Your Name film review
Your Name is a Japanese animated film directed by newcomer Makoto Shinkai, released in 2016, and recently wide-released in America with a dub featuring the voice talents of Michael Sinterniklaas as Taki, an average high school boy living in Tokyo, and Stephanie Sheh as Mitsuha, an average girl living in the rural countryside of Japan.
Your Name is the story two high schoolers, Taki and Mitsuha, who have never met before, but one day mysteriously switch bodies. The film jumps between the two as they try to understand their situation. The two begin writing letters and messages to each other while in each other’s bodies in order to somehow figure out what’s going on. At first, they feel out of place in the others bodies, but soon find out that they can better each other’s lives in a multitude of ways. Halfway through, the story takes a huge turn that I won’t dare spoil, but it made this film one of the best movies I have ever seen.
This movie is utterly brilliant, taking such a strange story and somehow making it one of the most intellectual movies to deal with questions of personal identification and many others. Taki is one of the most relatable male characters I have ever seen on screen, I have never seen myself in a fictional character as much as I did with him. Mitsuha is different enough from Taki and yet so similar that the two just work so well interacting together.
As hesitant as I was watching the English dub of this Japanese movie, I was blown away by the talent put into this cast, and with mostly unknown actors to boot. The voice of Taki has done a number of voice roles, the only one I recognized was his role as Leonardo in the 2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series. The voice of Mitsuha is well known for voicing the most recent iteration of Sailor Moon in Sailor Moon Crystal.
The score was absolutely fantastic, and fit the movie wonderfully. Many of the songs had lyrics, which were replaced with English versions, but used the same artists and composers as the Japanese original.
And now, the absolute best part of Your Name, the visuals. Today, we have so many amazing looking animated films such as Moana and all the CGI animals in The Jungle Book (2016), but this movie blew all of them out of the water. Scenes in the daytime were gorgeous and made you feel as if you were really in Japan, and the night was filled with the breathtaking sky filled with stars and the comet which is a vital piece of the plot. The climax of this movie had visuals that will literally drop your jaw to the floor.
I highly recommend this movie to everyone who loves film, and anyone who wants to experience one of the greatest fantasy/romance stories of the century. I cannot praise this movie enough and I hope you all go experience it for yourself.
Your Name recently had a one week wide release and will be coming to DVD and Blu Ray in the USA very soon! I know I’ll be picking up the Blu Ray and any other merchandise as soon as I can get my hands on them.