Disclaimer: ‘Your Name’ originally came out in Japan in 2016, however it received its release here in Canada in 2017 which is why I am referring to it as a 2017 film. Also because I want to include it in my Best of 2017 list so there is my selfish reason 🙂
Your Name follows two high schoolers of varying economical and societal worlds, Mitsuha (Mone Kamishiraishi) and Taki (Ryunosuke Kamiki), as they experience a body swap and develop a growing connection through this bizarre occurrence. The film also stars Masami Nagasawa, Etsuko Ichihara, Ryo Narita and is directed by Makoto Shinkai (Children Who Chase Lost Voices, The Garden of Words).
My Thoughts On The Characters And Story
Back in 2014, my older brother taught English in Japan for a full year and since then, he has praised the country immensely for virtually every aspect of it. When I heard about how much acclaim this film called Your Name was receiving, I asked if he would want to watch it with me and (of course) he couldn’t resist… I watched it last night at my local theatre with the English subtitles and feel an overwhelming need to see it again, possibly with the English dub to see how well it translates over. I can confidently say Your Name is one of the greatest animated films I have ever seen in my life.
There are certain comedic-style films that are funny in their own right, however when they attempt to include any type of emotional arc to either a character or situation, it can come off as jarring or off-putting. Your Name managed to have me genuinely cracking up during one instance and when it transitions to the more heart-wrenching components, my eyes welled up like no other. What I appreciated the most out of these components were that they were not included simply to make the audience feel bad. They contributed to the progression of the film and, in the realm of the film’s universe, made complete logical sense. There was one beautifully executed sequence that the film was building up to and when that scene concluded ugly tears were formed, my friends.
The relationship developed between Mitsuha and Taki is just so well done, if I continue to write about them this will just be a 10,000 word thesis of me gushing about these two. I think I enjoyed their coupling as much as I did because this universe was unbelievably fleshed out. The town of Itomori featured staples a ridiculously beautiful town of its calibre would have and its residents felt like real, breathing individuals instead of inclusions of characters to fill up the screen. The rich landscape of Tokyo, with its towering infrastructure surrounded by bouts of greenery, was fucking incredible and the bustling transit system was filled with real commuters.
The deep connection you feel for Mitsuha and Taki is because you experience their lives and the people they surround themselves with. Everyone serves a purpose yet in many instances seen in other films, the inclusion of secondary characters and their backstories occasionally feel forced to the point where you just don’t care about them. You don’t even realize how much of a connection you feel for the characters included in Your Name MILD SPOILER until certain instances occur. END SPOILER
Your Name isn’t solely a goofy body-swapping story where these two are destined to be together and you’re spending the whole movie wishing they’d get together so it would end already. Quite the contrary for me, I wanted them to get together because they deserve each other, damn it! The connective tissue included in this film is marveling, there are instances where I found myself thinking, “… ohhhhhhhh! Oh that’s good, I didn’t even think of that.” There are quite a bit of revelations made that seemingly pile on one another, however it is executed brilliantly and isn’t patronizing to the audience whenever a character attempts to rationalize what they uncovered.
How Were The Other Aspects Of ‘Your Name’?
Calling Your Name a “beautiful looking” film simply doesn’t do it justice. From the very first frame to the very end I was in awe at the sheer magnitude of fantastic I was witnessing. The visual spectacle of it is only made greater by the enjoyability of the film and the development of its characters. If you’re not tired of my gushing, the final aspect of this all-around flawless film is its music. Besides the insanely catchy original pop songs, there is a distinctive piano piece incorporated throughout Your Name that enhanced every single scene it was utilized in.
If you’re looking for an anime film with developed characters and a unique take on an intriguing concept that is unlike a typical Hollywood animated flick, check out Your Name.
Your Name (Kimi no Na wa) receives a coveted 5/5 Matt Damon heads.