat widget will be available on the main page for fan discussions. Contests will held for inspired fan-made works in art, film and essay. No subscription is necessary to participate. Participants who own copies of the four anime by Mr. Shinkai (She and Her Cat, Voices of a Distant Star, The Place Promised in Our Early Days, and 5 Centimeters Per Second) are encouraged to watch these in chronological order during some portion of the 24-hour period beginning at 8 pm EST. A proposed schedule is posted on the site.

The unofficial Chinese-language fansite (http://www.shinkai.cn) will also be participating, showcasing fan-made short films inspired by Mr. Shinkai's works. The unofficial Japanese-language fansite Makoto Shinkai Fan Web (http://daike.hp.infoseek.co.jp) is also lending its support through news and information.
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