星を追う子ども

I recently did a Makoto Shinkai movie marathon.

I watched “5 Centimeters per Second” (again) yesterday and took note of the sci-fi small detail it presented. Today, on a free Thursday, I decided to do a Makoto Shinkai marathon to make out the relations between each movie.

My conclusion, so far, had been that the timeline in Makoto Shinkai’s universe goes like this:

“Children Who Chase Lost Voices” — “5 Centimeters per Second” — “The Place Promised In Our Early Days” — “Voices of a Distant Star”

If there exist any other Makoto Shinkai universe theory out there, I’d like to find out about them. This is a very quick conclusion I reached after watching all 4 films. The timeline might or might not change after I watch “The Garden of Words”.

“Children Who Chase Lost Voices” was the film that affected me the most, and will be the film I’ll discuss in this post. It left quite a big impact upon my heart. This film explores the themes regarding separation, encounter, loss, and loneliness. Why do we find it difficult to move on from losing someone forever? Would we ever take the most extreme path to be able to reunite with the ones we lost? Or would we rather turn our heads and search for new directions, meeting new people and moving on from the old ones?

Those are the questions offered by the film. Those questions invited me to think further. We find it difficult to move on because we love them, and they had played many parts in our lives, engraving theirselves in our memories; yet, if we move on, it doesn’t mean we forget them and erase their past existence. They still remain in our memories, and it is up to us whether to keep them as part of our past, or to forget them and erase any of their traces in our heads.

I also like the development of the main characters. I enjoyed seeing how Asuna tries to become helpful, yet trying to cope with her sadness over suddenly losing Shun. I also liked how Shin is constantly strain between killing or saving Asuna, while trying to find his own identity as to where he really belongs, and at the same time hiding his real sadness over losing his brother. Or how Morisaki develops affectionate feelings towards Asuna, in a father-daughter-ish relation, while he struggles to cope with the loss of his wife.

These complications made the characters very real to me.

Technic-wise, the animation was excellent! The action scenes were smoothly done, and the sceneries were breathtaking. I know that Makoto Shinkai’s best element in his films are his backgrounds, and the backgrounds in this film were very gorgeous. Small details that include the decorative elements in Agartha were also beautifully drawn, reminding me of Himalayans. The music was also excellent, channeling the emotions of the film to the viewers.

I think it is very safe to say that we can compare Makoto Shinkai to Hayao Miyazaki at this point. The film felt like a mixture of “Spirited Away” and “Princess Mononoke”, but they were all different. It just reminded me of them, considering the developing female protagonist and natural elements introduced in the movie. The story was solid, even to the smallest details, never straying away from the main concepts I mentioned above.

I love “Children Who Chase Lost Voices”. It fills a spot between “Spirited Away” and “Gladiator” as my favourite films.

// My grandmother died last week, and the sadness still lingers in me until now. That made me much more able to understand the concepts delivered by this film.

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