Top 7 Makoto Shinkai Movies You Cannot Miss!

Updated On 27th February 2021

Makoto Shinkai, also known as Makoto Niitsu, is a Japanese director, animator and cinematographer. Shinkai’s movies are of the romance genre targeted towards the teenage or the young adult audience. He is widely known for his famous and the highest-grossing anime film named Your Name and The Garden of Words.

Makoto Shinkai movies have always been a great watch and here are some recommendations for you!

01 of 7

Your Name (2016)

Waking up scene in Your Name by Makoto Shinkai
Credits: Makoto Shinkai

Your Name is the highest-grossing anime film to be ever made and without fail, one of the most popular anime films too. Makoto Shinkai gained international popularity through this film and had won several awards for his direction. Your Name is a romantic anime film with themes of magic realism and fantasy. It is a story of a teenage boy and a girl from two different places in Japan who find their bodies swapped when they wake up in the morning. Seventeen-year-old Mitsuha Miyamizu from Itomori is the daughter of the mayor of the small town and is dissatisfied with her monotonous life. Whereas, Taki Tachibana leads a lavish life in Tokyo. Their life changes when they find themselves in each other’s bodies without the slightest clue of the owner.

02 of 7

Weathering with You (2019)

Hina in Weathering with You by Makoto Shinkai
Credits: Makoto Shinkai

Weathering with You is one of the most popular Makoto Shinkai movies and has had a huge international reach. Hodaka Morishima runs away from home to live a life in Tokyo where he does odd jobs to sustain himself. He then meets a girl named Hina Amano in a McDonald’s restaurant who gives him free food. Finally settled with a stable part-time job from a guy named Suga, he coincidentally comes across Hina. He later finds out about the legend of the sunshine girl and realizes Hina has the power to control the weather. This Makoto Shinkai movie has taken up the theme of climate change in a beautiful manner, spicing it up with a touching love story between two teenagers.

03 of 7

The Place Promised in Our Early Days (2004)

Hiroki Fujisawa and Sayuri Sawatari in The Place Promised in Our Early Days by Makoto Shinkai
Credits: Makoto Shinkai

The Place Promised in Our Early Days has received the Mainichi Film Awards 2004 for the Best Animated Film. The movie showcases Japan, a large part of which is captured by the Soviet Union. Hiroki Fujisawa, Takuya Shirakawa and Sayuri Sawatari belong to the post World War age and dream of riding a self-made airplane together. Things take a turn when Sayuri falls into a three-year sleep, alternate universes are traced and the two friends choose different paths. It is one of the best Makoto Shinkai movies of the science fiction genre.

04 of 7

The Garden of Words (2013)

Takao Aizuki and Yukari Yukino in The Garden of Words
Credits: Makoto Shinkai

The Garden of Words is one of the Makoto Shinkai movies that has made a huge impact on the audience because of its unique and heartwarming storyline like no other. It talks about the bond between a 15-year-old boy and a 27-year-old woman. Takao Akizuki aspires to be a shoe-maker and works on designs all day whereas Yukari Yukino is a victim of harassment. They always end up meeting at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden and slowly they open up to each other.

05 of 7

5 Centimeters per Second (2007)

Takaki Tono in 5 Centimeters per Second by Makoto Shinkai
Credits: Makoto Shinkai

5 Centimeters per Second is divided into episodes of three and falls under the seinen category. It revolves around the protagonist named Takaki Tono. Each episode focuses on the various stages of Takaki. The story begins with Takaki forming a strong bond between a childhood friend named Akari Shinohara. The movie moves on with Takaki and Akari exchanging letters when finally connection turns into something romantic. Out of all the Makoto Shinkai movies, this is best known for its tragic element.

06 of 7

Children Who Chase Lost Voices (2011)

Characters in Children Who Chase Lost Voices
Credits: Makoto Shinkai

Out of all the Makoto Shinkai movies, Children Who Chase Lost Voices is the longest one. The film is a mixture of adventure and romance. Asuna Watase is an elementary school girl who is saved from heinous creatures by a boy named Shun. She later promises to meet him but Shun dies from a fall. Devastated by the news, Asuna tries to travel to the underworld.

07 of 7

Voices of a Distant Star (2002)

Miakako Nagamine in Voices of a Distant Star by Makoto Shinkai
Credits: Makoto Shinkai

Voices of a Distant Star is one of Shinkai’s earliest works. It is a sci-fi short film of 24 minutes where a 15-year-old girl named Mikako Nagamine is sent to Mars on a mission. Her mission is to exterminate the Tarsians of Mars. Noboru Terao is Mikako’s friend who awaits for her text messages every single day. The farther Mikako travels from the Earth, the longer it takes for the messages to reach her. The movie bears resemblance to 5 Centimeters per Second (2007) and The Place Promised in Our Early Days (2004).