Your Name Review

Your Name movie posterSynopsis
Taki (Ryûnosuke Kamiki (voice)) and Mitsuha (Mone Kamishiraishi (voice)) find themselves mysteriously switching bodies at random. Eventually, they create a system to communicate with each other and be a part of each other’s lives. When they go in search of each other, they discover that they are separated by more than distance.

Review
I wasn’t expecting to go see Your Name during its limited US theatrical release but one of my best friends, and frequent movie buddy, had an extra ticket and asked if I wanted to go. To be honest, I didn’t even know it was going to be in theaters until he invited me along, nor was I familiar with Makoto Shinkai and his work. I’m really glad I had the chance to go watch Your Name in the theater because this has quickly become one of my favorite animes.

The first thing you’re sure to notice is the beautiful animation. And I mean absolutely stunning and breathtakingly beautiful. Traditional 2D animation seems to be becoming less and less popular these days. However, films like Your Name show that there is still life in the medium. Every frame is drop-dead gorgeous and you can feel the commitment and love that went into making this movie look the way it does.

For some films, it can be difficult to balance drama with a sense of humor. Director and writer Makoto Shinkai makes it look easy. One pitfall of films that try to incorporate both drama and humor is that it becomes overly serious and the shift between the two can be jarring. It will be light and funny one moment then dark and sobering the next. Your Name, first and foremost, is a love story about Taki and Mitsuha but it never becomes melodramatic. Humor fits into the story without taking away from the core lover’s tale, nor does it feel forced or out of place.

What I really liked about Your Name‘s story was that as the audience, we don’t learn the full scope of the story until about halfway through the film. Bits and pieces are learned about Taki and Mitsuha and their interwoven fates but why it is difficult for them to meet up is not learned for some time into the movie. I think this works so well because it leaves some mystery about the two main characters despite learning so much about them through watching them interact with each other’s friends and family. I won’t give the why away but I will say that once you learn it, you will root that much more that they will find some way to connect with each other.

More than the animation, Your Name‘s biggest strength is its characters. As I said, for the first half of the film, a lot is learned about Taki and Mitsuha just by watching them inhabit each other’s bodies. The further in the movie went, the more I cared about them and wanted to see them get their happy ending. Like any love story, there are wrinkles but those difficulties just added to my fondness for the two. I can’t recall the last romantic movie, either animated or live action, that made me feel so strongly towards its lead couple.

I thought Your Name was GREAT 😀 From the get-go, it will grab your attention with its beautiful animation and lightheartedness. But as the story progresses, it will tug at year heartstrings with its intricate and alluring narrative. Makoto Shinkai has truely outdone himself and I will be sure to look out for his films in the future.

Trivia
Taki’s school teacher is the same character from Makoto Shinkai’s film The Garden of Words named Yukari Yukino.

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Makoto Shinkai – Director / Writer
Composer – Radwimps

Taki Tachibana – Ryûnosuke Kamiki (voice)
Mitsuha Miyamizu – Mone Kamishiraishi (voice)
Katsuhiko Teshigawara – Ryô Narita (voice)
Sayaka Natori – Aoi Yuki (voice)
Tsukasa Fujii – Nobunaga Shimazaki (voice)
Shinta Takagi – Kaito Ishikawa (voice)
Yotsuha Miyamizu – Kanon Tani (voice)
Toshiki Miyamizu – Masaki Terasoma (voice)
Futaha Miyamizu – Sayaka Ohara (voice)
Taki’s Father – Kazuhiko Inoue (voice)
Teshigawara’s Father – Chafûrin (voice)
Teacher – Kana Hanazawa (voice)

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18 thoughts on “Your Name Review

  1. I’m so intrigued by this movie! It sounds like the tired ‘Freaky Friday’ kind of plot but I can tell there’s so much more to the story. I couldn’t convince anyone to go to the cinema with me for this one but I’m anxiously awaiting a home release!

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    • It is sooo much more than that. It does body switching but in a very unique way. That’s too bad you couldn’t get anyone to go with you because they really missed out. I can’t wait for you to eventually see it!

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  2. So glad you got to see and enjoy this outstanding film! Shinkai’s past work is hit and miss for me, but this was like the culmination of all his previous films. The animation rivals Studio Ghibli’s amazing attention to detail, and while I thought the musical montages were a little overdone, the whole package was near perfect. I highly recommend Shinkai’s Children Who Chase Lost Voices from 2011. I think I love it even more than Your Name.

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    • Me too! I’ve added his films on my to-watch list. I liked the montages but that might be because I was rocking out to their music. 😛 Thanks for the recommendation, SG!

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    • It surely does! Even months later, I’m still amazed at this movie and how gorgeous it is. I hope other movies copy its style because, as you said, it is breathtakingly beautiful.

      Thanks for commenting. 🙂

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      • Yesss. Have you seen that page where they compared the movie’s locations to the actual places? The animators are so amazing they replicated the places and draw it in 2D. Got to love the story and animation. ☺️ You’re always welcome

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        • I’ve seen something on that. I feel like it was a youtube video but it might have been an article. It’s inspiring what they were able to accomplish with traditional animation. At least someone is keeping the style alive.

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  3. Pingback: Drew’s Movie Reviews Turns 4! Anniversary Celebration 4: My Fave Five New Movies I Watched in Year 4 | Drew's Movie Reviews

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