Writing this so that I could shut up and not ruin my relationships by talking about this movie all the time like an absolute obsessive maniac. Enjoy!
Since the entirety of last week (especially the last two days) I’ve been in absolute awe and just can’t seem to get out of it. The reason for this being the movie that now I’m calling a masterpiece and trust me, I’m not the only one.
The more I think about Kimi No Na Wa or Your name as the English translation suggests, the more I am being pulled into its 2D beauty. So what is this anime movie and why am I talking about it like an obsessive maniac? This is the question I am going to try and answer ahead, without any spoilers for the movie ofcourse.
Your Name is a story about about two people. One of them named Mitsuha who lives in a small fictional town of Japan known as Itmori where everyone knows everyone and she for one, can’t wait to get out of there. The other character named Taki shows us the other end of the spectrum as a character, being a city boy living in one of the most well known cities in the world, which is ofcourse Tokyo. Oh and one more thing, they swap bodies
Now I am gonna be very honest with you, this right here, the description of the movie I’ve just written, is the most cliched generic storyline that can be out there. There are hundreds, if not thousands of movies like this in Hollywood and all of the cinema in the world, except Your Name is much much more than that.
Giving this vague and bland description for the movie is one of the worst things I could do as it not in the slightest way does justice to what the story and movie is, but for the purpose of not giving any spoilers so that you could see the movie for yourself, lets leave that description to there.
So if that is the story of the movie (roughly) and stories being the backbone of any movie, why am I being all fan girly over this picture? I’m glad you asked.
- Animations And Aesthetics
While I cannot emphasize more on the fact that the storyline is much more than that which by saying that a second time makes me sound like a broken record, the animations and aesthetic of the movie is absolutely gorgeous. No words can do justice with how pretty this movie is. Every second and every frame is so well drawn, blinking while watching the movie should be considered a crime, and that in itself is a big deal as animated movies demand a lot of effort to make them look even remotely good. Something as beautiful as Your Name deserves all the praise and more for its stunning visuals and its about time that the Grammys and other big award shows recognize these films (which is a rant for another day)
Even the smaller moments such as the characters checking their phones to see the time and text messages, taking a stroll in their respective contrasting places and their daily lives and routines are so breathtakingly beautiful, it gives you a sense of calm while just watching them do their day to day activities. While this is not a unique feature of Your Name specifically as many of the others anime movies and series have very pretty animations such as A Silent Voice and Demon Slayer to name a few, it definitely make the viewers stick with them for the wild ride that is about to come.
The music for this film easily is one of the best and most fitting pieces I’ve heard in a long time. The soundtrack of the movie elevates the experience of watching it to unprecedented heights. The OST includes 4 proper tracks with the rest being pieces made to use in the background ,and while in no way they are not “proper” tracks as the highs of the movie heavily depend on those to make those scenes as intense as they are, whether you notice them or not.
The opening for the movie (Dream Lantern) is a catchy soft rock track (something that is expected in any anime movie /series) that grabs your attention immediately and sucks you into the movie from where the animations do their job to make sure you stick with it. The song starts with a quiet and pretty melody along with just some guitar notes and within the next 30 seconds, explodes into your face with thrashing high paced guitar oriented track. The opening scenes of the movie are something to look into itself, but more on that later
The rest of the three songs — zen zen zen, Sparkle and Nandemaniya blend extremely well to potray the scenes and how the characters are feeling in that particular moment. Even the theme songs made for the characters, such as one being made for Mitsuha is extremely memorable and show the characters personality and traits quite well.
To my surprise, all of the songs and pieces for the movie are credited to RADWIMPS, a soft rock band from Japan, whom Makoto Sinkai (Director of Your Name) specifically asked for this job. It is hard to believe that all of the tracks were created by these 3 dudes considering how diverse the album is.
3. Attention To Detail
Your Name is a movie that DESERVES to be watched more than once. Despite the simple description that can be given for the movie, there are times when the storyline can get a little complex and hard to follow, it may seem that things are happening randomly with no apparent reason for it, but trust me, each random action, and dialogues that seems to be a bunch of jargon has a meaning and attempts to answer the questions one might have after finishing the movie the first time.
Even the opening of the movie with credits and Dream Lantern playing in the background shows what is about to come and meaning of different stuff that happens in the movie, but its almost impossible to understand the first time you see it due to the lack of context.
From experience, I can say that I was hit the hardest when I watched the movie the second time, absorbing all the moments I might have missed before and appreciate all the wonderful things I was too naive to even notice the first time I watched the movie.
Well I said in the beginning that there aren’t going to be any spoilers and a promise is a promise, so I won’t go too much into it, but the ending of this movie was spectacularly amazing and fulfilling while at the same time leaving an empty void in my heart (make what you want to from this sentence!)
As much as I would like it to be, Your Name unfortunately isn’t a flawless movie. Its most weak area being character development
When I think about its main characters i.e Taki and Mitsuha, I realize that they are just ordinary characters, not like they are ordinary everyday people, but their characters are just plain ordinary. As viewers, we don’t get the chance to bond with them. Makoto Shinkai is often criticized for putting style over characters, and I can see why in this movie. Its the circumstances and the story with amazing visuals that make me absoutely adore the movie. Unfortunately neither taki nor mitsuha do more than the bare minimum. They do their part but nothing more than that is added.
6. Final Thoughts
Despite the weak area(s) of this movie, the strong ones absolutely takes over. Your Name changed the way I watch anime as a whole, making me believe that this type of entertainment is more than just fantasy battle. It shows that anime has the potential of amazing storytelling and can deal with emotions such as that of longing, loss and finding that one thing that you’ve been missing but can’t put your finger to it. For me, this movie comes on the level where La La Land has been for the past 3 years i.e on the top. It might even surpass it and I wouldn’t even be surprised. If you haven’t seen this movie, please do, cause it is amazing.