Your Name (Kimi no Na wa) Review

your-name3So today I couldn’t sleep so I decided to see the recent Japanese hit Kimi no Na Wa or Your Name for English viewers. This film has made $158 million US dollars in Japan and after watching it I can see why. It is a total and complete delight and one of the best romances I have seen in years.

Your name is by director Makoto Shinkai and it is about a girl named Mitsuha who lives in a country town. One day she laments on her boring life and how she wishes she could be a handsome boy in Tokyo. Well, wouldn’t you know the next day she ends up in the body of a boy she’s never met in Tokyo named Taki.

your-name6This starts a first act that we’ve seen before in movies like Freaky Friday but it really works. Both Taki and Mitsuha have very different lives aside from being different genders (which they mine for great comedy). They are from different classes, have different types of friends and even eat different foods. They don’t just settle for easy antics but think of small details like Mitsuha’s awkwardness paying for Taki’s expensive meals.

your-name4What also makes it very clever is they switch back and forth each day so that keeps it fresh. They start to leave notes for each other on their hands, in notebooks and on their cell phones. And through living each other’s lives they become good friends. It’s all very clever.

Then we get to the final acts and the film takes a bit more of a serious tone but I won’t give any more of that away. Needless to say both parts completely worked for me. Both Taki and Mitsuha were so likable and the tension and stress built naturally. It reminded me a lot of Mamoru Hosoda’s Summer Wars which I also LOVE.

your-name5The animation is completely stunning with lots of emphasis on light giving a hopeful tone even when things looked grim. They also managed to make both the countryside and city look like a fantasy world because that’s kind of what it is to the characters living in different bodies.

your-name-2I know some people just don’t like anime as a rule and if that is you it’s a real shame. Because I honestly believe a movie like Your Name has something for everyone. It is funny, sweet, romantic and tense at times. It has great characters and a creative story. It’s beautifully animated and has wonderful music from a band called Radwimps.

It’s a real achievement for Makoto Shinkai who did everything from the writing, directing, editing and everything else. Wonderful!

Overall Grade A+

9 thoughts on “Your Name (Kimi no Na wa) Review

  1. Oh, I’m envious you got to see this so soon after its release. I’ll probably have to wait a while to get the chance. I really loved Shinkai’s Children Who Chase Lost Voices, and your review only raises my hopes for this one. I’ve heard they’re pushing for a Best Animated Feature nomination, and from the reviews, it might make it.

  2. Great review! : ) Agree it’s a shame that some automatically dismiss anime. Or all animated films. They’re missing out! I find there’s far more emotion in a lot of animated films (especially from the likes of Pixar & Ghibli) than from a lot of live-action films.

  3. Since you referenced this in your review of “Follow the Light”, I had to add a comment. Saw this in a local theater in 2016 and was blown away by its creativity – how it handled what could have been a hackneyed concept in a fresh way, and then amped things up in a new direction (hints of which were dropped in from the start). And the gloriously bright and wondrous animation itself – those wide-open and detailed scenes of both urban and rural areas sprinkled throughout. Wow! So impressive, It’s one of the very few movies I went back to see again the last week of its run in the theater.

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