Your Name has been a massive, global hit. The anime movie is currently #2 in Japan's all-time office list, and fans around the world are waiting for an official release. It doesn't hurt that fans and critics have been praising Your Name is one of the top anime movies ever made.
However, and this may come as a shock, but there are people who hate Your Name. From not liking the story to complaints about over-exposure, people have been airing their grievances out to Makoto Shinkai.
Shinkai was a guest on the Yozo Dojo's Health Dojo radio show, and they talked about some of the complaints, like:
"Shinkai sold his soul for financial success"
"If you make a movie with lots of catchy, trendy elements, it's not hard to make over 10 billion yen at the box office."
"He just mixed together various common motifs, so of course the movie is gonna be popular."
"Shinkai threw away his artistic style to make the movie a hit."
"Looking at the movie as a professional, it's not interesting at all." - Tatsuya Egawa (Golden Boy artist).
The notebook says you are too successful. Next time, make less money.
I imagine Shinkai is used to people grilling his works - one common criticism has always been that he prioritizes art and emotion over story. But, Shinkai actually clapped back, saying:
"Well, maybe they're actually right about Your Name not being very good. But at the same time, if it's that easy for them to make a successful anime, by all means, they should go right ahead and make one too. I didn't aim for the box office numbers; those are just the result of the movie being what it is. After all, it's hard to sell something that's specifically created to be sold.
Some fiery words from a typically calm director. But Shinkai is right, if it is so easy to create a financial hit, how come it took 12 years for an anime movie to pass Howl's Moving Castle? And is using the box office success of Your Name really a sign of "lack of artistic integrity", when anime is made to be sold?
What do you think, do you agree with Shinkai's comments?
Aaron Magulick has been a fan of anime ever since being exposed to it in the late '90s. A fan of nearly all genres, he is not afraid to explore the creepier side of the industry. Feel free to connect with him on GoBoiano Social.