Over the past few months, my wife and I have been slowly working through a list of some of the more notable Japanese animated films. Among the recurring names is that of director Makoto Shinkai. After watching a few of his works, I have to say that he isn’t one of my favourites. His works do tend to have absolutely gorgeous animation but are light on plot. They seem meant more to convey a specific mindset or emotional state than telling a story. They also seem overly fond of some of the most common tropes in Japanese animation without enough original ideas or perspectives. There’s a certain poetical beauty in his works but for the most part, they’re not to my taste.