In an alternate timeline, Japan was divided after losing World War II: Hokkaido was annexed by “Union” while Honshu and other southern islands were under US sovereignty. A gigantic yet mysterious tower was constructed at Hokkaido and could be seen clearly from Aomori (the northernmost prefecture of Honshu) across Tsugaru Strait. In the summer of 1996, three 9th-graders had made a promise that one day they’ll build an aircraft and unravel the tower’s mystery, but their project was abandoned after the girl, Sayuri Sawatari, began experiencing sleeping sickness and transferred to Tokyo for better treatment. Three years later, Hiroki Fujisawa accidentally found out that Sayuri had been in a coma since then, and he asked Takuya Shirakawa to help him finding a way to revive her. What they don’t know yet is that Sayuri’s unconsciousness is somehow linked with secrets of the tower and the world.
Makoto Shinkai (新海 誠 Shinkai Makoto?), born as Makoto Niitsu (新津 誠 Niitsu Makoto?, born February 9, 1973) is a Japanese director of anime and former graphic designer. A native of the Nagano Prefecture. Shinkai studied Japanese literature at Chuo University where he was a member of juvenile literature club where he drew picture books. He traces his passion for creation to the manga, anime, and novels he was exposed to while in middle school. His favorite anime is Castle in the Sky by Hayao Miyazaki. Shinkai has been called “The New Miyazaki” in several reviews including Anime Advocates and ActiveAnime, comparisons which he calls an “overestimation”.
After graduating from Chuo in 1994 he got a job at Falcom, a video game company and where he worked for 5 years by making video clips for games and graphic design including web content. During this time he met musician Tenmon who would later collaborate in all of his movies by providing the music score.
In 1999, Shinkai released… read more
This is Shinkai's weakest movie, but it still is an acceptable and okay movie. Before seeing Children Who Chase Lost Voices From Deep Below, I would have said that Shinkai can only do something that is in small bite-sized pieces instead of one feature-length narrative. I like to look at this as Shinkai's beta test into feature-length stories, he has definitely improved since then. Great visuals, but story is a mess.