By Spencer Stechman (Chicago, Illinois)
Nothing could have prepared me for the roller coaster of the story that is in the anime film; Your Name. The highest grossing anime film of all time is popular for a reason and after watching it, I can now finally see why. The movie is directed by Makoto Shinkai who’s also been behind such films as Children Who Chase Lost Voices and 5 Centimeters per Second. With that being said the animation is unbelievable breath taking, the hand drawn cel animation brings this piece to life and from start to finish you end up can’t believe your eyes. Kimi no Na wa as said in Japanese is about two different people coming together by fate. In which case they switch bodies and have to live through that other person’s life.
A boy from the city of Tokyo, whose name is Taki, and is constantly busy with his school work, work and his friends. The girl, whose name is Mitsuha, and she’s bored with her home in the mountainous region of Japan and who’s focus is in school and helping her grandmother and sister when need be. These two lead very different lives and both want something different and a change, they got that in the way they sure weren’t expecting. As they start to swap bodies more often they get their chance to communicate through leaving notes and setting ground rules.
However, as time passes feelings are developed for each other and its only time before something happens. Without them even meeting they start to fall for each other, and in any other film it would be a stretch or at least make it very difficult to portray that in a two-hour film. Yet we are still able to see a close bond being created and then we even start to root for the two. I feel that if I say anything else I’ll tell too much so I’ll leave the plot at that. The thing that I love the most about this movie isn’t the animation (even if it is head and shoulder to what you’ve ever seen before) but the direction of how we get to feel for the characters.
We’re dealt with seniors in high school about to face the real world in Japan and somehow I felt like I could relate to them on an emotional level, I noticed the pressure and felt the tense deepening for satisfaction of Mitsuha’s father when it came to making him proud. Shinkai is able to give us real characters, in a real world among real problems just drawn beautifully in an anime film. For those who don’t watch anime frequently like I do (at this point I’m proud of what I’ve seen) some of the humor in this movie might rest uneasy and that’s okay, it takes time to get used to it.
For me the Charisma is what steals the show, the vibes that you get when you watch Your Name is unparalleled to anything you’ve ever seen, it creates a new outlook on how a love story can be created. It’s a beautiful crafted movie with relatable characters, a mesmerizing plot and an unforgettable type of animation, I’ll dare to say that this film is damn near perfect. I can only say so much when I recommend this movie highly to you. As for me I’ll be back watching this piece of artwork come alive many more times.