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  • Makoto Shinkai reveals your name. concept sketches and thematic goals

    Let’s face it, Makoto Shinka’s “Your name.” is now the most financially-successful Japanese animation work.

    But like most anime produced, it had to start somewhere, right?


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    Shinkai himself has a treat for his fans as he tweeted the concept artworks for the anime movie. It shows where the anime started out, and when compared with the final product, you could see how far it went.

    Looks quite different from the final version, huh?

    These are actually from 2014, and you can really feel how much the anime has evolved from those early concepts. And while the comet and lake are there, the concept artworks teased that the anime could have played out very differently.

    The second image features Taki holding what seems like a pistol, though it could also be a smartphone, so who knows?

    Aside from the concept artworks, Shinkai also shared other early production documents. These suggest that the body-swapping part is really part of the original idea.

    These documents also reveal that their original working title for your name. was Yume to Shiriseba, or If I’d Known It Was a Dream. This may be a reference to Taki and Mitsuha swapping bodies in their dreams.

    Part of the document reads:

    “Thinking ’I wish I was the opposite gender’ at some point during puberty is a nearly-universal experience that almost anyone can remember having. I believe this desire to switch bodies with someone else isn’t limited to a gender issue, but speaks to something deeper and broader.
    ‘Why aren’t I someone else?’
    ‘Why do people desire other people?’
    ‘Why can people empathize with others?’
    These questions of identity are integral to a coming-of-age story, and they’re questions that a body-swapping story is well-equipped to address. In a story of a man and woman switching bodies, putting a heavy focus only on the sexual scenes is a technique that won’t quite hit those thematic marks.”

    It also features some of Shinkai’s original ideas:

    “Thinking “I wish I was the opposite gender” at some point during puberty is a nearly-universal experience that almost anyone can remember having. I believe this desire to switch bodies with someone else isn’t limited to a gender issue, but speaks to something deeper and broader. ‘Why aren’t I someone else?’ ‘Why do people desire other people?’ ‘Why can people empathize with others?’ These questions of identity are integral to a coming-of-age story, and they’re questions that a body-swapping story is well-equipped to address. In a story of a man and woman switching bodies, putting a heavy focus only on the sexual scenes is a technique that won’t quite hit those thematic marks.”

    “The camera follow the actions of the girl and boy, showing their development as people. But at the same time, it also shows the adults around them, and the environment and history they create.
    This movie is an attempt to retain the simple appeal of a story that depicts the development of ‘you and I’ while connecting that to a larger world and history.”

    your name. became a huge hit a few years later. I guess we could say that Shinkai really did finish what he set out to do.

    Source: Sora News 24


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