|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
Kimi no Na wa
There's nothing like taking a fundamental rule of existence--like your body and your mind go together and nobody can intrude into them--and turning it upside down to create an intriguing experience. This movie starts off with a round of playful body switching which at worst threatens to embarrass people. It was both amusing and makes one wonder what they'd do if placed in a similar situation. I found myself mentally writing my own dialogue for the characters, which is generally a sign of serious engagement. Later things get serious as we learn that there's a looming disaster which must be prevented. The too-good-to-be-true resolution of the threat was a little corny. It did get complicated at times--like why do characters sometimes forget things, have they switched or not at the moment, what role did the sacred sake play, etc. But the basics are clear and make sense; essentially, the question we (or at least I) most want an answer to is not what happens to the townspeople but rather whether the two teens will ever meet. Otherwise I would probably have been nitpicking the fine details, like why these two particular teenagers were somehow chosen for this exchange. The fact that that didn't happen is indicative that I was having a good deal of fun. The tension is palpable near the end as it's unclear just how things will end. 'Please don't let it end indecisively' I was thinking. Overall, I thought this was a genuinely heart-warming movie, with the message that people are generally good at heart.|
(I first learned of the movie from Ggultra2764's review, found it at my usual downloading website, downloaded a simple version of it in a matter of minutes, and promptly watched the entire movie at the computer in one sitting--highly unusual for me).
Last updated Monday, May 07 2018. Created Sunday, May 06 2018.
Kimi no Na wa
Marking my 1700th review on Mikomi is the most recent and highly acclaimed film released by Makoto Shinkai in the form of Your Name. Focused on teenagers Mitsuha and Taki, Your Name is a romantic comedy-drama that sets up a Freaky Friday scenario where the two teens unexpectedly find themselves swapping bodies daily with one another. |
Your Name's gimmick is focused on for a good part of the film's first half as it explores Mitsuha and Taki's lives and how the body swapping gets in the way of them. The film has enough time to explore the lives of both characters, showing how they live and what affects them daily with Mitsuha being a rural teen hating her life in the boonies between serving as her town's priestess and considering her father embarrassing as her town's mayor, and Taki being a Tokyo resident with a part-time waiter job and having a crush on an older woman. The comedy also had its moments of effective humor with its body swapping. Outside of the shock of realizing the biological differences from body swapping, Taki and Mitsuha often find themselves meddling in ways the other would not normally behave and those within their lives take notice of the unusual quirks and actions that one of the leads commit while body swapped, lending to the film's humor.
As Your Name enters its second half though, the film's quality does take a hit for me as it takes on a more dramatic direction with its storytelling. Without spoiling too much, it adds a rather convoluted twist concerning the cause surrounding the body swapping between Mitsuha and Taki that stretches suspension of disbelief quite a bit. The movie's attempts to milk drama off this revelation came off feeling quite overboard and because Mitsuha and Taki never have direct interaction with one another for the majority of the film, this made Your Name's attempts to show off their budding attraction to one another come off as unconvincing for me. This is an issue that I have for a number of Makoto Shinkai's films since his attempt to add in some sort of paranormal gimmick for past works like Place Promised in Our Early Days and Children Who Chase Lost Voices stretches things quite a bit due to all his notable works focusing on a common theme of long-distance relationships, while I'm more a fan of his grounded works like 5 Centimeters per Second and Garden of Words.
Like Shinkai's past works, Your Name is a beautifully animated film to see in action with its gorgeous and highly-detailed scenic shots, effective use of lighting and shadow effects to create a convincingly atmospheric effect, and fluid animation depicting lifelike movements from the characters in both the urban and rural settings that Taki and Mitsuha respectively live in. Character designs are not as impressive to see in comparison, though they have a decent amount of visual details and have a plain look to fit in with the anime's mundane settings.
Ultimately, Your Name is yet another film that highlights the flaws of Makoto Shinkai's storytelling style when he chooses to milk any sort of paranormal gimmick with his usual focus on long-distance relationships. While I did get some laughs out of the awkward actions resulting from Taki and Mitsuha's body swapping in the film's first half, things eventually went downhill for me in its second half when the truth surrounding the body swapping was revealed and the attempt at a dramatic twist for the film came off looking overdone as a result. In spite of its hype, I would say my reception to Your Name is lukewarm at best and that the film might be getting more hype for it than deserved.
Last updated Saturday, May 05 2018. Created Saturday, May 05 2018.