Your Name. review
What makes love hard to define is the connection that it develops between people. Think about the people that your with everyday. We think about friendship, love, lust, and companionship when your with those friends or lovers. The lines are drawn, but it can be blurred based on the invisible connection that you have with them. Even if you don’t see them that day, you still feel their presence in your daily lives, as they feel the same in return. Not only is it metaphysical, but it’s also feels like destiny when two lovers can feel that passion when their miles away.
I’ve heard about these kinds of stories done in film and television, but I haven’t seen it done in animation. I’m not talking about the countless Disney animated features that have the princess meet her man and their in love in three days; I mean a genuine romance that dives into to relationship and connection that two people have that’s hard to explain. I’m thankful that a company like Funimation is willing to release such a film here in America with an English dubbing. So let’s see how far a film like Your Name can push this idea.
In the small lake/mountain town of Itomori, a teenage girl Mitsuha is board of country life and wishes that she were a boy living in Tokyo. The next morning, she wakes up in an unfamiliar room. She goes along with it, assuming it’s a dream, and finds out that the body belongs to Taki, a Tokyo-based teenage boy who is quiet and works as a waiter. When she wakes up the next day, she’s back in her body, but finds out that her body swap was not a dream as her friends tell her she was acting weird the other day. It turns out that Taki had her body vice versa.
Trough a trust, Mitsuha and Taki make a set a rules on what to do when their body swaps happen. Taki ends up making Mitsuha more popular in school while Mitsuha improves Taki’s relationships with his friends and boss at the restaurant. The two start to develop romantic feelings for each other, but after Taki fails to call her, the body swaps stop. Taki then uses his drawings of that mountain town to try and find it to hopefully find Mitsuha.
It doesn’t seem like much of a story, but I cannot give anymore of Your Name away as the majority of it is how much you don’t know. It’s a rare movie that not only has two twists, but is also a beautiful story of love. The script understands that true love happens over time, and the voice actors channel a lot of that emotion. Again, without spoiling it, the movie turns into an engaging mystery that made me want to see if the two would end up with each other. I cannot remember the last time I felt that way about a romantic movie.
For a movie that didn’t really need to be animated, Your Name looks amazing. When I think of good anime, I think of Studio Ghibli. This was produced by an independent studio that may just rival Ghibli. The animation is heavily detailed and uses it’s style to it’s advantage to tell the story of time-crossed lovers. I wouldn’t be surprised if the production had started years ago, as I cannot imagine this being done quickly.
I’m sorry that I can’t give more information on what kind of story this is, but if you knew, you wouldn’t enjoy it as much as I did. Even after it ended, I told myself that I would go see this again…which I will.
I’ll give this five comets out of five. Though the summer season hasn’t started, Your Name may already be my favorite movie of the year. It may be also one of the greatest anime features I’ve seen, up on the same levels as Spirited Away and Grave of the Fireflies. It’s poetic, Shakespearian, philosophical, beautiful and engaging. I definitely recommend that you see this, in theaters if possible. If the stars can align and more people can see this, we can get more stories like this.