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Your Name – Review

Your Name:

Original US Release Date: April 7th, 2017

Your Name: Sprinters Edition.

Synopsis: The day the stars fell, two lives changed forever. High Schoolers Mitsuha and Taki are complete strangers living separate lives. But one night, they suddenly switch places. Mitsuha wakes up in Taki’s body, and he in hers. This bizarre occurrence continues to happen randomly, and the two must adjust their lives around each other. Yet, somehow, it works. They build a connection and communicate by leaving notes, messages, and more importantly, an imprint. When a dazzling comet lights up the night’s sky, something shifts, and they seek each other out wanting something more – a chance to finally meet.

Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):

Tom: Your Name is gorgeous. It’s colors vibrant, it’s animation fluid and detailed. There isn’t a single scene within the film that isn’t a treat to look at, making the entire production feel utterly captivating even when aspects of the plot may lose you for one reason or another. Besides intricate and detailed background work, the character art is quite good as well, always capturing and selling the idea that Mitsuha and Taki are switching bodies.

Linny: Your Name is just brimming with that feel good vibe that anime is so beloved for, especially when it’s focusing on the body switching and hi jinks each character gets up to in the other’s body. Yes, it’s a premise that’s been done before not just in anime but in other forms of entertainment, but Your Name does a great job of making it all feel fresh, charming and endearing. At the very least, you’ll find yourself chuckling at a cute or funny moment in the montages.

So basically, she’s most girls stuck in the sticks.

Tom: Your Name starts a tad slow, but once it’s introduced the idea of body-switching to an acceptable degree the film picks up and runs at breakneck speed, rarely giving you time to ponder any of the films minor flaws. People who might find the story predictable will enjoy and perhaps be surprised by the film’s abrupt genre/tonal shift midway, taking the film from a simple romance/drama tale about a boy and girl switching bodies and turning it into a far more epic affair. The film does this change masterfully, allowing this shift to feel more like a shocking twist than a damaging subversion of expectations.

Linny: Some people might find Your Name misleading when it comes to certain characters and events. I cannot determine if that’s intentional or poor execution. Certain people or events feel like they’ll play a significant role or trigger a significant scene in the movie but nothing really ever comes of it/them. For example, Mitsuha is shown to be ridiculed and mocked often by a group of girls in her class but nothing really comes out of it except for a quick flashback. There are other minor matters but I shall leave them out for now to avoid spoiling too much. On a similar note, Your Name does a poor job of giving viewers a sense of time, leading to confusing cuts where it takes a bit for you to realize who is in whose body, which may have been deliberate to confuse the viewers but feels unnecessary. My personal and major complaint about the movie though is that for a romance, it does a terrible job of showing how the romance actually comes to be. Neither character ever seems to really have or display a personal attraction to the other until suddenly, they just do.

Doesn’t he seem super pumped for work?

Tom: Your Name indeed isn’t perfect as its director, Makoto Shinkai is so fervent in letting everyone know so they can stop watching. There are couple rough cuts that leave the audience more confused than they really should and a couple places where there could’ve been some additional scenes to flesh out underused aspects of the narrative. The ending also plays fast and loose with likelihood and probability in order to achieve its desired ending, making it feel slightly too good to be true. That said, all of these are more than minor quibbles and I walked out not nitpicking the film, but basking in how enjoyable the whole production was.

Linny: Another minor and most likely personal issue I had with the movie is how the development of our leads seem more accidental than like true growth. A lot of times when Mitsuha is confident and outgoing, it’s because Taki is in her body and when Takki is calm and caring, it’s because Mitsuha is in him. The movie starts off letting us know how both characters have flaws that they need to work on but it’s someone else who ‘fixes’ it for them. Once again, this is most likely a personal frustration of mine and it didn’t stop me from getting into the story especially once it hits the genre/tonal shift.  

Tom: Mitsuha and Taki’s romance can feel a little sudden, particularly as the film never really dwells on the feelings one has for the other, or if they’re even budding. That said, both characters are quite likable, in part due to the performances of their voice actors. We watched the English dub, featuring Michael Sinterniklass as Taki and Stephanie Sheh as Mitsuha. The two do an incredible job, alongside the on point animation, of bringing these characters to life. Each sells the idea that they’re playing the other character trapped in the opposite body, making me really believe Taki is in Mitsuha or vice versa. 

So demanding! Not only a location change but a gender change as well.

Linny: Let me be frank, if you go into Your Name already sick of all the hype and praise everyone is showering on it, you will most likely notice every small flaw. No movie is perfect and taste is subjective and your complaints about why you found the movie disappointing will be legit but it also doesn’t negate the fact that this film offers what a lot of the anime crowd seeks. It has a feel good vibe and features two leads who display the right amount of whimsy, charm and personality to appeal to the general anime lover. It does a superb job of introducing and implementing its genre shift and while one could poke plenty of holes in its twists and mysteries or point out that for a romance, it lacks a proper budding relationship, Your Name still manages to be a charming heartwarming tale as long as you don’t get caught up in the details.

Tom: Director Shinkai is adamant that this isn’t a great example of his work, that concessions had to be made and there are flaws he wasn’t able to address. And while that’s true the film isn’t perfect, what’s here is far better than he lets on. It’s a beautiful story, not just visually but emotionally as well and many viewers will find it difficult to fight back tears as things take a turn for the worse for Mitsuha and Taki. I’m of the firm belief that Your Name deserved an Oscar nomination, as while it isn’t perfect, it’s an incredible experience near every anime fan should take the chance on.

“Recommended: Your Name is an incredible film, both with beautiful artwork and characters that makes for one of the best anime treats in 2017.”

“Recommended: Your Name isn’t flawless, but it offers enough heartwarming charm, beautiful animation and a nice little twist to be a must watch for anime fans.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your Name is currently in theaters for a limited run and will be released on Bluray and DVD later this year, probably around September.

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