Anyone who was paying any attention to anime in late summer 2016 has heard of this movie. As soon as the August 26 release the movie blew up eventually becoming the 4th highest grossing film in Japan of all time and, as of writing this review, is still playing in Japan 8 months after release. As of fan of Shinkai’s previous films I was already looking forward to seeing Your Name. but the insane success seen has got me even more hyped. Did Your Name. live up to the hype?
Your Name. follows 2 teenagers, the first we meet is a girl named Mitsuha Miyamiza who lives in a rural village (*name omitted, see end for reason) in Japan is tired of this life and wants to live as a handsome boy in Tokyo. One morning she wakes up in a boy’s body and it turns out she’s in Tokyo. She believes she’s dreaming but continues to live this boy’s life. Little does is know is not only is this not a dream but the boy, Taki Tachibana, is within her body while she is in his. When they discover this fact they decide to start phone diaries to give each other any information they might need.
I’m going to stop here as mentioning pretty much anything else would be major spoilers.
As expected of CoMix Wave and Shinkai the movie looks beautiful. Some of the backgrounds were so good I was actually getting distracted by them which I don’t think has ever happened to me before. The soundtrack is also great with multiple amazing songs with Radwimps playing through the film.
If I had to complain about anything in the movie it would be the ending. I won’t spoil anything here however it feels nearly identical to a scene from another movie Shinkai has done with enough changes to not be a direct rip-off of himself.
This also isn’t really a fault of the movie but I hope we get an official side-story in a novel or something that focuses on some of the side characters as there were some really interesting characters we just never see enough of.
The reason I made sure to indicate I am reviewing the theatrical release is I do have a few complaints on the subtitles that might be update with the home release (which I will be sure to update if they are fixed). Firstly there was a couple of noticeable typos. One everyone in the theatre laughed at when it showed up was Taki said something along the lines of “No, I mustn’t for her sake.” but it showed up as “No, I mustn’t for her saké” and it came up just after a conversation which mentioned saké a number of times. There were also a couple of songs subtitled but some weren’t. I don’t really have an issue with not subtitling music and it seems they did it for the songs they did because the lyrics were plot relevant but I would like some consistency.
I really loved Your Name. The movie perfectly swayed me to be feeling what it wanted me to during any given scene and I liked watching Mitsuha and Taki’s growth as characters as they are each able to provide the other with an important skill they are lacking. I had a few minor issues but they really didn’t damper my experience. Also a little reminder is Your Name. is a drama not a romance movie. Expect a drama to get the most out of it. I would suggest seeing Your Name. if it is still in theatres near you and if not buying the blu-ray or DVD will be worth it.
*the reason I omitted Mitsuha’s town’s name is I noticed no official source mentions it (unless I missed it somewhere) and there is a plot point relating to figuring out the name so I feel it is meant to be found out at that point.