Which Makoto Shinkai’s Movies Are The Best?

One of the most watched movie style in recent years is Anime, which has become one of the most well-known cultures in the world. 

Every year, hundreds of new Anime episodes premiere on TV and appear in Japanese films. 

The much-discussed new anime director Makoto Shinkai and his best works are presented here for individuals who are unsure about which Anime to watch. 

You may be aware that after the release of his 2016 box office smash Your Name, Makoto Shinkai has been much more well-known on a global scale. 

Additionally, he firmly established himself as the new Anime industry leader after the most recent animation Weathering with You became a major success in 2019.

In addition to the two most recent Anime films, Makoto Shinkai has directed a number of other must-see Anime films.

Who exactly is Makoto Shinkai?

Makoto Niitsu is a Japanese animator, filmmaker, screenwriter, and manga artist better known as Makoto Shinkai.

Shinkai started his career as a video game animator with Nihon Falcom in 1996 and rose to prominence as a filmmaker with the publication of the original video animation She and Her Cat. Shinkai began his long collaboration with CoMix Wave Films with the science-fiction OVA Voices of a Distant Star in 2002, followed by his breakthrough feature film The Place Promised in Our Early Days.

Shinkai’s second feature film, the romantic drama anthology 5 Centimeters per Second (2007), received positive reviews, as did his subsequent plays Children Who Chase Lost Voices (2011) and The Garden of Words (2012). Shinkai’s fantasy romance from 2016, Your Name, became the third highest-grossing anime film of all time, both critically and commercially. Weathering with You, his 2019 film, was likewise a critical and commercial triumph. Suzume, his sixth film, was released in Japan in November 2022.

What are your thoughts on Makoto Shinkai’s work?

I’ve been following some of Shinkai’s work for the past year and am generally impressed. His work appears to improve with each subsequent film.

There is a clear visual distinction between Makoto Shinkai’s work and that of others. He places a high value on the animation of his work. The Garden of the Words is another notable mention. The premise is little to write home about, but the animation elements were fantastic. To the core, it was my favorite experience viewing a gorgeous Japanese cartoon. The aesthetic layout of the leaves and water and the detailed sound effect really pleased me.

5 millimeters per second was his second-finest anime, in my opinion. The storytelling’s fluidity and smoothness struck my heart. It is certainly, one of his outstanding works.

Let’s check out the greatest Makoto Shinkai Anime films:

Weathering with YouRomance, Fantasy
5 Centimeters per SecondRomance, Drama
The Placed Promised in Our Early DaysSci-Fi, War Drama
The Garden of WordsRomance, Drama
Children Who Chase Lost VoicesAdventure, Fantasy
Your NameRomance, Fantasy, Drama
Best movies of Makoto Shinkai and their genres.

Weathering with You

Shinkai’s most recent movie, Weathering with You, is sort of a spiritual sequel to the hugely successful Your Name from 2016. 

The two movies are frequently compared, mostly due to how similar their topics, visual styles, and upbeat tones are. 

Weathering with You didn’t achieve the same level of critical and economic success as its predecessor, maybe as a result of how similar they were. 

Despite being prosperous and well-liked in and of itself, it was always going to be difficult to top the phenomenon that was Your Name.

Despite this, Weathering with You is still a fantastic movie that has some significant advantages over Your Name. 

For these reasons, some people think Weathering with You is superior to Your Name. 

Comparisons are unavoidable, of course, and while Weathering may lack the grand drama and electrifying turns of its predecessor, it does provide a more personal—and sometimes more compelling—portrait of its primary characters.

Story Line

High school student Hodaka Morishima and young child with magical abilities Hina Amano are the primary protagonists of this Anime film.

One of Hina’s magical abilities is the ability to control the weather. 

Hodaka embarks on a ferry to escape from his suburban Tokyo home to an urban city at the start of the narrative. 

He meets Hina on the ferry after a storm arrives, and despite several difficulties, they come together. 

Hina admits to Hodaka that she possesses magical powers that allow her to control the weather as she pleases. 

This gives Hodaka the inspiration to launch a company and effectively utilize Hina’s abilities.

By modifying the weather to suit their needs, they would assist those conducting outdoor events like weddings and parties. 

However, things change when Hodaka’s family called the police to report him missing. 

Being accused of utilizing her talents to bring terrible weather to Tokyo puts Hina in a difficult situation as well. 

After their separation, the movie becomes extremely emotional as both of them deal with their own issues. 

In order to reconcile and confess his love to Hina, Hodaka sets out to find her. 

Without a doubt, this film is fantastic and well worth seeing. Even if the majority of the events in this film are made up, they can nevertheless relate to us in many ways.

Hodaka Morisihma is a young courageous boy.

5 Centimeters per Second

5 Centimeters per Second, another Shinkai classic, is one of his more gloomy works. 

The narrative, which is divided into three chronological acts, follows childhood friends Takaki and Akari as they grow apart over time and space. 

The characters’ struggles with unrequited love and loneliness are vividly real and complex, adding to the animation’s melancholy and subtle beauty. 

Even after the credits have rolled, this sad yet lovely movie will linger with you and break your heart for their unrequited love. 

This movie is for people who have gone through the hurt and tribulations of long-distance relationships.

Story Line

The first part is called Cherry Blossom. This plot features Takaki Tono, a young boy who makes friends with Akari Shinohara, a girl with whom he attends elementary school. Due to their shared interests, their friendship has grown. 

However, Akari’s parents’ choice to relocate causes them to part ways. They both agree to write letters to stay in touch with one another. 

As time passes, Takaki relocates to a different city as well, but he chooses to see Akari first, and the two of them have passionate times together.

Takaki is shown as a grown-up and a high school student in the second segment, Cosmonaut. 

He learns that Akari is still the object of his affection despite Kanae Sumida, a classmate, developing a love for him. 

Every day, he writes letters to Akari, but he never delivers any of them. 

Due to Takaki’s interest in someone else, Kanae realized she has no hope of winning him over. Kanae continues on in pain and disappointment.

The name of the third section is “5 Centimeters per Second.” This section depicts Takaki as an adult who is employed after a number of years. 

He still thinks back on the past incidents that led to his developing feelings for a female, but he is unsure of what happened. 

However, Akari is preparing to tie the knot. The two of them had the same dream of meeting, and they almost do so in a train station. 

Watch this movie to find out what happened next; it has a powerful finale that can only be felt through visual means.

Akari Shinohara keeps her feelings to herself.

The Place Promised in Our Early Days

Shinkai’s debut project with CoMix Wave Films, his studio partner ever since, is this film. 

An alternate reality in which Japan is split into the North, ruled by the Soviet Union, and the South, occupied by America, is the setting for the dystopian love novel The Place Promised in Our Early Days.

Best friends Hiroki Fujisawa and Takuya Shirakawa like building aircraft together, and they are also in love with Sayuri Sawatari, a classmate. 

The three friends pledge to fly together in middle school to reach the enigmatic tower that towers over their hometown, but Sayuri vanishes without a trace, causing the two boys to grow apart over time. 

But three years later, a circumstance brings them together once more, revealing the tower’s secrets and reigniting the pledges they made to one another.

Story Line

The three main characters in the film, Takuya, Sayuri, and Hiroki, are young children who all dream of flying above a great skyscraper. 

However, when they develop and fail to realize their ideals, they go their separate ways. 

To learn more about the tower, Takuya accepts a job at a government research facility. Meanwhile, Sayuri vanished without a trace, leaving Hiroki alone and depressed. 

Hiroki feels a connection to Sayuri through his dreams and constantly dreams about her. 

Takuya finds that this enigmatic wall could start a new war between Japan and America, so he works with his companions to dismantle it in an effort to halt the hostilities between the two nations.

This sci-fi film explores a number of sci-fi themes and displays Shinkai’s imaginative flair and writing prowess.

The Garden of Words

Despite some controversy around the narrative, The Garden of Words nonetheless succeeds in telling a touching tale with believable characters. 

When it’s raining, 15-year-old Takao Akizuki skips school in the morning to draw out shoes at the national gardens. 

He once came across a 27-year-old woman consuming only chocolate and alcohol on the same bench. 

Without even knowing each other’s names and histories, they begin to run into each other every rainy morning at the same location and form a deep friendship. 

Even though Shinkai’s animation is flawless across all of his movies, this one makes it clear.

Whether it’s the lush green bushes of the gardens, a juicy tomato cut into slices, or the shimmering raindrops splashing onto the sidewalk, Shinkai makes sure to pay attention to the finer points of the artwork. 

As a result, you’ll be treated to a visual feast that’ll make you wish rainy days could always look like this.

Story Line

The film opens with Takao Akizuki, a 15-year-old high school student who regularly skips class in the mornings in favor of visiting a garden where it is perpetually raining. 

He frequently encounters a woman in the garden named Yukari, a teacher who is 27 years old and skips work to go to the same garden. 

As they begin meeting, especially on rainy days, they both develop an interest in one another. 

They end up becoming friends as a result. Yukari assists Takao in creating a pair of women’s shoes because Takao is interested in producing shoes.

School is difficult for Yukari, and Takao gets into a fight with some of the lads in his class. 

In Yukari’s apartment, where they both spend time together, Takao admits his emotions for her. Nevertheless, Yukari declines because she is a teacher and he is a young lad. 

As a result of their dispute, Takao exits the apartment, and Yukari follows after him to comfort him. 

Will Yukari and Takao reconcile once more? See this movie to learn what transpired next. It’s fascinating to watch how Shinkai combined several viewpoints in this movie.

Takao Akizuki is the main protagonist of The Garden of Words.

Children Who Chase Lost Voices

One of Shinkai’s films that is most obviously fantastical is Children Who Chase Lost Voices. 

Although Your Name and Weathering With You have otherworldly themes, which are prevalent in most of his writing, the surreal flair is typically restrained by an urban reality that roots the scenario. 

Children Who Chase Lost Voices has the feel of a fantastical coming-of-age story, similar to those seen in Studio Ghibli films, particularly those from Hayao Miyazaki, because that component is absent.

Indeed, critics have repeatedly compared Children Who Chase Lost Voices to Ghibli, usually not to the film’s advantage. 

With the release of Your Name, comparisons between Shinkai’s movies and Miyazaki’s would grow even more popular, but Miyazaki is the only one who can truly capture Miyazaki’s style. 

One of the less well-remembered titles in Shinkai’s filmography, Laputa: Castle in the Sky shares several noticeable similarities with this movie.

Story Line

The main female character in this fantasy adventure film is a young, clever girl named Asuna

Her mother is a nurse who is typically busy, and she lost her father when she was a young child. 

Asuna spends the majority of her time by herself in class, listening to odd radio equipment. 

One day she hears strange and eerie sounds coming from the radio. She comes across a bear as well, but a young child saves her. 

She soon finds an ancient magical place where the dead can be raised from the dead. 

This film’s animation is lovely and nostalgic as it depicts historical events. 

With its outstanding mystical elements, this film will transport you into the fantasy world’s splendour.

Check out this review on the Anime.

Review time!

Your Name

In my opinion, one of Makoto Shinkai’s most highly regarded Anime is called Your Name

In 2016, Your Name positively shocks Anime fans all over the world with their emotions. 

One of the all-time most popular films in Japan and across the globe is Your Name. 

With over $250 million in box office receipts, the well-liked Anime is the second-highest-grossing Japanese movie (No.1 is Spirited Away from Studio Ghibli). 

Additionally, Your Name was shown in theatres in more than 120 nations and areas, with particularly astronomical sales in China and South Korea.

Story Line

Taki Tachibana, who is in metropolitan Tokyo, and Mitsuha Miyamizu, who resides in the countryside, are the two main characters in the novel Your Name. 

One day, they discover that their bodies are abruptly switched with one another and that this is periodically repeated. 

They exist in many timelines at the time (there are three years difference.) Mitsuha and Taki are learning more and more about one another as they struggle to make sense of the bizarre situation.

Your Name is liked by children and adults alike.


  • Director of Anime Makoto Shinkai has had, to put it mildly, an intriguing career. With some remarkable, nearly entirely self-produced animated shorts, he launched his career in the field. 
  • Even if these side projects are admirable on their own, they have even greater significance when seen in relation to the director’s later work.
  • Some of his best works are Your Name and Weathering with You.

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