Last summer, it was a rare teen in Japan who didn’t go to see Your Name. By January, Makoto Shinkai’s gender-bending tale of young love had become the top-grossing anime – Japanese animation – film of all time. Before long, the world’s media anointed Shinkai ‘the new Miyazaki’.
Whether Shinkai is the spiritual heir to Hayao Miyazaki, the revered director of dazzling fantasy epics such as Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke, is up for debate. That Miyazaki is a megastar, the reigning emperor of anime, is not. ‘The new Miyazaki’, really, is just shorthand for ‘This guy is a big deal.’