What's your opinion on Shinkai?
I like his work a lot. The animation and art is always astounding, as well as the music. The stories are solid love stories which tend to focus around loss or distance. It makes me wonder what his past was like. Albeit, the love stories typically aren't anything new or unique, but they're done pretty well.
Perhaps you need to actually watch one of his movies? Art is incredible and the animation is fluid, never breaking the atmosphere of the background or foreground. Maybe Voices of a Distant Star can be argued that the animation is a little wonky at times, but that's what happens when you throw CGI into your work.
I've been in dozens of threads about Shinkai's work and you're literally the only person I've ever seen who doesn't like the art or animation.
Usually it's people saying the characters are shallow or they didn't like the story or whatnot, but that's always followed by "At least the art is good."
I don't like the simplistic character design especially when you compare it with the high production quality of his films. I'm thinking he does that on purpose but it's a bit annoying.
His stuff certainly has an interesting feeling to it but I fail to connect with the characters. A lot of people on /a/ always say how 5cm ruined them and had a huge emotional impact on them but I'm just not seeing it. That is not criticism either because he's very talented when it comes to the technical site of things and I don't dislike the idea of the characters either but it's just not doing it for me.
That's why his movies often end up as impressive examples of handwork for me. I don't walk away with anything but a genuine feeling of having seen some good looking movie though. Which is obviously not the intended feeling.
Since people are talking about the art, I think it's worth distinguishing the production quality and the design or aesthetic. I think most people will agree that production quality, by which I mean the fluidity and fidelity of the animation, is incredibly top notch. However, the design work and shot composition is somewhat lacking. Even in his more visually creative works, like Children who Chase Lost Voices, the characters aren't very memorable and the environment design is kinda unoriginal. The environment design seems to be focused on what will make the most visually impressive shot, usually including large vistas and a highly detailed sky. The detail is exquisite, but no individual design ever made much of an impact on me. I remember it being beautiful, but I don't actually remember anything else about it. I suppose that's not really a bad thing, but I feel like it's not he best result, either.