This work explores the ways in which the anime of Makoto Shinkai cinematically portrays the theological virtues of faith, hope and love. The article will explore each virtue individually, with specific reference to the work of Josef Pieper and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. In addition, it will juxtapose their explorations of these virtues with samples of Shinkai’s corpus of films. It will assert that the consistency of Shinkai’s work reveals several important parallels with the theological virtues. Faith is the encounter between one and another that reveals one’s nature. Hope is revealed by the distance between one and another, and is realised in traversing that distance to achieve an ecstatic reunion. Love, as the erotic attraction between one and another, is the driver that also sustains the journey and closes the distance. In spite of the similarities, important differences between the cinematic and theological will be highlighted.
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