Your Name (Kimi no Na wa) follows Mitshua Miyamizu and Taki Tachibana, two younglings who end up switching bodies with one and other, without any knowledge on what had transpired.
When Your Name released in 2016, it took the world by storm. It became one of the biggest financial and critical successes for an anime movie, rivaling the likes of Studio Ghibli. Romantic dramas, on how a boy and a girl meet each other; while they find something new with their life isn’t anything new. But that does not mean that you can’t find a way to be unique with your approach to it.
Makoto Shinkai’s [writer/director] approach with this sub-genre is both unique and refreshing. He uses body-swapping as the general McGuffin. The interaction between Mitshua and Taki is one of the most interesting I have seen in quite some time. The way these two play off of each other is a cut above the rest.
I haven’t seen the English dub, but Ryûnosuke Kamiki and Mone Kamishirashi are perfect for their roles. Now that I think about it, no voice actor sticks out like a sore thumb. Even though this is a movie that could technically work as a live-action movie, a good chunk of what makes this so breathtaking is this beautiful 2D animation. If I’m being honest, it puts today’s 3D animation to shame. It creates the extra layer of fantastical that you can’t bring anywhere else. There is more time than what I can count, where you could pause the movie, only to screenshot and hang up on the wall.
When I first saw this film, it ended up as one of my favorite movies of all time. It keeps getting better with each viewing. Aside from the body swapping, Your Name is arguably one of the most relatable dramas out there; with the theme of living another life and connecting with someone far away in today’s society. Just like the library of Hayao Miyazaki, this is a movie that should be on your watch-list. Even for you that has yet to watch a single piece of Japanese animation.