Makoto Shinkai Talks Demon Slayer, Hints at His Next Work
posted on by Kim Morrissy
TV Asahi posted an interview with your name. and Weathering With You film director Makoto Shinkai last Thursday, where he discussed the current status of his next film, the effects of COVID-19, and the dominance of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba in the Japanese box office.
Shinkai said that although he is not currently in a position to talk in detail about the story of his next work, he started writing the script around the time Japanese government announced a state of emergency. He said that "the mood of the times is indelibly etched into the script." At the same time, the pandemic had less tangible effect on the work itself; it was still before the stage when the staff needed to gather in a single place, so the work took place at home.
The theme for the next film is "What happens after the end" (or "post-apocalypse").
"It's a story where something major happens that one's own power can't do anything to affect. By making this film, I want a part of people to think, 'We'll somehow manage to get by, won't we?'" The coronavirus is a large-scale disaster, but over the decades of our lives, we'll experience many forms of disaster, I think. Many things in society will come to a dramatic end, or be dramatically changed, but even after that, people will continue to find a way to survive.
"In a changed world, people nevertheless manage to find a bit of joy in their lives. Right now, I want to make a film that shows what happens after the apocalypse. Something will end. It is not a film where there is something that has to be held at bay. In the midst of a changed world, what kind of adventures will play out? How will people get in touch with their feelings? How will people live and overcome the shock of change? I want to make a film that depicts the things that we have to confront after the end of the world."
Shinkai also discussed the popularity of the Demon Slayer – Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train anime film in the Japanese box office, saying, "Nobody could have anticipated that in the year of 2020, where people were made to avoid gathering in one place, that Japan's box office records would get overwritten." He said that it was greatly encouraging to creators like him to see the public embrace a work of entertainment to such a degree, although he also admits that "it is a bit frustrating that we weren't able to achieve such a thing." Nevertheless, the success of Demon Slayer has taught Shinkai of "the importance of stories."
When Demon Slayer first outsold your name. in the box office in November, Shinkai reacted by tweeting: "Whoa, already?! (laughs) As frustrating as that may be for me, the fact that records are constantly getting beaten is the sign of a healthy entertainment industry. The least I can do is work hard to create good films." The film has since overtaken Spirited Away to achieve the all-time highest earnings in Japanese box office history.
In March, Shinkai stated that he had "vaguely figured out" his next work. When asked whether he will be able to maintain a three-year release schedule, he said, "I do think that if we are able to make a film every three years, the audience will be able to keep up without giving up on me. The question is whether I'll be able to release something in three years, and I still don't know at this point. I'll do my best."