Your Name (Kimi no na wa)
Written and directed by Makoto Shinkai (5 Centimetres Per Second)
Voice acting by Ryûnosuke Kamiki, Mone Kamishiraishi
Review by Jordan
“Once in a while when I wake up. I find myself crying.”
If movie magic is the transformative ability to create a world other than this one, filled with life and beauty to capture the imagination in ways only dreams could create, then Your Name is the most magical movie of all time.
Emotionally satisfying, as it surveys the landscape of love and longing by way of teen romance, comedy and celestial drama before scaling the heights of fate, Makoto Shinkai’s latest film uses its delicately drawn characters to introduce us to strangers who switch places in their sleep, setting rules for what they’re able to do and keeping a diary of the day they’ve steered.
Mitsuha lives with her younger sister and grandma at a temple in the rural town of Itomori, weighed down by the expectations of being the mayors daughter and wishing for the Tokyo lifestyle of cafes and anonymity. Taki wakes each morning in his fathers apartment late for school, commuting through Shinjuku from there to the restaurant he works. He has a crush on his co-worker and studies architecture. She performs recitals in traditional attire and makes braided cords. They breathe each others lives for a time, at intervals seemingly random, while Japan braces for the awe of a comet to pass overhead, a once-in-a-thousand-year cosmic event illuminating the sky and attracting the gaze.
When they wake, like after all dreams, their memories fade – recounted in the sensation of deja vu and predestination.
Your Name holds an intimate ability and desire to weave together feelings in a wholly heart-felt fashion, attaching them to a tale so worthy of adoration it its an absolute pleasure to witness. Like the Musubi Mitsuha’s grandmother teachers her of, the threads of the narrative connect and disperse, in constant movement and overlapping to perfectly assimilate the themes.
On a date arranged by the far more courages Mitsuha while inside his body, Taki takes his friend to a gallery exhibition titled nostalgia where he sees a photograph that, like many other moments, would trigger a flood of memories. This sensation is partnered with that of a loss of control for future events that would shape our lives, which, backed by hope, anchor the message Shinkai seems wishing to convey; one that he directs in a fun, uplifting way, with characters so likeable you wish for them only happiness.
The otherworldly appearance of twilight: that space between light and dark, is sure to carry feelings of fear and sadness as it farewells the passing day, but surely the fondness of the heart must conquer these, knowing that the good things it searches for aren’t often known until they’re found.
Featuring beautiful animation and an engaging soundtrack from rock group RADWIMPS, which support a story filled with humour, optimism and emotional truths, Your Name is a dream you wish would never end, and one you hope to never forget.