Japanese Screenings of Shinkai’s ‘your name’ Show ‘Cross Road’ Anime Ad Before Film
62 theaters in the TOHO Cinemas chain in Japan will begin showing the 30-second “Cross Road” television commercial for the correspondence education service Z-Kai that Makoto Shinkai directed before screenings of Shinkai’s your name. (Kimi no Na wa.), starting on Friday until December 2. The commercial debuted in 2014 in 15-, 30-, and 120-second versions, with English subtitles.
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. Like your name., Masayoshi Tanaka (anohana, Toradora!) served as the character designer, although he also served as animation director and a key animator on the commercial. 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 acknowledged “Cross Road” as one of the “starting points” for the your name. film.
your name. has earned 18.5 billion yen and stayed at #1 as of Tuesday, after 82 days in Japanese cinemas, and has sold a total of 14.29 million tickets. The film had topped the Japanese charts for nine straight weeks since it opened on August 26, and in its 10th weekend dropped to #2 to Death Note Light up the NEW world, before regaining the top spot in its 11th weekend.
Anime Limited will begin screening the film with both English subtitles and the English dub in the United Kingdom this month. FUNimation Entertainment is releasing the film in North America starting with an Oscar-qualifying theatrical run that will take place from December 2-8 at Los Angeles’ Laemmle Music Hall. Funimation is planning a broader theatrical release for the first quarter of 2017.
The film is the seventh highest-grossing film of all time in Japan, the fourth highest-grossing Japanese film in Japan, and the fourth highest-grossing anime film in Japan. The three highest-grossing Japanese films in Japan include Spirited Away (30.8 billion yen), Howl’s Moving Castle (19.6 billion yen) and Princess Mononoke (19.3 billion yen). your name. is projected to possibly approach 20 billion yen (US$200 million).