Poll asks respondents to pick between the directors of Your Name and Summer Wars.

Almost all anime directors do most of their work in television, since that’s the format the vast majority of Japan’s animation output is produced for. Two very notable exceptions, though, are Mamoru Hosoda and Makoto Shinkai.

Hosoda directed his first anime film in 2000 and has been working exclusively on theatrical features since 2009, helming hits such as The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars, Wolf Children, and The Boy and the Beast along the way. Shinkai, meanwhile, directed his first theatrically released movie in 2004, with his most recent works being the phenomenally popular Your Name and Weathering with You.

Together, they’re the two most respected anime movie directors after the older generations of Mamoru Oshii, Hideaki Anno, Hayao Miyazaki, and Isao Takahata. So Japanese video streaming service 1Screen recently conducted a survey, asking respondents “Whose movies do you like more, Mamoru Hosoda’s or Makoto Shinkai’s?”

▼ Trailer for Hosoda’s newest anime film, Belle

A total of 500 responses were collected from participants between the ages of 10 and 69, and when their votes were tallied, Hosoda came out ahead, albeit by a slim margin as 52.2 percent said they prefer his works, and the remaining 47.8 percent more supporting of Shinkai.

1Screen also asked respondents why they made the selection they did, and those who chose Hosoda cited his penchant for fantasy elements and the warmth of his visual style and characterizations, with comments such as:

“A lot of his anime have an escapist, dream-like quality to them, so they’re very entertaining to watch.”
“His character animation is very lively.”
“The characters’ dialogue and facial expressions in emotional scenes feel very natural and realistic.”
“If I had to pick between them, I’d pick Hosoda. I like how his stories develop. There’re fun exciting parts, but sad, heart-aching ones too, and a lot of his anime can be enjoyed by adults and kids alike.”

On the other end of the responses, many of those who prefer Shinkai’s anime gushed about his inimitable visuals.

“Every frame of animation in Shinkai’s movies is beautiful, especially how scenes with water are drawn. Your Name and Weathering with You have romantic elements too, and their stories are enjoyable the whole way through.”
“The gorgeous art really draws you into the movie’s world, and the scenery and weather work to express the story’s emotional state.”
“The background art sucks you in with how realistic it is, and as you look at it, you realize it’s more beautiful than reality even, so I can watch Shinkai’s anime over and over again.”
“In addition to his movies’ art, I really like their music too.”

Of course, as anyone who’s watched both directors’ films can attest, their styles are very different, so you could make the argument that the question “Hosoda or Shinkai?” is basically “Apple or orange?” Hosoda likely also got a bit of a boost thanks to the timing of the survey, which was conducted in late June, as he’s much more in people’s minds these days what with his newest film, Belle, opening this month and also coinciding with his previous movies being broadcast on Japanese TV and appearing as a new Uniqlo T-shirt line.

Source: PR Times
Top image: YouTube/東宝MOVIEチャンネル
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[ Read in Japanese ]