It’s hard to describe the magic that is Your Name without having your thoughts getting lost in its blissful wonderfulness. To be honest, any attempt at describe the experience will not do it any justice as it truly hits all your emotions and stays with you long after you have left the theater.
Your Name is not just a magical experience but a true testament to how anime can emotionally touch ones senses better than any other style of animation. Through his work of art, director Makoto Shinkai could truly be described as one who has learned a lot from the works of Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki.
The story follows the lives of two youths who are separated by time and distance but are connected by something magical. Mitsuha is a high school girl who is bored of her country life and wants to live in Tokyo. Taki is a high-school boy living in Tokyo, who spends his days with his friends while working part time at a restaurant.
One day they both wake up having switched bodies and having to live a day in the life of the other. At first the result is confusion and mischief but then they both decide to help each other by working to make the others personal life better (be it social or relationship wise). When the day comes to an end, Mitsuha and Taki each write down what happened in a journal so that the other knows what happened in their life. This goes on for some time and they soon begin to develop a more emotional connection with each other.
Then one day the body switch just stops one day, leaving Taki baffled. He decides to locate Mitsuha only to discover that she was killed when her village was destroyed by a fragment from a comet during a festival three years prior. Wanting to reconnect with Mitsuha, he goes to her family shrine and drink the kuchikamizake. Taki starts to sees fragments of her past before waking in her body on the morning of the festival. It then becomes a race against time to save as many people as possible before the village is destroyed.
To simplify the plot description, just try to imagine what Donnie Darko would be like if it had more of a fantasy setting and an uplifting tone. Also it actually makes sense the first time you watch it.
Your Name brilliance comes with its lovable humor followed by a transition into drams along with the brilliant use of color and music as means to tell an unforgettable story. By using these elements in the story telling, the film is able to take you on a magical journey of teenage love. At times I came close to even humming the chorus of “Baba O’Riley” in my head (but it was a shame the song was not featured).
Its humor is a mix of that adorable awkwardness that we could all recall from our teenage years that has been blended with a few Joey Tribbiani moments. At the start both Mitsuha and Taki attempt to understand whats going on which always results in the most adorable but awkward encounters. As each characters develop, the humor fades away and it transitions into a dramatic tone. With these tone, Your Name is able to fully explore the,es of modern youth and love in our world while also challenging the nihilistic tones seen in most works. Yet this magic would not have been possible without the brilliant use of music and colors that allow the audience to truly have an emotional reaction to what they have just seen.
A confessions I have to make, one is that I don’t feel this review fails to come close in trying describe the magic of Your Name. The emotions of this film are so powerful that this this is the second film of 2017 that has almost made me cry (the other film being Logan). However to be a true cinephile and to have not seen Your Name would be a great sin against your better judgment.
Your Name is more than a magical experience but a powerful masterpiece that will touch its audience in the most emotional ways. This is truly a testament to why anime is such a unique style of animation and story telling.
Final Score: 10/10
Disclaimer: This review is based on the subbed version of the film.