Your Name (Kimi no Na wa)
Your Name (Kimi no Na wa)
Release Date: April 7th, 2017 (Japan: August 26, 2016)
Distributor: Funimation (Japan: Toho)
Directed by: Makoto Shinkai
Starring: Michael Sinterniklaas, Stephanie Sheh, Laura Post, Glynis Ellis, Kyle Hebert, Cassandra Morris, Ben Pronsky, Ray Chase, Catie Harvey, Scott Williams, Michelle Ruff, and Katy Vaughn (Japanese: Ryunosuke Kamiki, Mone Kamishiraishi, Masami Nagasawa, Etsuko Ichihara, Ryo Narita, Aoi Yūki, Nobunaga Shimazaki, Kaito Ishikawa, Kanon Tani, Masaki Terasoma, Sayaka Ohara, and Kana Hanazawa)
“I feel like I’m always searching for something, for someone.”
It’s no secret that I love anime. I grew up on shows like Dragon Ball Z, Yu Yu Hakasho, Naruto, and Death Note. Even now anime gives me something to look forward to: I have a few set shows that I watch every week when they are released, and I always keep up with the release schedule for the new seasons of anime, as an anime season is usually 12-13 episodes long, which very neatly matches up with the seasons of the year.
However, as I’ve grown older, I’ve moved away from the primarily shonen (action) style anime that I grew up on. Though I still enjoy action series, for the most part they just do not have the emotional impact of other series, and even those series have nothing on one-off anime movies such as Kimi no Na wa (Your Name.)
Your Name follows the stories of two Japanese teenagers, Taki Tachiban and Mitsuha Miyamizu, as they follow the threads of fate and time to meet each other. Taki is a short-tempered, but well-meaning boy living in Tokyo, going to high school and working a part time job at a restaurant at night. Mitsuha, his counterpart, lives in the country town of Itomori. Like any other teenager, Mitsuha also attends high school, but is also a maiden at her maternal family’s shrine, which her father, the mayor of Itomori, disapproves of. Mitsuha dreams of leaving Itomori and going to live in Toyko.
Your Name follows Mitsuha and Taki as they intermittently switch bodies with one another in a dream-like state. At first they don’t know what is happening, but once they’ve discovered that they aren’t just having vivid dreams and are actually switching bodies with one another, the two set up a set of rules for when this happens (No showering, don’t spend all of my money, and other things of that nature). Throughout the course of the first act of the movie, Mitsuha takes actions through Taki to improve his life (setting him up on a date with his coworker, with whom he shares mutual affections), meanwhile, Taki just creates havoc while in Mitsuha’s body, and through his actions, causes both boys and other girls to confess their feelings toward Mitsuha.
After Taki’s (unsuccessful) date with his coworker, he suddenly stops switching bodies with Mitsuha. This is where the story of Your Name really begins. Everything up to this point was just a prologue, and I don’t want to ruin the full story of the movie for anyone who might watch it.
Everything about Your Name just draws me in. The animation and production quality is absolutely gorgeous, and the soundtrack dances in my ears. The voice work provided by both the original Japanese and English cast is absolutely outstanding. There isn’t much more I can say about this movie without absolutely ruining and spoiling the story for anyone, but I can promise you this: Your Name is an incredibly emotional experience. Everything about the characters feels real. This is due in large part to the amazing voice work in the film.
If you are a fan of Hayao Miyazaki’s films with Studio Ghibli (one of the most well-known animation studios in the world) or Mamoru Hosoda’s directorial work in anime films, you will absolutely love Your Name. Overall, I think that Your Name speaks for the human experience. What would you do if you suddenly started switching bodies with someone? Would you be responsible and treat them and their life with care? What would that person mean to you? What would you do to find that person and actually meet them?
This film is absolutely gorgeous. Please watch it once it finally has a DVD release.