Your Name. (君の名は。) (Kimi no Na wa.) is a Japanese anime movie that came out August 26, 2016. It is 1 hour and 46 minutes long and is considered to have the supernatural, drama, romance, school, time tags. It was written and directed by Makoto Shinkai.
Mitsuha Miyamizu is a high school girl from the country. Taki Tachibana is a boy in Tokyo who lives a busy life and hopes for a future in architecture. One day, Mitsuha awakens and finds herself in another body. It is the body of Taki. On the other hand, Taki is finding that he is body swapping into Mitsuha’s body. Eventually the body swapping stops and he begins to search for her.
Yume Tourou (夢灯籠) by RADWIMPS
Nandemonaiya (なんでもないや) by RADWIMPS
Waku Waku Review:
This anime is getting a lot of hype. I decided to watch it to see what the fuss is about. While I think Makoto Shinkai has a bright future ahead of him, I think he still has a way to go.
Some people cried while watching this, but I didn’t really feel the need to. The final meeting was not really special to me and I feel that the two, while sharing a bond, did not have a chance to truly fall in love because they did not communicate while doing the body swap. I can see why you would have an attachment and interest for the person you body swap with, but I cannot see why you would fall in love with such a person. You would not really get to know them enough.
Another reason why I think Shinkai has a way to go is because the movie didn’t really stand out. It was good, but is lacking in a really original story that contributes to the history of anime. It does not transport me to a strange and new world, nor does it truly cement our existing world into the pages of history by creating a timepiece that will stand up through the years.
The quality was great and the music blended well with the movie. The portrayal of the city versus country life was very nice. I felt that they captured the pace between the two places very well. Some of the camera angles were interesting and the changes in scenery made the movie interesting and kept my attention. I enjoyed seeing Mitsuha’s family work on kumi himo and I even decided to take it up as a hobby.
While I did not think this is the best movie of all time, I do think it is a good movie and enjoyed it very much. I do suggest watching it.
Kimi no Na wa is a great movie that shows real progress for Makoto Shinkai, but suffers from awkward pacing and largely doesn’t meet or exceed my expectations.
I’ll start with the positives. Kimi no Ni wa is a beautiful film. The animation quality it top notch and there seems to have been no expense spared. Bravo. I was also correct in assuming that Makoto Shinkai managed to create more developed, likeable characters due to the narrative tool of body-swapping. This device really helps the audience get to know both characters as they respond to awkward situations by being forced out of their comfort zones. This might be the first Makoto Shinkai film that I actually cared about the characters and that is a huge step forward. I must also add the fact that starting in media res really helped the film hit the ground running. There is no cheesy buildup to the lives these two lead before the body-swapping starts happening. All that stuff needs to be discovered as the story progresses. For some, this might be confusing, but overall it strengthens the narrative and character development. Something really commendable about this film is its subtly religious motifs when providing a loose explanation of the magic that makes some of the plot possible. Using kumihimo to explain the flow of time is a fun alternative to the ubiquitous weft/warp analogy of spacetime and was tastefully done. Enough to feel mystical but not heavy-handed enough to suggest any kind of specific dogma, which is just the right formula for a wide audience.
Next let’s talk about things that perhaps could have been improved. Music. The soundtrack provided by the Radwimps was fun and alternative, certainly youthful, and was blended with the animation wonderfully. How this relevant to a feature film I’m not sure. Mostly the music turned the film into 3-minute AMV’s for the duration of the montages. I’m also on the fence as to whether the title of Kimi no Na wa was the best choice. On one hand it is resonates with a theme, but on the other, it doesn’t prepare the audience or describe anything which really is the purpose of a title. Pacing, tone, and plot to a lesser extent are problems within the film. Since these are all intertwined (there’s that kumihimo again) it is hard to know where the knot of the problem is. There are multiple plot elements when most stories only need one. In weaving these plots of body-swapping, disaster, mystery and heist film you are on a roller-coaster that sometimes turns into It’s a Small World and the experience is completely noticeable. I would have preferred a single plot executed well rather than four strung together. I want to also support Stars’ assessment of the relationship between the lead characters Mitsuha and Taki. While I understand that there is a level of intimacy in living someone’s life for some time, that doesn’t mean you know how that person will conduct them self around you and whether you have chemistry, after all, you two have never been in the same place at the same time. I can totally understand how the two grow closer together, but the video montage largely glosses over the finer developments in their relationship and we are meant to assume things just work out in order to make room for the plot(s). The most disappointing thing is that Makoto Shinkai missed his opportunity to write a really good romantic comedy and opted to write a less-effective plot-driven film.