Your Name Review

Your Name. The animated film by renowned animation film director Makoto Shinkai reached theatres in 2016 and became a monument to the anime community. What made this movie such an influential film? A film that would go on to be one of the highest grossing films in Japan, setting new box office records for anime in Japan. Was it the breathtaking scenery found in shots? Was it the beautiful direction of Makoto Shinkai? Was it the plotline that set a new standard in originality as it involved a twist that was so unlike any other movie? Well okay, actually it’s a twist of basically all of those things.

But I’m not a metacritic and I really don’t know what to say about most of those. OKAY JK, LET’S TALK ABOUT HOW BEAUTIFUL the movie is. By texturing the soft vocals and instrumentals of RADWIMPS and the bright colors of a comet, the film was able to make **spoiler alert** a sequence where a town gets obliterated by a comet into something absolutely mesmerizing. The boring countryside life that our female lead Mitsuha was so tired of was still able to shine with the subtle breeze blowing through the town, how light is caught off and reflected from the slightest blade of grass. This was all captured through animation and art style at its absolute peak. And that’s not even mentioning the scenery that can be captured from a city already so well renowned for its beauty in the real world – Tokyo. Kimi no Nawa was able to bring the buildings and bustling life of Japan as well as the drops of culture melded into the town and ANIMATE it. Animate it not as in move frame to frame (okay yes that), but I mean animate as in grab these unmoving buildings and images and give them LIFE. 

But but what I actually wanted to talk about was the romance the movie was able to capture.  We’ve seen movies of love time and time again. Some of us have experienced it in real life before. We all know (well if you don’t know, you should know) it’s nothing like the movies, but Kimi no na Wa is able to dance around that feeling so well and utilize that idealism that has been implanted in our heads about love throughout the course of the film. Throughout the film we never see our two main characters properly go through the motions of love that other movies might suggest. They were never able to kiss, spend time with each other through dates, all their interaction with each other was limited to written journals of what happened when they switched their bodies. But how did they capture that feeling of love so well? Because they harped in on one essential component that we’re raised to believe is a part of love. The feeling of longing for something.

Though the sense of longing is so vague and ambiguous for the main characters, it’s that longing that raises a sense of unease. Like there’s a missing piece of you somewhere out there in the world. Like finally finding it will align your life and make you complete. In the end we all want to be complete, and the movie portrayed the relationship in a way that wasn’t “falling in love”, it was more like finding the missing piece. And though cliche as it may sound, it was also a relationship that was about destiny, two lovers that were destined to be together, that worked hard to make it work even though at the same time destined to be kept apart as they were literal timelines apart. 

There’s only one point in the movie that you could truly 100% define as a romantic scene, and it’s when Mitsuha realizes that instead of writing his name down, Taki wrote “I Love You.” Unsure of whether he would ever be able to see her again,  if he would be able to recall any of the past events that led him to that point, he decided to write down “I Love You.” He wrote down “I Love You” knowing that it might jeopardize his chances of ever seeing her again. Because that was the only one thing he was sure about. At that time, at that moment, even if they would later go on to have completely forgotten each other, the only thing that mattered was that he loved her, and he wanted her to know no matter the cost. 

Idk how to end this blog, but GOD I LOVE ThIS MOVIE.

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