Studio Ghibli has long held the title for best anime features, but a new sheriff is in town. Makoto Shinkai is taking over the anime world with his critically acclaimed work, Your Name. First a movie took over the box office and now a Your Name manga series is taking over shelves.
A Box Office Smash
Makoto wrote a novel of the same name that inspired the creation of the anime feature film. He decided to release the book before the film. The book sold more than 1 million copies and drove fans to the theater to see the animated story.
The hit anime film Your Name blew up the box office first in Japan and then in the USA. Foreign box office numbers are $349.5 million and now domestically it’s made $5 million. The opening weekend for the film brought in $1.8 million alone. Your Name is the first anime not directed by Hayao Miyazaki to earn more than $100 million at the Japanese box office.
A New Your Name Manga
Makoto has also adapted the story for a Your Name manga series, licensed by Yen Press, for an English release. The first volume is 176 pages and came out this past June. The first volume of the manga focuses more on the girl character, Mitsuha, setting up a lot of her desires and hopes. Future volumes will hopefully expand further on the boy character, Taki, fleshing out both storylines more.
The novel Your Name. Another Side:Earthbound, set in the perspective of Mitsuha’s friends and family and written by Makoto Shinkai and Arata Kanoh, is set for a release on October 31, 2017.
Finding His Inspiration
In an interview with Nippon.com, Makoto Shinkai discussed his inspiration for the hit story. The biggest theme in his adolescence life was the nature of relationships between him and other individuals. Why do we fall in love? The constant theme of distance prevalent in all his films will continue to be a theme in his future films.
When asked about how he became an anime director, Shinkai said, “Throughout my student life I kept on searching for something that I wanted to do in the future, but nothing came up, and I was starting to get antsy. … Ever since I was little I’d liked to draw pictures, think up stories, things like that. It seemed like video games was creative work, and I thought that could be interesting.
I was drawn more and more to actually making up my own stories, and creating the video imagery myself. After five years I quit and produced Voices of a Distant Star on my own. It was incredibly fun and some people watched it, so I thought to myself, “maybe I can make a living doing this.”