November 11th, 2017 was the first day the Shinkai Makoto exhibit opened at the National Art Center in Tokyo. It was a much-anticipated event with people from all over in attendance. The exhibit is located on the 2nd floor in gallery E. The great thing about the location is that you pass by the restaurant Taki and Miki had their date. It is a scene any fan would recognize and would have to take a picture of.
At entrance you are greeted by a giant poster proclaiming that this is the Exhibition of Shinkai Makoto. Before completely entering the exhibit, the museum offered audio guides to for 550 yen. Multiple languages were offered, but many of the exhibits inside had English translations. Unfortunately, once you pass the black curtains, photos are strictly prohibited.
Each section of the exhibit represents a chapter in Shinkai’s career and how it developed. Chapter 1 covers “Voices of a Distant Star” as it was a work he created on his own. It set the tone for how the rest of the exhibit would be like. There were story boards, old equipment, animation playing on the walls, and interesting decorations reflecting certain themes. Walking around the exhibit, reading the information about all those involved, and why he had decided on using specific elements in his films were a treat for any fan of his work.
When reaching the end of the exhibit there is a wall with scenes of Itomori, Mitsuha’s hometown in “Your Name.” The framed pictures were amazing to look at. It was the only place they allowed for people to take photos. Passing another set of black curtains there was another treat to watch. When it was over, all patrons were ushered out towards the gift shop. Even though photography was not allowed inside the exhibition area and gift shop it is definitely a recommendation for those who are a fan of Shinkai Makoto. You gain a deeper understanding of his work and greater appreciation. On December 18th the exhibit will come to an end, so if you have an opportunity do not miss this chance to go.