5 Centimeters Per Second
Can young love stand the test of time and distance? "5 Centimeters Per Second," a 2007 Japanese animated feature film by renowned anime director Makoto Shinkai, follows the life of Takaki Tono from elementary school in the early 1990s to young adulthood in modern-day Tokyo in three interconnected segments. After Akari Shinohara transfers to Takaki's elementary school, the two develop an instant close friendship that gradually blossoms into young love. But when Akari's family moves to Tochigi, they are forced to keep in touch by writing letters - a task that comes easily at first but grows harder as Takaki reaches young adulthood and loses touch with his emotions. When Takaki finds out that his own family will be moving to Kagoshima, he decides to visit Akari before distance makes it too difficult in the future. But a severe storm keeps delaying his train from reaching Akari, making Takaki wonder if he will ever be able to see her again. The trip forces Takaki to confront his melancholic existence, pining for a past love that may have long faded in the cold reality of passing time. This critically acclaimed film won the Lancia Platinum Grand Prize for best movie in animation or special effects at the Future Film Festival and Best Animated Feature Film at the 2007 Asia Pacific Screen Awards. It has been made into a book, written by Shinkai, and a manga series. The title refers to the rate at which cherry blossoms fall to the ground, a metaphor for the way people's lives drift apart over time.
Voice of Distant Star
Middle school students Mikako Nagamine and Noboru Terao are close friends and members of the same club activities. But in the summer of 2046, Mikako tells Noboru that she has been chosen as a Select Member of the United Nations Space Army. Mikako leaves Earth in the winter of 2047, while Noboru goes on to high school in Japan. Separated by space, the two try to stay in touch by mobile mail. However, as Mikako goes farther out in the solar system on board the Lysithea spaceship, it takes increasingly longer for each to receive the other's mail. Noboru stays on Earth, frustrated by his situation and resigned to the fact that he can only wait for Mikako's emails. As time goes by, the Lysithea fleet approaches a time warp, a situation that make both Mikako and Noboru acutely aware of the time gap separating them.
The Place Promised in Our Early Days
'The Place Promised in Our Early Days', a Japanese anime film created and directed by Makoto Shinkai, takes place in Japan during the late 1990s in an alternate timeline, post-World War II where Japan has been divided and occupied by two rival powers. Hokkaido has been annexed by the "UNION" while Honshu and the other southern islands have come under U.S. occupation. Hiroki, Takuya and Sayuri are two young boys and a girl living in Aomori, the closest province in Honshu to Hokkaido. These three young classmates become fascinated by the gigantic yet mysterious tower that they see across the Tsugaru Strait, promising that one day they will build and fly an aircraft to the tower to unravel its mystery. However, their project is abandoned after the disappearance of Sayuri. Three years later, Hiroki finds out that Sayuri had been in a coma for the past three years, and asks Takuya to help him find a way to revive her. What they don't know yet is that Sayuri's unconsciousness is somehow linked to the secrets of the UNION tower...
Director, Makoto Shinkai biography:
Born in 1973, NAGANO prefecture in Japan. Studied Japanese Literature at college. Previously he worked at a computer game company for five years, and now works as a full-time director and visual creator. In 2000, Shinkai directed an animation “She and Her Cat,” and followed by “The voices of a distant star” in 2002. “The voices of a distant star” has several awards including Special Prize of Cultural Affairs’ “Media Art Festival.” In 2004, “The Place Promised in Our Early Days,” a first feature film animation directed by Shinkai, released theatrically nationwide in Japan. “The Place Promised...” was nominated for Shanghai Int’l Film Festival, and awarded as “Best Animation Feature film” in Seoul Int’l Animation Festival.
Director, Makoto Shinkai filmography:
- She And Her Cat (2000: 5min/Drama) Director/Animation/Art Director/Screenplay
- Awarded Human Grand-Prix in "SKIP Creative Human Award 2000" (JAPAN) Awarded Grand-Prix in "12th DoGA CG-Animation Contest" (JAPAN)
- The voices of a distant star: (2002: 25minutes Drama/Sci-Fi) Director/Animation/Art Director/Screenplay
- Awarded The Award for image design in “Digital Contents Grand Prix 2002"(JAPAN)
- Awarded in "The 6th Agency for Cultural Affairs Media Arts Festival"(JAPAN)
- Awarded Best Director in "The AMD Award/Digital Contents of the Year 2002"(JAPAN)
- Awarded the Best New Comer of Tokyo Int’l Animation Festival 2002
-The Place Promised in Our Early Days (2004: 91minutes Drama/Sci-Fi) Director/ Animation/Art Director/Screenplay
-Silver Prize for Best Feature Film category in Canada Fantasia Film Festival (CANADA)
- - Awarded Animation Grand Prix at The 59th Mainichi Film Concur (JAPAN)
- - Awarded the Best feature film in Seoul Int’l Animation Festival (Korea)
- - Nominated The 9th Shanghai International Film Festival (CHINA)