His latest work, titled Weathering With You, isn't a sequel to the beloved body-swapping flick, but rather a supernatural tale that looks to bring two strangers with very different backgrounds together once more.
The film's first visually arresting trailer is accompanied by soothing, somber piano music punctuated by breathy vocals that give way to its theme song "Is there still anything that love can do?" from Japanese band Radwimps, the outfit responsible for Your Name's iconic soundtrack and lead track, "Zen Zen Zense." From the look of things, it's setting itself up to be another masterwork from Shinkai, who's proven time and time again he knows exactly how to perfectly detail everything from environments to expressive characters, right down to the smartphones they use in the modern worlds they inhabit.
The film follows high school student Hodaka Morishima who leaves an isolated island and makes a move to the big city as he heads to Tokyo. Broke with no cash or a job, he eventually lands a position as a writer for an occult magazine. While working his new job, he meets a young girl named Hina Amano with an intriguing power. She can stop the days of pouring rain that have been plaguing the city and clear the sky. That's about all we know so far, but based on the visuals and music from the trailer alone, this looks like it'll be another victory for Shinkai.
Shinkai's Your Name was a massively popular anime film that drew on familiar body swap flick tropes to weave a touching and earnest tale about two teens who begin switching bodies at random. As they begin leaving messages for the other via their cell phones and written messages, they slowly begin to fall for one other. There's just one problem — as the title suggests, neither can remember the other's name. It's currently the highest-grossing anime of all time, so you've probably heard of it a time or two.
For those who can't wait to see this film make its way Stateside, Shinkai has a wealth of films in his portfolio, like the tender Voices of a Distant Star, The Place Promised in our Early Days, and The Garden of Words. If you haven't seen Your Name just yet, that's obviously a must-watch as well.
Weathering With You is opening in Japan on July 19, 2019. There's no word just yet on an American debut.