Makoto Shinkai somewhat in Conversation

Blury shot of the conversation

So yesterday I did make it to the NFT for Makoto Shinkai in Conversation which kicked off a short season of Anime at the NFT. To start off we were treated to She and Her Cat followed by the insanely popular Voices of a distant star. The nicely air-conditioned NFT2 cinema was perfectly dark, specially when compared to the Filmworks cinemas where half the lights were on through out the film (highly distracting). After which the somewhat conversation started. There was tons of clapping while Makoto Shinkai walked down the cinema followed by his translator. Well it seemed that way at first. See the translator was very tired and didnt want to translate slightly difficult questions. She was struggling with questions about what anime Makoto is looking forward to this year! When I asked the tricky question about what Makoto felt about remixes, fansubs and re-versions of anime for other audiences (such as the uk one). We must have spent about 10mins on it. In the end Makoto answered with a interesting answer. First he was not totally aware of alternative versions of his films but he believes in building on top of peers work which involves taking other peoples anime films apart is a fine. When you post it to the net for others to learn and build upon your in tricky ground. He some what supported this but followed with a comment about his publishers and producers would not support such a movement.

Other questions included the usual what influences you, did you really make the anime yourself, what applications do you use? Adobe Photoshop and After Effects. A japanese lady asked in japanese how old he was and did he have a girlfriend? Makoto covered his mouth when he replied out of shyness, but at only 32 he's still looking like 24. After the questions and answers Makoto signed tickets and DVDs (got mine done) outside in the lobby. Generally it was good event let down by the translator, which I understand is a bloody difficult job but its what you do.

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser. Can be found at, and