Estéban Rōdriguez’s review published on Letterboxd:
Every performance you give is a kind of pregnancy, and you have to dream and you have to wait until you will see the miracle happening. - Teodor Currentzis
No one saw this coming...
Makoto Shinkai’s Your Name. The 5th feature animated film from said director. To say that this film was a gigantic phenomenon for Japan would be an understatement. It became the highest grossing anime film of all time, finally beating Miyazaki’s Masterpiece, Spirited Away. It grew into a gigantic pop culture icon for Japan, with many helping it be one of the most popular anime of all time. And for many around the world, it was an unknown door that many decided to go through. A door of anime that wasn’t just the highest praised Ghibli titles, that there were even more masterpieces of Japanese animated masterpieces that have yet to be discovered. And yet almost 4 years later. I feel that love is still with many.
But of course for Shinkai, it became a defining moment. With many calling him the Next Miyazaki. That title would automatically cause some stress. And I honestly can’t blame him. Especially someone who puts so much passion into his works. And I can honestly say in my own heart and mind that I see this as his defining masterpiece. One that shows that he has grown with every film he makes. And now all the pieces are in place to create things so uplifting, beautiful, and honest, even if I still see it as flawed.
But that flawed nature is what makes Shinkai special to me. Because he himself knows the similar words I’m saying. In many ways he is his own harshest critic and tries to improve while keeping what makes himself unique. He still can evolve in his animation, stories, and personality.
My hope for Shinkai after this achievement was that he would continue his journey of evolution by showing me he still has angles of life he has yet to tackle, and yet keep his passion close to heart...
And I’m so happy he knows this too because that’s exactly what he did next.