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Makoto Shinkai's 'Cross Road' Anime Ad Posted With English Subtitles

posted on by Emma Hanashiro
anohana's Masayoshi Tanaka designs 2 high school characters who use Z-Kai's learning courses

Correspondence education service Z-Kai released "Cross Road," a television commercial directed by anime director Makoto Shinkai (The Garden of Words, Children Who Chase Lost Voices), on Tuesday. The project debuted on television, YouTube, and Niconico in 120-, 30-, and 15-second versions on the same day. The YouTube streams have English subtitles that can turned on in the Closed Captions (CC) menu.

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 it.

Shinkai storyboarded, directed, edited, and worked on the backgrounds in the animated commercial at CoMix Wave Films. Masayoshi Tanaka (anohana, Toradora!) served as the character designer, the animation director, and a key animator. 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 with Aki Oxford. The key animators include Taisuke Iwasaki, Hiroshi Tomioka, Tomoyuki Shimoya, Yuu Yamashita, Ushio Tazawa, Kōichi Hayashi, and Miho Suzuki. Masahiko Tanaka voiced the instructor in the ad.

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.

Images © Z-Kai Co., Ltd.

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