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By Yvette Low
From the director of 5 Centimetres per Second comes the critically acclaimed Kimi no Na Wa (Your Name), a film that has topped the charts on My Anime List, ranking above hit shows like Gintama and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, and receiving stellar reviews on sites like Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb. Clearly, Your Name has managed to grip the hearts of its audience. “But does it really deserve all this praise?” you might ask. After viewing it, I can confidently tell you that it does.
Your Name is the heartwarming tale of Mitsuha, a discontented high school girl living in a small village, and her interactions with a boy named Taki, who was attending high school in Tokyo. Mitsuha hates her life in her tight-knit village, and longs for the fast-paced life of the city. One day, the pair wake up and find themselves in an unfamiliar room—they’ve switched bodies! The phenomenon happens randomly, several times in a week. Trying to adjust to their new lifestyle, they learn to adapt by leaving diary entries each time they switch, so the latter won’t be left completely disoriented the day after. Slowly but surely, they develop a unique friendship through their short interactions.
While body-swapping is no new concept, Your Name manages to keep it entertaining and fresh with its sprinkle of humour and its array of lovable characters. It starts off with a beautiful scene where an iridescent comet shoots through the night sky. It does a good job of sequencing each event, slowly unravelling the significance of the opening scene. The soundtrack works to enhance the feel of each scene, with chirpy, upbeat music when illustrating Mitsuha’s and Taki’s budding friendship, and richer and more slow-paced music for the more serious scenes. The pacing of the movie was good, the animation smooth, and the art beautiful, even a little bit reminiscent of Studio Ghibli films. Mistuha’s and Taki’s contrasting personalities were clearly portrayed, retaining their little quirks and even their style of speaking when they switched bodies. This movie is not without faults, however. I feel that the romantic development between Mitsuha and Taki was a little rushed, and could have been further elaborated on.
All in all, though, Your Name has succeeded in touching the hearts of many, and with good reason. It’s possible that the film would go down in history as one of the best anime movies of all time, on the same level as classics such as My Neighbour Totoro and Spirited Away. If you have a desire to laugh and cry, and a spare hour and forty minutes, you’d definitely want to give Your Name a watch.