Japanese animators have good reason to hate the label "new Miyazaki," meaning successor to animation genius Hayao Miyazaki, who retired from feature filmmaking in 2013. First, it saddles them with fan expectations that their films will resemble — or imitate — the master's. Second, their box-office figures are compared to Miyazaki's, which soared to stratospheric heights that few rivals or successors have ever approached.

So here's a shout-out to Makoto Shinkai, among the most prominent of the "new Miyazakis," whose latest feature "Your Name." is distributed by Toho, the same company that handled all of Miyazaki's biggest hits. However, its late-August release date is not quite the mid-July box-office sweet spot once regularly reserved for Miyazaki's masterpieces.

Animated with a blend of gorgeous, realistic detail and emotionally grounded fantasy that make comparisons with Miyazaki not absurd, Shinkai's films to date, including his 2007 break-through "5 Centimeters per Second" ("Byosoku 5 Senchimetoru"), display a sensibility more romantic than Miyazaki's, with stories about young lovers instead of the maestro's plucky young heroines on various sorts of quests.