Exploring the Theme of Love in Makoto Shinkai’s Works

Makoto Shinkai is a celebrated director known for his stunning animation and heart-wrenching storytelling. One of the recurring themes in his works is love, depicted in all its forms – romantic, familial and platonic. In this article, we will explore the different ways Shinkai portrays love in his films.

The most obvious form of love in Shinkai’s works is romantic love. In his breakout film, “5 Centimeters per Second”, the protagonist Takaki struggles with unrequited love for Akari, his childhood friend. The film is a meditation on distance and longing, as Takaki and Akari are separated by circumstances beyond their control. Despite this, Takaki’s love for Akari endures, as he constantly thinks of her and yearns for her.

Similarly, in “Your Name”, the two main characters Taki and Mitsuha are brought together by a supernatural phenomenon that sees them swapping bodies every few days. As they try to find each other and uncover the mystery behind their connection, they develop feelings for each other. The film builds towards a resolution that sees them finally confessing their love for each other in a stunning and emotional climax.

However, romantic love is not the only type of love explored in Shinkai’s works. He also portrays the love between parents and their children, as seen in “The Garden of Words”. The film depicts the unlikely friendship between a high school student named Takao and a woman named Yukino who he met in a park during a rainy day. As they bond over their shared struggles, it is revealed that Yukino is struggling to take care of her son and leave her controlling husband. Through their interactions, we see how much Yukino cares for her son, taking on multiple jobs to provide for him and giving up her happiness for his. Similarly, Takao’s admiration for Yukino is born out of his appreciation for her dedication and strength as a single mother.

Finally, Shinkai also explores the love between friends in “Weathering With You”. The film follows Hodaka, a runaway high school student who ends up in Tokyo, where he meets Hina, a girl who has the power to control the weather. As they start a business together, they become close friends and depend on each other for support. Their relationship is tested by the circumstances they find themselves in, as well as their own personal struggles. However, their friendship endures, even when they are faced with difficult choices.

In conclusion, Makoto Shinkai portrays love in all its forms in his films. From romantic love to familial love and platonic love, he explores the intricacies and complexities of human relationships. His films remind us that love is not just a fleeting emotion, but a powerful force that can endure through distance, time, and circumstance.