Genre: Supernatural, Romance
Rating: 8-8.5/10. I can’t decide because dang it, I want more
Hailed as the movie to beat Miyazaki’s famed “Spirited Away” in 2016, “Your Name” immediately impresses with its beautiful use of colours in its animation. There are few anime that can leave me in awe over its aesthetic artistry; this is one of them. You know that shit is good when you can tell the amount of love and hard work was put into the art from a single glance.
Moving away from that, the story itself is definitely worthy of appreciation. Largely removed from the usual tropes we see in anime today, this is a movie that will entertain both younger and older fans of the genre. Don’t believe me? Keep reading.
“Your Name” is centered around two protagonists; a bored girl named Mitsuha who lives in the countryside, and a boy named Taki who lives in Tokyo. It begins with a confusing start, as “Mitsuha” behaves in a way everyone can tell is odd, but this is soon explained as we are told about the body switch phenomenon. This is something that takes Mitsuha and Taki awhile to figure out, as they quickly forget about each other, like dreams, but they can tell the experiences are real thanks to the people around them.
Funnily enough, despite her initial shock and horror, becoming a handsome boy who lives in Tokyo was actually poor Mitsuha’s wish. She just couldn’t take the quietness of country life!
Unfortunately for her, these body switch experiences are not permanent, as they happen repeatedly and seemingly at random throughout the movie. Still, Taki and Mitsuha manage to create a bond despite not meeting each other. A wonderfully done part of the storytelling, as it feels sincere and exists without cliches.
The hilarity that happens each time they switch makes it all the better!
Honestly speaking, I’d love to go on and on about the movie -how could I not?- but for the sake of avoiding spoilers, I will refrain from doing so.
Really, it is something that needs to be watched on your own for better understanding.
In essence, “Your Name” is a story that is filled with friendship, sacrifice and romance- with bits of Japanese culture thrown into the mix. You’ll be given an insight into old Japanese traditions and rituals such as the making of kuchikamizake, which is a type of rice-based of alcohol produced by the main female lead. The famed red string of fate makes a few appearances as well!
With the presence of symbolism and certain plot lines, “Your Name” is a film that makes you think about it even after it is over- which is another thing I love about it. It is no way a heavy thinker, but it does do the trick. Those who are fascinated by Japanese culture will certainly be happy with this.
That said, I do wish that there was more to be told in terms of Mitsuha and Taki’s relationship. It feels like the movie could have benefited a bit more if we were given more “interactions” between the two; just so we can root a lot harder for the pair than we already do. The lack of time the producers had is really obvious.
All in all, this is another anime I’m adding to my list of recommendations. It exceeded my expectations, and yes, it is comparable to Miyazaki’s works.