Your Name is one of the best and most beautiful anime movies of all time. A film by the famous Makoto Shinkai, Your Name, is produced by CoMix Wave Films and released by Toho. It first premiered at the 2016 Anime Expo in Los Angeles in July 2016. After this, it was theatrically released in Japan in August of the same year. Shinkai also wrote a light novel of the same name a month before the premiere of the film.
Your Name has won many awards and is one of the highest-grossing anime films of all time. It is highly popular and a great emotional ride for all viewers. It’s rated 8.4 on IMDb and 9 on My Anime List. So, what is the movie all about? Let us dive into it.
The story revolves around Mitsuha and Taki. Two complete strangers from completely different backgrounds and cities somehow cross paths because of a weird phenomenon. Mitsuha and Taki switch bodies with each other routinely with no explanation as to how it happens. In the beginning, they think they’ve been dreaming. But as their actions in each other’s bodies seem to have consequences in their lives, they realize that it’s all real.
Both the characters are brilliant and considerate. Taki is a city boy living in Tokyo working as a waiter to earn some money while also attending school. He has a minor crush on his colleague at the restaurant named Miki, who takes a liking to him too. Taki is someone who seems to keep to himself most of the time.
He has friends, and he interacts with them the most. Apart from them, he doesn’t seem to be all that outgoing or social. His relationship with his father, though not highlighted a lot in the movie, seems to be sort of distant. That might be because they rarely see much of each other because of their work and school lives.
We often see Taki being alone in his apartment or working at the restaurant. He’s not the most popular guy at school and nor someone who isn’t recognized by anyone. By all means, Taki seems to be an average school-going teen.
Mitsuha, on the other hand, is from a fictional village named Itomori. She is free-spirited but quite traditional. Her family is that of a traditional kind. She serves as the family priestess at their shrine. We see her participating in a ceremony where she and her little sister make some traditional sake after chewing rice and letting it out in a container.
Mitsuha dreams of living a life in the city. She feels her own little village is boring and slow, and her wish comes true when she starts swapping bodies with Taki. Mitsuha is someone who quickly learns and adapts to her environment. She can understand deeper things like fate, time, and how sometimes, destiny can be a difficult thing to understand. She takes risks.
She even travels all the way to Tokyo to find Taki without knowing if she’ll be able to find him. But as it happens, fate plays its trick. She finds him, but because of a major twist, he fails to recognize her.
The two characters have mind-blowing chemistry with each other. They start by leaving messages about their day in each other’s bodies and end up falling in love without realizing it until the end. The movie soon becomes a race for time, and the way the two co-operate, trying to save some time, is simply phenomenal.
Story of Your Name
Your Name has a very original storyline. One might think they have a grasp on what’s going on in the beginning, but by the end of the movie, they might be proven very wrong about the whole premise. Shinkai has a brilliant way of building tension. A key concept about the film is, after they swap back into their original bodies, Mitsuha and Taki forget everything they did, including their own interactions.
This is why they have to leave each other messages. This always keeps the lingering question. What if they forget each other? What if something happens to disrupt their messages? Will they ever be able to interact again?
Knowing the movie already has a strong emotional base, one can’t help but feel tensed about how things will end up. Everything from the concept to timeline is done wonderfully and leaves very few things out when it comes to plot originality and pacing.
There is one little detail, however, this may be considered a plot hole. The movie has something to do with the dates things happen. Viewers have been pointing out how the two characters used each other’s phones a lot but never noticed the dates things were happening. Is this a plot hole? Or are we to think, “well, no one pays a lot of attention to dates anyway”? In any case, apart from this tiny detail, the story doesn’t miss and hits hard.
Cinematography and Animation.
The movie has some of the best animations out there. The shots of the city and village are done in bright contrast to each other and yet feel somehow stable and similar. The colors this movie will show you will be like no other. Especially when a certain event goes down over the village of Itomori. The sequences are surreal, and the animation keeps you gripped and interested throughout the film.
Everything from the character designs to transitions is attractive and smooth. One of the finer qualities of You Name is how it encapsulates real places in Tokyo inside the movie. This way, fans can visit the actual sites and recreate scenes to their liking. Moreover, the weather and scenery of Itomori are derived from the director’s very own home village. We can’t help but adore this personal touch.
Your Name: Music
Let us talk about the music in Your Name. Hands down some of the best music you will ever see in any movie or anime. Whether it be about the emotional and nervous climax or about the simpler, more pleasant scenes, Your Name has a great way of increasing the impact of every scene with its music.
Having famous names like Radwimps giving a higher touch to the score and music has certainly done the film a lot of good, and it shows. One feels elevated into a surreal plane when Taki and Mitsuha swap bodies for the last time or when they meet each other again on a staircase in Tokyo. It seems the red string of fate has been tied to all of us. The music is what makes this movie to the next level. Your Name is certainly one of the movies which set a standard when it comes to music in anime.
Do we recommend Your Name? Yes, yes, and yes. This movie is guaranteed to make you nervous and give you relief. It’s guaranteed to take you on an emotional journey of a lifetime. It’s all about how two people can be tied by the red string of fate and how they will come together against all odds.
At one point, Mitsuha’s grandma talks about how she too had experiences swapping bodies with someone but no longer remembers that person. It is at this moment where the fear of her forgetting Taki becomes real. And with her, the viewer also gets sucked into the world of Your Name. The movie starts with an important scene which is also shown in the poster. It seems like a beautiful moment, but we realize the horror of it only later in the movie. And when the final twist strikes, it cuts deep.
The constant fear of the movie has a sad ending that will keep you gripped and on the edge of your seat. The animation will keep you refreshed and hooked. And finally, the music will only make your experience richer with every beat. In our opinion, Shinkai totally nailed every aspect of the movie and gave us a story to remember for ages. It is no wonder Your Name has acquired the fame and money it has. It’s one of those few movies which soared without having Studio Ghibli’s brand on it. That says a lot. Our rating for Your Name is 4.6 out of 5.