Your Name (2016), Dir. Makoto Shinkai

Your Name (2016), Dir. Makoto Shinkai
Treasure the experience. Dreams fade away after you wake up.
— Hitoha Miyamizu, Your Name (2016)

Stars: Ryuunosuke Kamiki, Mone Kamishiraishi, Nobunaga Shimazaki, Etsuko Ichihara, Tani Kanon, Aoi Yuki, Masami Nagasawa, Kaito Ishikawa, Ryou Narita.
Director: Makoto Shinkai
Screenplay: Makoto Shinkai

Amazing does not emote how amazing Your Name is. It has the perfect combination of humour, desperation, love, and sadness as this story takes you on its journey through time, space, and other peoples bodies. It is centred around a young man Taki (Ryuunosuke Kamiki), and young woman Mitsuha (Mone Kamishiraishi) who live in different towns yet somehow are connected. We both are introduced to these characters story by a comet flying overhead the city of Tokyo. It is this comet that seems to connect these two characters. Not only do they share the story, they shares bodies, literally.

One morning Taki wakes up not in his own bed or body, and likewise for Mitsuha. Somehow they are swapping lives and must live out the day as each other until they fall asleep. This happens a couple of times a week which at first terrifies them and confuses their friends but over time they bond and share notes on their phones to help them know what they should be doing. It is so fun and quirky the story quickly whisks you into its madness. This is becoming completely normal to both of them until one day it just stops, they simply stop swapping bodies...why?

From there the movie really takes off in such an intimate way. It uses space and time to tell its story of these two people who never seem to meet even if they have literally been each other. Their lives are so intermingled and yet somehow they are lost to each other.

The film is simply gorgeous, the scenery in Matsuha's town and the realism of Tokyo takes my breath away. The comets overhead create a mesmerising vision that pulls you into a dreamlike awe. Anime has always been a step ahead of other animation in its world building and realism. You feel the gravitas of this world, especially in one particular scene when they are standing on a mountain ledge overlooking the town. It feels like you are there with the character, that mountain is real, that town is real, that lake is real, this world is real.

Quality work, quality story, quality.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★