Makoto Shinkai Dreams Of Using AI To Animate His Films

Makoto Shinkai

Acclaimed anime director Makoto Shinkai had visited Mumbai for the promotion of his latest film Suzume no Tojimari in late April. During his visit, he attended an influencer meet (in which Animehunch Team was present) organized by PVR Pictures and answered questions from the people present.

Considering how AI is gaining more traction everyday in the anime and manga industry, naturally Shinkai too was asked his opinion on using AI tools for animation and its impact on the industry.

Makoto Shinkai

Turns out that the director is actually someone who looks at the advent of such tools in positive light. Answering the question that was posed to him, Shinkai highlighted how AI was able to make animation, write scripts and create music. He one day hoped for AI to become a really powerful tool.

“AI is actually quite great. It can make animation, write scripts and create music.” he said. “So, I am one of those people who thinks very positively about AI. I think it could be a great tool.”

Shinkai further added that he dreamt of a day where he can just give the storyboards he created to an AI tool and then the tool will proceed to animate the movie for him.

“My dream is a day where I just think of a movie and I make the storyboard and give it to AI. Then AI can make the movie.”

The director felt that AI can be used for in-between animation and other such work, which would in turn solve the issue of labor shortage and balance the workload on the studio.

Shinkai, however, added that he hasn’t had any hands on experience using Artificial Intelligence tools for animating his works, saying that it’s not his “generation” that will be using the AI tools, but the younger generation that come after him.

Makoto Shinkai

According to sources, Shinkai’s Suzume no Tojimari film has overtaken the box office collections of Jujutsu Kaisen 0 in India. The movie is also currently the fourth highest grossing Japanese film around the world, earning $320 million.

Makoto Shinkai, is a Japanese animator, filmmaker, author, and manga artist.

Shinkai began his career as a video game animator with Nihon Falcom in 1996, and gained recognition as a filmmaker with the release of the original video animation (OVA) She and Her Cat (1999).

Beginning his longstanding association with CoMix Wave Films, Shinkai then released the science-fiction OVA Voices of a Distant Star in 2002, and followed this with his debut feature film The Place Promised in Our Early Days (2004).

Shinkai’s second feature film, the romantic drama anthology 5 Centimeters per Second (2007), gained critical acclaim, as did his subsequent releases, the dramas Children Who Chase Lost Voices (2011) and The Garden of Words (2013).

Shinkai’s 2016 fantasy romance Your Name was a critical and commercial success, becoming the third highest-grossing anime film of all time.

Suzume No Tojimari is his seventh feature film, and it released in Japan on Nov 11, 2022.

It released in India on April 21, 2023.

The officially announced story of Suzume no Tojimari is described as:

Suzume is a 17-year-old, who lives in a quiet town in Kyushu. One day, she meets a traveling young man who is looking for a “door.” Suzume decides to follow him and discovers an old door in the ruins in the mountains. As if drawn by something, Suzume reaches out for the door… What follows is Suzume’s liberation and growth as she closes the “doors” that cause misfortune in abandoned places around Japan.

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