There are a few geniuses in the Anime Industry that set the standards above when it comes to producing anime. The previous generation has seen Hayao Miyazaki for one, and recently we’ve got Tetsuro Araki (Death Note, Guilty Crown, Attack on Titan) and Gen Urobuchi (Madoka Magica, Fate/Zero). Not lagging behind these guys is Makoto Shinkai, whose works have touched people with his simple but beautiful production design, humanizing themes and a selection of emotional vocals.
Working with Masayoshi Tanaka (anohana, Toradora!) as the character designer, the animation director, and a key animator and Nagi Yanagi (Bakemonogatari, Nagi no Asukara) as she performs the insert song "Cross Road.", Shinkai created “Cross Road”: a 120-second masterpiece for the Correspondence Education company Z-Kai; which will, unfortunately, never see the light of the cinema. All despite it giving the feel of being cinematic by itself.
Cross Road focuses on the story of high school students Miho (Ayane Sakura) and Shōta (Kensho Ono) as they prepare for the Tokyo University entrance exams. Miho comes from an island without even one cram school, while Shōta lives in Tokyo and works a part-time job. The two of them enter and enrol into Z-Kai’s review course, with their lives “crossing the roads” with each other in the end.
Anyway, don’t just take my word for it―go ahead and watch it!