あした映画行こう!国境を越える風景描写とストーリー 新海誠のアニメ作りの真髄とは It's movie time! The anime director of the century? An interview with Makoto Shinkai


Overwhelmingly beautiful scenes of softly falling cherry blossoms, starry skies and sunlight piercing through a cloudless sky. It’s a beautiful Romantacism that Japanese anime director Makoto Shinkai is well known for. Just look at movies like 2013’s ‘Garden of Words’ - a masterpiece that has gained international critical acclaim, as well as an award at the Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film. Now Shinkai is back with his latest release, ‘Your Name’ - a tale that crosses bridges and borders with its deep human drama. Check out his exclusive interview with ZTOKYO below.

Q.「隔たりを乗り越えようとする人」を誠実に描き続けてきた新海監督にとって、集大成にして新境地となるような作品です。どのような意気込みで取り組まれたのでしょうか。‘Bridging the gap’ is a new theme for you - what made you decide to run with this concept?


After completing ‘Garden of Words’, I worked on a few TV adverts and novels. Those experiences opened my eyes up to the power of a good story. It was like I had gained the ability to look down on the entirety of a plot from a birds-eye view. So when I got started on ‘Your Name’, I wanted to focus on the storytelling side of it. I put my entire heart and soul into the plotline, and I’m pretty proud of the result. This is probably my favourite work that I’ve done to date.

Q.キャスティングについてのこだわりを教えてください。How did you go about casting voice actors?



The voice of Taki (Ryunosuke Kamiki) was a really difficult role. It basically required him to switch from a male to female voice half way through his lines. I know it sounds pretty funny, but some scenes are really serious, so I had to get someone really good. I mean, it’s not just about sounding convincing - it’s about what makes the audience happy or not, what makes them connect. I just knew it had to be Ryunosuke, and luckily he took on the role for me.

The voice of Mitsuha (Mone Kamishiraishi) was actually decided through auditions. It had to be someone who completely understood my image of Mitsuha’s character. There’s this one scene where she yells out “Please let me become a hunky Tokyo guy in my next life!” so I was kind of anxious about whether we could find someone who could get the role down right (laughs). However, when I met Mone I was totally certain we’d found the right one - she can definitely yell all right!

Q.「君の名は。」というタイトルもインパクトがあります。日本人にとっては、人気を博した「君の名は」というドラマもありとても馴染み深いものですが、このタイトルになったいきさつを教えてください。‘Your Name’ is a title that certainly has impact. There’s also a very famous drama in Japan with the same title.
What made you choose that name for your movie?


It was my favourite option all along. I knew that there is a drama series under the same name, so we debated quite a bit about whether we should use it or not. With the deadline drawing closer and closer, I read over the manuscript numerous times to try and come up with something, when I realised that the two main characters shout out the words “your name” pretty often. So I just couldn’t give it up. Of course, films have to stay fresh, but I don’t think it has to be down to every last detail. If you get choked up about that kind of stuff, you end up with a film that’s too far out for anyone to relate to.

Q.「千と千尋の神隠し」など数多くのスタジオジブリ作品を手掛けた安藤雅司さんが、作画監督を務めています。安藤さんの仕事からはどのような刺激を受けましたか。You worked together with Masashi Ando - an animation director famous for his work with Studio Ghibli.
What was it like having one of the people behind ‘Spirited Away’ on set?


Masashi Ando has always been a huge inspiration to me. Getting started on the production with him was a big highlight of the whole project. He taught me that movie production is not something you do half-heartedly - you go in to it as if you were risking your life. He was always very quiet, but held an aura like one of those teachers you were scared of back in school - just by being there in the studio, everybody else around him stood to attention. I learnt so much about creating. Since starting independent production the team around me has always gradually increased, and each time I’ve always had this feeling that there’s much more to creating movies than I imagined. But only this time did I really understand how deep the creation process could really go.

Q.新海ワールドの大きな特徴は、こちらの記憶や感情までを揺さぶられるような風景描写にあると思います。どのような思いを込めて風景を描いているのでしょうか。You are well known for your breathtaking landscapes - how do you come up with such visuals?


I see characters not as a single person, but a part of the scenery. For example with ‘Your Name’, the reason Taki and Mitsuha are so drawn to each other is because when Mitsuha swaps bodies with Taki, she finds the surrounding sights so beautiful. It’s the same as if you see your spouse’s childhood home for the first time - you find yourself liking the place just because you can imagine them there. In that sense, humans, places, backdrops and landscapes all hold the same importance. You can’t separate one from the other.

‘Garden of Words’ was chosen by CineFix as the number one most beautiful anime movie of all time.
How does it feel to have such wide international acclaim?


I was pretty shocked that they made such a hipster selection (laughs). With ‘Garden of Words’, I never once had the thought to make it a global movie - it was very domestic, very zoomed in on myself at that moment in time. The setting is actually inspired by the walks I went on every day in a park in Shinjuku. So when a movie so focused on my everyday life made it internationally, I realised that us humans maybe aren’t so different after all. We may speak different languages and have different cultures, but we all experience the same feelings and social constructs. Drawing my life had unexpectedly shown me a connection to the world.

As a player the extremely diverse field that is Japanese anime, what kind of films do you want to go on to make in future?


I think the diversity of Japanese anime is its strongest point - there are so many possibilities. But the one thing I do want to carry on is connecting animation to real, moving storytelling. I want to make something that not even Hollywood could come up with. That’s why I’m trying to broaden my perspective and gain a true understanding of the past by reading history books and old novels. Hopefully I can find inspiration for a hit in that area.

Q.Z TOKYOのZは「ジェネレーションZ(デジタルネイティブ)」からとっていますが、新海監督からZ世代(若者世代)に向けた応援メッセージをお願いします。ZTOKYO’s ‘Z’ represents generation Z - do you have a message for the young twenty-something’s of Japan and the rest of the world?


There are plenty of kids who decide they want to do something but then just peck at it half-heartedly, or those who don’t even know what they want to do in the first place. It’s not a fun existence. I would know, because I was the same in my twenties. But reaching your hand out to the unknown is something that I think is really beautiful. I was always stretching up, trying to grab at something. That’s how I got here today. You may not have any strong foundations, you may be lacking in confidence, but as long as you keep reaching, you’ll get there eventually. Not knowing what lies ahead of you but trying your best anyway is something that takes real guys - something I think young people should hold their head up and feel proud about.

新海誠 Makoto Shinkai

新海誠Makoto Shinkai


Born in 1973 in Nagano Prefecture, Makoto Shinkai is an anime director. He made his feature debut with ‘Voices of a Distant Star’ in 2002, and has since gone on to win awards at the Mainichi Film Festival, Asia Pacific Film Festival and Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film. He was also included in Variety magazine’s ‘Top 10 Animators of 2016’ list.





Your Name.

In cinemas throughout Japan from 26th August
Written and directed by Makoto Shinkai

Animation Director
Masashi Ando
Character Design
Masayoshi Tanaka
Voice actors
Etsuko Ichihara, Ryunosuke Kamiki, Mone Kamishiraishi, Masami Nagasawa, Ryo Narita, Nobunaga Shimazaki, Kanon Tani, Aoi Yuki