In 2023, westerners who enjoy Shinkai can squarely divide into two camps: those who think 5 Centimeters is his best work, and everyone else. At the showing for Suzume at the always-wonderful New York International Children’s Festival 2023, the emcee threw the question out to the audience (or more like a command?) to poll which of his movies are the audience’s favorite. Based on the responses in the crowd, it seemed that way to me in this anecdote. However, it does not explain why time after time, I still come back to his new works and revisit his old ones, as someone in the 5 Centimeters camp.
Really, it’s that even 5 Centimeters, too, is just one brick in a house of Shinkai ideas that are interconnected. Spoilers ahead–for all his works.Continue reading