This is going to be a blog of two halves. The first being a tame, spoiler free, review of Makoto Shinkai’s new film Your Name. The other half you’ll find at the end of this post in the form of a google link to a few more spoiler filled thoughts on both this film and its realtion to themes explored in 5 centimetres per second.
The reason for this is simple and quite obvious. This is a really good film, it’s well written and voiced. As well as being gorgeous. (Why does the east keep out pacing the west in terms of animation quality? It’s insanely unfair and maybe worth a future look) But its greatest strength, is that I went into this expecting something simple. I expected a kooky body swap story about a teenage boy and girl experiencing each other’s life’s freak Friday style. And I got that, but also a lot more.
The film centres on Taki Tachibana and Mitsuha Miyamizu, two high school students from different walks of life. Taki lives in Tokyo, holding down a part time job and living independently. Mitsuha lives in the country, wishing for a life in the city. The two discover, that for unknown reasons, what they thought were dreams were actually the pair swapping bodies intermittently. Both discover small comforts in each other’s life and make attempts to live normally, to some effect.
The first half hour of the film is by far its weakest point. It feels like they condensed three episodes of an anime into a fraction of the time, meaning it comes across as rushed. Story beats could’ve been fleshed out to create a better foundation for these two characters. On top of that, I had to re-watch two rapid time lapse sections in this first part just to get a decent grasp on what was happening. Once I had crossed the half hour point though the film gained its cohesion and finally found its footing.
Your Name serves as a touching love story framed soaked in a familair poingent melancholy that tugs at the veiwers nostalgia from beginning to end. So give this a go it’s another great outing for a great writer and director.