Makoto Shinkai’s first artbook, which contains over 400 backgrounds from his movies, appears to be selling well. Daike-san tells me that it’s sold out in a good number of shops in Akiba and it’s even managed to make Amazon’s Top 10 list of Japanese books.
Can’t wait to get a hold of it myself!
A new entry about how Makoto Shinkai’s been doing in London. Maybe those of you down there will recognise the picture he’s taken of his neighbourhood. I have the impression that he’s been getting a lot of visitors but doesn’t mind them since he’s been eating out and drinking with them. He writes:
April 22nd 2008
It’s nearing the end of April and we are finally getting more warm days in London. I can still see a lot of people wearing coats and scarves during the mornings and nights but, the air is filled with the smell of greenery nearby and the sun is setting much later so my expectations for the season is growing. During the day when the weather is nice, I would go have a beer with my classmates at the park by the River Thames.
The photo is what the neighbourhood near my current residence looks like. I’m living in a single room in these kind of buildings. The residential area has rows of Victorian buildings lined up and it’s a very quiet place. Late in the night you can sometimes hear the faint sound of the overground freight trains.
As I spend my time here I continue to get visitors from Japan. One person brought a hard drive with them, another brought a colour checker, one brought some wine which was kind of like Japan’s Sake, another brought tea cakes as souvenirs while another brought a carp streamer with them here to London while on their tour or work. I had lunch with them, had a little drink and they all returned home quickly. I had intended to travel to a relatively far place but, now I’ve come to think maybe I haven’t.
I’ve received many words of praise for the “ef – A Latter Tale” demo movie that was made available recently by Minori, much to my delight. However, I’ve also been feeling a little apologetic actually while being praised for the imagery. All I did was direct [the movie] and it was really the various members of the dedicated staff that produced it. For example the 3D CG camera work was done by the 3D Animation Director Tsukune-san. Character animation was done by Animation Director Sata-san and Art Director Yuuro-san was responsible for the fine backgrounds. So you may ask, “What did you do then?” I could say myself that, “It felt like I didn’t do anything” (laughs awkwardly) because the workload I had was very little in comparison [to the other members of the staff]. (I’ll just write this down. I done the storyboarding and the colour design).
And that is the reason why in many cases all the praise given to the director [myself] should really be for the members of the staff. Even for my original movie “5 Centimetres per Second“, it should be the same. On the other hand, any parts that didn’t work out too well must 100 percent be the director’s fault. It means I didn’t direct as I should have so any advice or complaints can be sent my way (laughs).
In the artbook “Sora no Kioku” which will be published by Kodansha on April 25th, there should be many interviews with the art staff (just in case, I’ll let you know it has nothing to do with Minori’s works). You might be able to learn about things that you can’t see from the surface such as how much hard work the staff put in and the results of it all. I’m too scared so I haven’t read it (laughs). As for the “artbook” format it’s in, the images weren’t drawn with the knowledge that they’ll be printed as still images for the viewer to enjoy in mind so, I did get a bit bothered about that but, for those who wants to work or draw digitally I think this book will be a good reference. Please do obtain a copy for those of you that are interested.
I still haven’t managed to find a good place to order Makoto Shinkai’s first artbook yet. Reader Maltos managed to find HMV (it’s in English) but, £7 delivery is just a bit hefty to be honest when the book itself is already around £13 so I’m still keeping an eye out for alternatives. I suppose it’s better than Amazon’s ridiculous £19 charge, though.
Anyway, CW Films has revealed the covers for the book. The first landscape image you see is the actual cover while the second cover is the removable outside cover. Judging by the looks of this, the artbook will probably have one background printed per page, landscape oriented. There will probably be some comments printed on them but I hope they’re in a little white space of their own at the side or something.
I’m sure anyone who has watched Makoto Shinkai’s works such as his recent “5 Centimetres per Second” will agree the backgrounds he manages to create are stunningly beautiful. Well, the good news is if you want to own a hard copy of all those backgrounds, you’ll soon be able to.
According to this advert that Daike-san spotted, Kodansha will be publishing Makoto Shinkai’s first official artbook “Makoto Shinkai Bijutsu Gashuu: Sora no Kioku” which is also given the English name of “The Sky for the Longing of Memorys”. Yes, I know… “Longing for the Memories of the Sky” or the direct translation, “Memories of the Sky” is probably what they’re after.
Anyway, the B5 sized book will be selling for 2800 Yen (US$27) on April 25th 2008 and contain 427 backgrounds taken from his movies “Voices of a Distant Star”, “The Place Promised in Our Early Days”, “5 Centimetres per Second” and even the ones used for the Shinano Daily Newspaper commercial “Conveying Those Important Things“. It will also contain information about Shinkai’s working environment and how such pieces of art are born.
Look out for it on the usual import sites such as YesAsia and Play-Asia! I’ll be getting it myself if I can but with Wii Fit and the Rebuild of Evangelion 1.0 LE DVD coming up on the same day, it’s going to tough on the wallet.
This is it. The last part of the 5cm novel. The animated version was the shortest part of the movie yet, was also the part that received the most cuts – even more than Cosmonaut. Here in the novel however, it is the longest coming in at 67 pages, 8 chapters.
There was a lot to note because practically the entire story was new material so, don’t expect too many screenshots to accompany this post. As for any of the ones that you might not have noticed before from the movie, I just watched out carefully for the images that flash by when the theme song plays and tried to choose the most appropriate ones to fit in with the new scenarios. They do not necessarily portray what’s in the novel so please bear that in mind when reading.
As mentioned in the Amazon summary, this part of the novel covers Takaki’s university life all the way through to his employment as a system engineer. It also covers a bit more about Kanae as mentioned in the reviews.
I’m sure most of you who will be reading this post will probably have seen the movie but for those that haven’t yet, this post contains the full contents of Akari and Takaki’s love letters so you may not want to read on.
You’ll have to excuse the terrible photo quality here because my brother’s on holiday and I lent him my digicam. I’m just using my mobile to snap these photos just now and it doesn’t have a macro mode. I will update the photos once I have the camera back in a few weeks time.