Recently, I went out to see the newly released Japanese animated film, ‘Your Name‘.
The film is the newest film from Makoto Shinkai, known for some of his more recent films such as ‘The Garden of Words‘ and ‘5 Centimeters Per Second‘.
The film sets itself up as a kind of romance or slice-of-life film, but with a twist: the two main characters, Taki (left) and Mitsuha (right) switch bodies when they go to sleep at night and will then have to live out the next day as the other person until they go to sleep again.
One of the biggest draws of this and Shinkai’s other films is the visuals, which are absolutely stunning. The care in animation in each of his films has led to Shinkai being referred to by some as “the new Miyazaki (of Studio Ghibli)” and this film is a great example of that. There are a number of weather effects and time lapse shots (which can be seen in the trailer here) that are nothing short of awe-inspiring.
The colour palettes for the two distinct areas that the film takes place in also lend to it’s stunning beauty. Taki lives with has dad in a small Tokyo apartment while Mitsuha lives in the fictional Itomori mountain village and because of this there is a stark contrast between the blues and greys of Tokyo and the greens and subtle oranges and other vibrant colours of Itomori which can also relate to the difference in the lives that the two leads live.
At first, the relationship the grows between Taki and Mitsuha can seem a bit cliche, but the way they interact with the other people in each other’s lives as well as each other through notes they leave for each to see the next morning make the basic idea of ‘teenagers that just met develop a romantic relationship despite drastically different personalities’ seem more believable in this sci-fi-ish premise.
There is a twist about halfway through the film that I won’t spoil, but the way it changes how the plot is driven and what the characters’ goals are give the plot an ironic sense of urgency that lends to even more memorable moments.
Finally, even if you aren’t the kind of person that would normally watch an animated film or a Japanese animated film at that, ‘Your Name‘ is a film that can be enjoyed by pretty much anyone that’s not already going in with a negative bias, which can be proved by the fact that I went with my Dad and he enjoyed it more than I thought he would. Go check it out when you can.
‘Your Name‘ is reported to be released on DVD and Blu-Ray in October 2017.