How different would Ghibli movies be if they were directed by Makoto Shinkai?

How different would Ghibli movies be if they were directed by Makoto Shinkai

Ghibli movies are known for their intricate detailing and storytelling, and Hayao Miyazaki has done a tremendous job at being a hard taskmaster and setting higher standards for Ghibli anime. On the other hand, we have Makoto Shinkai who is often compared to Miyazaki for being a similar storyteller with a different sense and style.

The two are different in their approaches and cultivation of any story, but they also converge at various points. Therefore, to imagine a Ghibli creation by Miyazaki is like watching a Miyazaki film without much of the surreal but more of the picturesque.

The differences between Hayao Miyazaki’s Ghibli movies and Makoto Shinkai’s work

Hayao Miyazaki pursues anime through the traditional lens. He prefers to resort to hand-drawn and flat drawings rather than 3-D animation techniques.

This is a major characteristic feature of Studio Ghibli’s creations. He is also very selective and detailed about his sense and style when it comes to narrating a story, which can be seen in almost all of his Studio Ghibli movies.

How different would Ghibli movies be if they were directed by Makoto Shinkai Hayao Miyazaki
Spirited Away. (Image credit goes to Studio Ghibli)
  • On the other hand, Makoto Shinkai relies on computer software more than the traditional methods used by Miyazaki.
  • His animation styles are highly influenced by a certain sense of surrealism and the aesthetic appeal is more modern and detailed.

Moreover, his animation is more connected to reality, and he is known for giving a soul and meaning to the mundane objects of life. Miyazaki is also known for engaging with the conflicts of the youth, whereas Makoto Shinkai is known for focusing on the youthfulness of the characters.

How do Hayao Miyazaki and Makoto Shinkai converge in their artistic patterns?

Hayao Miyazaki and Makoto Shinkai are similar in more ways than one. Shinkai is often called the ‘New Miyazaki’. They try to trigger similar emotions and focus on similar emotional patterns of human thought and behavior. Moreover, they also attempt to provoke a similar sort of imagery when it comes to their interaction with nature and natural beauty.

How different would Ghibli movies be if they were directed by Makoto Shinkai
Suzume no Tojimari. (Image credit goes to CoMix Wave Films)

Both of the animators also focus on a lot of the conflicts of their characters. Although they do it in different manners and through dissimilar approaches, the fact that they are extremely honest in their interrogations of the human being become a major point of convergence.

Shinkai and Miyazaki also rely mostly on their storytelling and character-building to present any picture, making it a beautiful experiment with the truth and conflicts of human existence at large.

How would Makoto Shinaki make a Ghibli movie?

Makoto Shinkai and Ghibli cinema are two different entities altogether. Ghibli movies are shaped by flat and hand-drawn presentations, whereas Shinkai mostly relies on the surreal and the modern. The setting of the Ghibli aesthetic is also rural in nature, whereas Shinkai focuses on the cityscape for his projects.

How different would Ghibli movies be if they were directed by Makoto Shinkai
Makoto Shinkai. (Image credit goes to IMDb)

If Makoto Shinkai were to direct a Ghibli movie, we might possibly see a fusion of the urban and the rural. Nature will interact with the cityscape in more ways than one and it might be a testament to a newfound beauty that would together infuse.

Makoto Shinkai will also change the traditional style of the Ghibli cinema, and introduce a different set of aesthetic pictures to the entire creation. However, the thoughts and the interrogation of the human and the conflicts surrounding it would largely remain the same.


Ghibli’s movies are mostly centered around the aesthetic of Miyazaki, and Makoto Shinkai differs greatly in that approach. It is true that their quests are similar and so are their interrogations, but that is almost nothing compared to their approaches which are polar opposites in their nature. Any Makoto Shinkai creation which would be a part of a Ghibli movie would require an infused product of both of the animators, something which Shinkai holds the capability of.

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