If you have watched the 2016 Japanese romantic fantasy anime Your Name, you have probably heard of Makoto Shinkai, the show's director. Makoto is a Japanese animator, director, and manga artist.
Makoto Shinkai's popular anime Weathering With You won the best director award at the Tokyo Anime Award Festival in 2020. Some of Shinkai's well-known works include The Garden of Words, Children Who Chase Lost Voices, and 5 Centimeters per Second.
Since Your Name is the third highest-grossing anime film of all time, it is natural that fans are curious to know about the animator. So today, we will be doing just that in this biography.
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Early Life And Family
Makoto was born on the 9th of February, 1973, and raised in the city of Koumi in Nagano Prefecture. His hometown is situated on a plateau encircled by mountains. Growing up, Shinkai was surrounded by nature and was entirely absorbed by its beauty.
Later, he took his love for nature to a new level by representing it in his films, with nature appearing as a recurring theme in his works.
Unlike other manga artists like Hajime Isayama and Eiichiro Oda, who dreamed of becoming a mangaka since childhood, Shinkai had no particular career path in mind as a kid. However, the artist did enjoy creating watercolor paintings since childhood.
Shinkai pursued his education from Chuo University and later graduated with a degree in Japanese literature. While at the university, he was a member of the juvenile literature club, where he drew picture books. During his time at the club, Makoto developed a passion for creating manga, anime, and novels.
Makoto Shinkai did not grow up with a set career path in mind. Image Source: Flickr.
On the other hand, Makoto Shinkai's parents initially did not support his ambition of becoming a manga artist. Makoto's father hoped that as the eldest son, he would take over the family construction business. However, the manga artist opposed his dad's desire and pursued his own ambitions.
Nonetheless, Makoto is grateful to his parents, particularly his mother, who was the one who eventually encouraged him to pursue his dream. Finally, his father caved in and gave him the ultimatum of trying out for a job as a manga artist for the next five years but returning if things did not work out.
At present, the manga artist is regarded as one of the best manga artists in the world. Makoto Shinkai's dad must be relieved that his son rejected his advice and pursued his interest instead. Do you think the artist would have been as famous if he had followed the career path laid out by his father?
Successful Career As A Manga Artist
Even though Makoto knew he wanted to be a manga artist since he was a teenager, his professional career did not begin until much later. Makoto began producing anime movies while working at Falcom, a gaming company, where he worked as a designer for five years.
In 1999, Makoto Shinkai debuted his career with his five-minute short anime She and Her Cat, winning several awards, including the 12th DoGA CG Animation contest. Then, in 2002, he published Voices of a Distant Star, his first theatrical release, which won the 2003 Seiun Award for best media.
Even though Makoto Shinkai's career as a manga artist started late, the artist has made significant progress since then. Image Source: Makoto Shinkai Twitter.
Given that Shinkai made both films independently, people were quick to note the brilliant editing and quality of the movies. Shinkai was impressed by the success and media coverage the amine received, and he quit his job at Falcom to pursue a full-time career as an animator and producer.
Following his success, on November 20, 2004, The Place Promised in Our Early Days was released nationwide in Japan and won the Best Animation Film award at the Mainichi Film Awards. Shinkai's next project, 5 Centimeters per Second, was released on March 3, 2007, and consisted of three short films: Cherry Blossom, Cosmonaut, and 5 Centimeters per Second.
From there on, the artist continued to produce many more films, commercials, literary works. Some of Makoto's projects are listed below, along with their published dates:
|Children Who Chase Lost Voices||2011||Film/Manga|
|Sri Lanka Highway||2013||Commercial|
|The Garden of Words||2013||Film/Manga|
Even though Makoto Shinkai had been steadily gaining a name, his breakthrough came on August 26, 2016, when his cinematic masterpiece Your Name was released. The film was released globally and became a commercial success almost immediately. People began to refer to Shinkai as the new Hayao Miyazaki because of how successful his animations were.
Shinkai's next movie, Weathering with You, was released in Japan on July 19, 2019. The film received an Annie Award nomination for Best Independent Animated Feature, among many other awards.
Although Shinkai claimed that he is not permitted to discuss his next movie at this moment, he hopes to make a formal production announcement by the end of 2021. Well, no matter how long it takes, we can't wait for Shinkai's new movie to hit the theaters. Do you believe his new film will be as successful as his previous movies?
Makoto Shinkai Net Worth And Earning
The artist has worked as an animator, director, and manga artist for more than two decades and has achieved tremendous success in his career. As a result, most of Makoto Shinkai's net worth is amassed from his profession as a mangaka.
The manga artist previously worked for Falcom, where he created video clips for games such as Ys II Eternal, Bittersweet Fools, Haru no Ashioto, and others. These games are still popular among many people. Given his five-year tenure at Falcom, Makoto Shinkai must have been well compensated for his services.
Most of Makoto Shinkai's net worth is derived from his successful career as a manga artist, animator and filmmaker. Image Source: Makoto Shinkai Twitter.
His film Your Name grossed over $380 million worldwide. In addition, the film won 16 nominations and was nominated for 26 awards in several categories. Similarly, his recent movies Weathering with You made a total of $193.5 million.
As the creator of these highly successful movies, Makoto Shinkai's fortune must have benefitted from the millions of dollars it made worldwide.
Furthermore, Makoto Shinkai also releases the manga version of his films. Some of Shinkai's literary works are listed below, along with their price and release date:
|Title||Kindle Edition||Paperback||Release Year|
|5 Centimeters per Second||$11.99||$12.00||2007|
|Weathering With You||$7.49||$12.95||2019|
|Voices of a Distant Star||$7.19||$11.28||2005|
|She and Her Cat||$7.49||$10.82||2013|
Without a doubt, his publications must have sold thousands of copies, increasing Makoto Shinkai's net worth. Furthermore, the artist has received numerous awards in a variety of categories. Therefore, Makoto must have made a fortune from the prize money from the awards he received.
Although Makoto has made a significant name for himself in the industry, he still has a long way to go. However, with his new movie on the way, he might gain even more popularity and surpasses his current fortune.
Married And A Father of One
Makoto Shinkai is currently married to Chieko Misaka, and together they have a beautiful daughter Chise Niitsu. However, the artist is quite reserved about his married life so when and where the couple got married is still unknown to the public. Furthermore, despite being quite active on Twitter, Makoto rarely posts private moments with his wife and child, instead, he focuses his account on his artwork.
Nonetheless, Makoto Shinkai's wife is not an unknown face in the entertainment industry. Born on August 7, 1977, Chieko is an actress and producer who is prominently known for starring in Versus, Suicide Club, and Dual City. However, Shinkai's spouse has retired and spends time with her family looking after her daughter, Chise.
Makoto Shinkai has been married to retired producer and actress Chieko Misaka for a long time. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons.
Similarly, Makoto Shinkai's daughter has too followed in her mother's footsteps and is currently pursuing a career in acting. Chise Niitsu was born in Tokyo, Japan, on May 23, 2010. Despite her young age, Chise has already starred in several films and television shows, including A Beloved Wife, Takane no Hana-san, and Gokushufudo.
For now, Makoto Shinkai's child is content with acting, but there might come a time when she might start writing and producing films and literary works just like her father. It is also possible that the animator's daughter is pursuing acting as a pastime and will choose a different career altogether as she grows up.
Let us hope that the family remains happy and continues to prosper.
Trivia and Facts
- Makoto's favorite anime is Toradora.
- Makoto is fond of cats, and most of the time, his works feature a cat.
- The artist has around 800K followers on his Twitter account.