If you haven’t yet experienced the visually stunning and emotionally devastating stories of Makoto Shinkai, then now is your chance get caught up. Crunchyroll is holding a worldwide event called Global Shinkai Day to celebrate the artist/director/producer/voice actor who made so many waves with his debut, Voices of a Distant Star, and hasn’t stopped making them since. Crunchyroll will have four of Shinkai’s works available to stream March 15-17:

  • Voices of a Distant Star
  • 5 Centimeters Per Second
  • The Place Promised in Our Early Days
  • Children Who Chase Lost Voices

As the name of the event suggests, these will all be available to viewers worldwide – excluding Japan.

Shinkai’s story is an inspirational one for any dreamer who is interested in making their own way in a new career. He left his video game development job with Falcom in 2001 to begin work on Voices of a Distant Star. Did he have a huge team to help him pull it together? No. He had himself, his wife who helped with voice acting, and a friend who contributed the music. Shinkai wrote the script, animated the short himself, and did his own voice acting. The final product was a wonderfully polished 25 minute short film that gained fans both in Japan and abroad.

Like any popular director, Shinkai has certain themes that he’s known for repeating in his work. The most pervasive one seems to be his penchant for bittersweet and heartbreaking plots. I won’t drop any spoilers here, but if you decide to give one of his films a shot and tend to cry easily, be sure to keep some tissues on hand.

Whether you’re being introduced to Shinkai’s works for the first time or are looking to revisit your favorites, this weekend is your chance to get a swing at it. Head over to Crunchyroll on Friday to get started.

If you’re especially dedicated to watching all four films, then you should take a crack at the trivia challenge on Crunchyroll’s forums. Submit your answers via email by the end of the event and you might win yourself a signed DVD of either 5 Centimeters Per Second or Children Who Chase Lost Voices.



Angela Hinck
Former Contributor: Content Manager- Situated in sunny Florida, Angela spends plenty of time watching anime and playing video games. RPGs and survival-horror are her go-to genres; but if it's weird or different, she's willing to give a shot. She graduated from the University of Central Florida with a BA in Creative Writing and now puts her skills to good use writing about the nerdier things in life, including news and game reviews for Operation Rainfall.