Directed By: Makoto Shinkai
Your Name is based on the book of the same name, written by director Makoto Shinkai. Being able to direct the film you have also written is a rare thing to do in Hollywood, but with what I’ve come to know about anime with my admittedly small knowledge of the genre is that it defies American norms when it comes to telling a story.
The film centers on two characters straight out of a Journey song. The small town girl, Mitsuha, dreams of being a city boy, Taki, who works at an Italian restaurant. Taki dreams of one day becoming an architect in Tokyo but is also having dreams of Mitsuha’s life. The two realize they are living each other’s lives while they are dreaming, leaving memos on each other’s phones to establish rules and communicate with each other. They each quickly fall in love with the other’s life, but will they be able to find each other in this unique and visceral film?
What stands out the most in this film’s long list of accomplishments is by far the visual storytelling. This film looks absolutely breathtaking, from the landscapes to the intricate and detailed august leaves, the attention to detail in the animation is exceptional.
The story is heartfelt and honest. I had watched this with English subtitles, so perhaps the translation wasn’t 100% accurate, but it didn’t need to be because of how powerful the overall story was and how it was being told. The two main characters are flawed but incredibly relatable. As the story moves them closer to each other, it becomes more intricate and layered, bringing you closer to the epic finale.
While I was awestruck with this film, the pacing began to waver for me in the 3rd act where, much like in Lord of The Rings: Return of the King, it delivered multiple endings that do take away from the final moments of the film. I would say that if the film could have kept its finale more concise it would have had more of an impact, but that doesn’t take away from the overall quality of this film.
I would highly recommend Your Name to anyone wanting to dip their toes in the Anime genre. It’s a beautiful story with fantastic animation and has a story that anyone can relate to.
I’m going to give Your Name a 9/10