Details: The Japanese title is Kimi No Na Wa. Released in 2016. About an hour and forty-five minutes long. Written and directed by Makoto Shinkai.
The first time I tried to watch this movie was on an airplane. About fifteen minutes in I found it too boring and opted to take a nap instead. Prior to that, I had read a lot of positive reviews about this movie and of its director, Makoto Shinkai. Shinkai has won a lot of awards in the past for his work in animation and I’d seen his prior movie, 5 Centimeters Per Second. Well, some time has passed since that plane ride and I decided to sit down and give the film another try. I found the film much more enjoyable this time.
Your Name centers on a boy and a girl who find themselves switching bodies periodically. As the film progresses, we learn more about each of them and of the nature of the two’s connection.
Your Name touches upon a few different genres. It’s primarily a romance story with some science fiction thrown in. Not unusual for anime. It gave me similar vibes to the films Kate & Leopold (English duke from the 1800’s time travels to the present day and falls in love with a lady) and 50 First Dates (man tries to woo a girl who can’t form new memories).
Taken on its own, it’s a silly story. It’s far-fetched and hard to believe. However, I still enjoyed this movie and that is largely related to its presentation. The art is amazing. There are lots of landscapes, scenery and stills. When combined with the music and the pacing of the film, you get a meaningful atmosphere filled with the right emotions and tone. This movie floats largely on feels and that general feeling you get from the imagery, colors, and sounds were successfully conveyed to me. If you are expecting a well thought out science fiction plot, you’re not going to get that. This is a feelings first film, not logic, and it still worked for me.
Overall, I think I can recommend this film to just about anyone. It’s romantic, funny, and beautiful to watch. My only criticisms would be the slow pacing, but I think that was a deliberate choice that helps maintain the tone of the film. I would advise anyone interested to give it a watch and see what they think.