Japan has a new blockbuster, the animated movie Your Name (Kimi No Na Wa). This movie was published in 2016 and is the fourth highest-grossing anime movie from Japan and the highest-grossing anime movie worldwide with a total gross of more than 331 million dollars on January 15th 2017. The anime is animated by CoMix Wave Films and published by Toho. It first aired at the Anime Expo 2016 in Los Angeles and the premiere in Japan was on the 26th of August 2016. The movie was also shown at Anima 2017 in Brussels and last week in the Netherlands at HAFF.
Your Name is about a girl named Mitsuha and a boy named Taki. Taki lives in Tokyo and Mitsuha in the Hadi mountain region. Because Mitsuha got bored of the countryside lifestyle, she sacrificed a special kind of sake to become a handsome boy from Tokyo. Her wish came true and Mitsuha and Taki switched bodies. At first they don’t notice it’s real, but they soon find out it is when their loved ones say they’re acting a bit out of character. Mitsuha and Taki communicate via written notes. They begin to help each other in their personal lives and soon bond with each other. Mitsuha helps Taki with his love life and Taki helps Mitsuha to become more popular. After Taki suddenly wakes up back in his own body and unable to connect with Mitsuha, he decides to search for her. In Mitsuha’s hometown he soon discovers that their timelines are actually three years apart. They’re able to connect again, but because of the three year time difference they aren’t actually together.
The movie is praised for its emotional impact on the viewer and the beautiful animation and I couldn’t agree more. Your Name is an emotional rollercoaster and in a very good way. You begin to sympathize with the characters and you’ll get lost in the movie. The concept of the movie is fairly complex, but definitely not impossible to understand. Furthermore, the concept is amazing and because it’s fairly complex it isn’t a cliche. In the beginning it looks like it’ll be kind of cliche, but as the movie progresses it’s becoming less and less cliche and that’s an awesome surprise. There are also a few other anime/manga, like Kokoro Connect, that look like this concept, but it’s also so different that it looks nothing alike. The animation is also seriously amazing. Your Name and everybody who worked on it definitely deserves the multiple prizes this movie has already won. The characters are beautifully worked out and you notice the progression the characters make in their personality. It’s always nice when a movie shows such progression clearly, because it’s a vital but often a forgotten aspect of moviemaking.
The soundtrack has been a huge part of the success that the movie got at the box-office. The music is written by Noda Yojiro, the lead singer of the Japanese rock band Radwimps. The soundtrack got a lot of positive feedback by professionals as well as the public and thus got two prizes for the good quality of the song. The songs used in the movie are specially made for Your Name to fit well with the dialogues and monologs of the characters, so that the dialogues and monologs are supplemented by the songs.
If you’d like to know if Mitsuha and Taki will come together in real life, it’s definitely a good idea to watch Your Name soon!
Director: Makoto Shinkai
Date of release: June-August 2016