I remember being in my second year of art university. I was browsing through some now-long-dead forum and saw a trailer that enchanted me. I simply could not believe how beautiful the images could be, I craved for more, watched it over and over again, not wanting to return to the dull colors and light of the real world.
It was a trailer for “Beyond the clouds“. I had to wait 2 years for it to be released. But they were worth it. Meanwhile, I found out that the man behind it, Makoto Shinkai, was a new rising anime director (even nicknamed “the new Miyazaki” by some) whose previous work was done all by himself, from start to end. I watched “Hoshi no Koe (Voices Of A Distant Star)”, “Other Worlds” (the music, Satie’s Gymnopedie, has the same effect on me as Ave Maria from “Comedy” – you can watch it on youtube) and “She And Her Cat”. They were all beautiful, and it wasn’t just about the artwork (which has a trademark-style you’ll easily recognise after seeing Makoto’s Shinkai work). The light in these animations is fascinating, you feel it as it engulfs you, making you feel like you are part of the beautifully detailed sceneries. You feel as if you could just lay down and watch the sky forever, listening to the wind blowing softly through the grass.
This year Makoto Shinkai released Byousoku (5 Centimeter – a chain of short stories about their distance). I can’t wait to be left speechless again. I have no doubt about it. Hope Amazon UK will sell the DVD soon.