When I reviewed A Silent Voice a few weeks ago, I said that it was probably my favourite anime.
Well, after seeing Makoto Shinkai’s Your Name, I can now say it has some serious competition for that title.
Like A Silent Voice, I had heard a lot about Your Name before I finally watched it.
I knew it was a body swap anime with romance but that is all I knew about it.
And you know what?
I am so glad that I did not know anything else about it because Your Name absolutely blew me away with its brilliant story twists.
This was surprising to me because, from what I heard of the plot, I thought I would find the anime a little too sappy and cliche for my tastes.
Thankfully, this was far from the case.
The anime follows two high schoolers, Mitsuha Miyamizu (Mone Kamishiraishi) who lives in the small town of Itomori, and Taki Tachibana (Ryunosuke Kamiki) who loves in Tokyo.
Both lead normal lives until the two begin to mysteriously switch bodies every so often.
As they struggle to deal with this strange situation, they gradually learn more about one another and start to develop feelings for each other.
And that is all I will say about the film because, as I said, I love the direction the story takes and I do not want to spoil it for you.
The twists are engaging and add so much tension to the story, which is supported by the buildup of Mitsuha and Taki’s relationship.
I do not often enjoy romance films but this one was so moving I just could not help but get invested.
There were quite a few times towards the anime’s ending that I ended up crying.
I also laughed a lot too, and I do not think there is a single joke that does not land.
One of the things I find interesting about Your Name is the Japanese elements that I missed on the first viewing, like the Red String of Fate.
When I researched this it made the themes of the film even more engaging.
Along with this, and the engaging story and romance, one of the big things that stuck out about Your Name to me was its absolutely gorgeous animation.
My jaw dropped multiple times in the first few minutes because I was astonished at how beautiful it all looked.
From viewing this film, and looking up his prior works, it is clear that Shinkai is an artist when it comes to animating his films.
With its beautiful animation, great story telling, and investing romance, Your Name is another anime film that should have been nominated for an Oscar, however, (aggravatingly but predictably) it was denied this.
One interesting thing to note, though, is that Shinkai did not want Your Name to win an Oscar and actually advised people to stop watching it.
This is because the film is “incomplete” according to him since they ran out of money.
But, I think Shinkai is being too hard on himself.
From what I hear about what was supposed to be in the finished product, I actually think Your Name works better without these scenes, for the most part.
The one thing about the film that I think could have been done better is the relationship between Mitsuha and her father, which does not get a resolution.
However, the rest of the movie is so engaging and moving that it overshadows this one issue by a wide margin.
Want to know how much I loved Your Name?
I loved it so much that, after finishing it, I immediately bought a ticket to see Shinkai’s next film Weathering With You, which I will be seeing on August 22.
Your Name is a fantastic anime film.
It has jaw dropping animation, a thrilling story, and a romance that will make you tear up by the end.