|Image used from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Your_Name|
I watched a Japanese animation movie recently in theatres called Your Name (Kimi no Na wa). It was released in August 26, 2016. It starred Ryunosuke Kamiki and Mone Kamishiraishi, and directed by Makoto Shinkai.
The initial premise of Your Name begins with our two main characters, Mitsuha Miyamizu, a high school girl who wishes to leave her countryside home to live in the big city, having dreams of being in another person's body, who she later finds out that it was Taki Tachibana, who is trying to balance his part-time job and a normal high school life in Tokyo. What was really odd is that after she wakes up from her dream, she finds out that the people around her keeps on telling her she was acting very weird the day before. After both finding out what was happening with them (ie. the body swap in every couple of days), they set out rules to try to protect each of their own lives while trying to figure out why it was happening to just the two of them. Saying anything more will spoil the movie, but I do want to add that with any other anime production, they could have gone the more romantic comedy route or a light-hearted story. I could definitely see something like that happening, but it gets more complicated as the story progresses, which I really enjoy about it. It personally feels like a movie that is longer than expected, which I like as I was so engrossed in the movie with wanting to know more about the characters that I lost track of time. I didn't feel like I was bored at any point in the movie.
The idea of the story really sets up a lot of the comedy and light-hearted moments in the movie. It definitely helps because the movie does get serious and emotional at times, and it brings for a nice change of pace. The music was spot on with its timing and it really helps with the movie with trying to help supplement the main characters' feelings with their actions on the screen. The animation and cinematography was excellent and very detailed. A lot of the shots would make for nice wallpapers if I could pause the movie to take a screenshot. It comes with the territory as Makato Shinkai's previous works have resulted in really nice animation and cinematography. One of my favourite movies that he directed in the past was called 5 Centimeters per Second. I definitely want to watch his other works now because I really enjoyed the two movies that I watched so far. I definitely got teary near the end of the movie. The music along with what was happening really pulled on my heart.
The voice acting in Your Name was good. It definitely adds to it when the two main leads were versatile with their ability, and could play both a masculine and feminine role (with the body swap). Everyone else was decent which is what I would expect in an anime movie.
I can definitely see why Your Name broke the all time grossing film in anime films in Japan, and why it was so popular. I think it deserves its praise. I'm really looking forward to Makoto Shinkai's next project.
Overall, I really enjoyed Your Name and I'm definitely waiting for the Blu-ray release to watch it again at home. If you like anime and haven't gone to watch the movie yet, then I really do recommend it. I hope that you enjoy the movie as much as I did!