It’s not usual for me to get caught up in a movie, specially because I tend to over analyze everything and rarely give me up entirely to it. This was one of the very few exceptions.
I went to the movies today wanting to watch something very light that wouldn’t make me feel sad, angry or nostalgic, which is everything I’ve been feeling lately when watching a movie. For once I just wanted to have fun. So the choice was the Japanese animation Kimi no Na wa, or Your Name in English, written and directed by Makoto Shinkai.
The story is about Mitshua, a young girl from a small town called Itomori, and Taki, a young man from Tokyo, who randomly start changing bodies every now and then, always for a full day’s time. Their memories of the swap usually fade very quickly once they go back to their original bodies, as if they were dreams. It takes them quite some time to figure out that this has been happening for real after it starts out, and the way they learn to deal with this is very interesting.
We learn about their routines, the rules they set up for each other, their relationships with friends and family, and become intimate with them until… well, you have to watch it i you want to know, but let me tell you I’m sure you’ll like it.
Now, let me just talk about this quickly because I know I have to, even though it’s obvious and I really want to get to the good stuff: The animation, all the art, the backgrounds, the angles, the traffic jams, even the smallest things in this movie are absolutely gorgeous, well animated, and true works of art. I mean, we are talking about a Japanese animated feature, but oh God… They really out did themselves this time. If you watched The Boy And The Beast and appreciated that animation, you’ll surely appreciate this one as well. It’s a masterpiece! This movie gives the expression “every frame a painting” a new level of significance. Trust me, I know.
Now, to what I really wanted to talk about: The story.
I know what you’re thinking. If you understand anything about movies, plots, etc., you know why I thought this would only be an “o.k.” thing to watch: The whole thing just screams “cheesy” and “cliché”, and yes, this is absolutely right. But out of every possible movie involving teenagers swapping bodies, dreams, etc., this is the best one. Forget about Freaky Friday, It’s A Boy Girl Thing, Hot Chick or whatever, this does not compare to any of that. Same thematic, completely different vibe. COMPLETELY different.
The amount of excitement living inside me right now is indescribable. There is nothing more rewarding than having low expectations about a movie, at least for me, and being ridiculously wrong. This, this movie, stories told exactly like this one was, is the reason why I wanted to study animation in the first place. This is why I go to the movies every week, this is why I study so hard: So that I can one day create something as beautifully made and as amazing to watch as Your Name.
Nothing more about the story, I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but seriously, If you enjoy Japanese animations, if you like watching anime, cartoons, or if you enjoy movies and good story telling support this movie on theaters. Take your significant other, take your animation geek friends, take that girl you’ve had a crush on for years that really enjoys romantic movies, take the sibling who loves the feeling of pure adrenaline and suspense. You won’t regret it.
I’m giving Your Name a solid (very solid) 100. Trust me, you’ll want to watch it. Don’t just judge it by the plot, don’t even watch the trailer. Just trust me and go.