“Your Name.” – An Inventive Tale on Romance

Out of all of the videos you saw on your Facebook account in 2016, you probably came across a video talking the new Japanese anime film, “Your Name.”. It’s being talked about because of it’s record breaking box office. The film has made more money than Japans earlier highest box office film, “Spirited Away”.

The hype for this movie has been highly anticipated. Ever since I heard about the record breaking movie, my interest got higher and higher the more I heard about it. Finally after waiting for seven months, I got to see “Your Name.”.

The anime film focuses on two high school students, Mitusha and Taki. Both live in two completely different cities and live opposite life styles. Mitusha lives in a small town while Taki lives in Tokyo. They come to find out that they have a connection. One night, they switch bodies, yes that’s what I said. Their bodies switch back and forth every night and must learn how to work with one another while learning about each other.

The only thing I knew about this movie was it’s box office record. I wasn’t aware of what the story actually was. All I could tell is that it is a love story and the movie definitely knows how to touch your heart.

your-name-1

The first half of the film that focuses on the body switching feels original because it doesn’t feel like a “Freaky Friday” ripoff, but it does seem more like something that fits for a show. The movie could have really dragged out these two trying to figure out what to do, solve this situation and that. Yet, the movie does a great job on explaining everything on how these two work together, such the rules they must follow and how they contact each other to update.

This could have also gone in the direction of Taki going on dates and being in a heated relationship, then Mitusha going to Tokyo to tell Taki her feelings and they fall in love cause they both know each other better than anyone else. That doesn’t happen however. In fact, it goes in a direction I think no one would have guessed. It’s something that won’t be mentioned that much in this review. All that will be said is that the second half’s even more original plot went on a path I wasn’t expecting and it really had me sucked into the movie.

Through the entire second half, I was curious what was going to happen. The last twenty minutes could have ended anytime and that’s what added suspense. Though because the second half has a much heavier plot, the movie starts to feel dragged out.

Director Makoto Shinkai is known for his beautiful animation. If you’re a sucker for good animation, then I would recommend his project from this film, “Garden of Words”. The elegant landscapes are stunning to look at, but it isn’t as beautiful as anticipated. Though there is a two to three minute scene that is done with colored pencils and that’s the biggest high light of the film when it comes to animation. It’s still prettier than some other animated films, but it’s just isn’t as opulent as expecting.

As someone who isn’t appealed to much anime, it was refreshing to find something original that blends the humor and romance smoothly than almost every other romantic comedy. The animation may not be as lavish as “Garden of Words”, but it’s still more impressive than many of the other animated films to come out in recent memory. “Your Name.” has the ability to fill your heart with warmth and grief. It doesn’t matter if you’re a fan of anime or not, the concept of this movie can have you and your friends talking about it for days because of its originality.

B+

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