Garden of Words' Makoto Shinkai Makes 'Cross Road' Anime Ad

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
anohana's Masayoshi Tanaka designs characters to promote Z-Kai distance learning courses

Anime director Makoto Shinkai (The Garden of Words, Children Who Chase Lost Voices) created the "Cross Road" television commercial for the major correspondence education company Z-Kai. The project will debut on television in 120-, 30-, and 15-second versions on Tuesday. YouTube and Niconico will also begin streaming the commercial the same day.

The story of "Cross Road" centers on high school students Miho (Ayane Sakura) and Shōta (Kensho Ono) as they prepare for tests. Miho comes from an island without even one cram school, while Shōta lives in Tokyo and works a part-time job. Both are striving to pass tests so they can enter college. The pair enroll in Z-Kai's correspondence education courses, and their lives cross before they realize.

Shinkai directed the animated commercial at CoMix Wave Films with Masayoshi Tanaka (anohana, Toradora!) as character designer and animation director. Nagi Yanagi (Bakemonogatari, Nagi no Asukara) performs the insert song "Cross Road." An Irish folk song inspired the melody, and Shinkai wrote the song's lyrics.

Shinkai began his career by creating his own anime titles almost singlehandedly — being responsible for the writing, directing, and even voice-acting. He now works with CoMix Wave Films and other staff members on anime projects. His titles include She and Her Cat, Voices of a Distant Star, The Place Promised in Our Early Days, 5 Centimeters Per Second, Children Who Chase Lost Voices, and 2013's The Garden of Words.

Sources:, Netlab

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