Your Name Film Review

I can’t seem to concentrate on anything today! I have my driving test tomorrow, so I am super nervous and in order to calm my nerves I decided to watch ‘Your Name’ again.

I can’t get enough of this film, the first time I watched it was back in January and I think this is the quickest I’ve re-watched a film for the second time. So as I have now started a blog, I though ‘I should review Your Name’. Great idea, huh?

It’s really difficult to review a film that you don’t have anything bad to say about. To be honest I feel like the other reviews I have done have been super negative and I’m trying not to stray into doing that too much!

So without further ado, here is my review on the film ‘Your Name’.

***Spoilers ahead***

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‘Your Name’ is directed and written by Makoto Shinkai, also known for 5 Centimeters Per Second.

The beginning of the film shows an asteroid heading towards a small village called Itomori in Japan’s mountainous regions. With the characters claiming how beautiful it was, the opening showing the characters both at different stages of their lives between and the stark contrast between Japan’s countryside and cities. I love the opening and music for this film, showing both Taki and Mitsuha and their connections they have. However I do feel like the opening is too much foreshadowing and should have been left a little bit more ambiguous.

We are initially introduced to Mitsuha, however all is not as it seems as it becomes apparent that it isn’t Mitsuha at all. There are some seriously economical moments where Mitsuha’s sisters walks in on her feeling her breasts and looking in the mirror naked and trying to comprehend the reflection. It quickly switches a scene again where Mitsuha is now ‘normal’ however doesn’t give an inclination that time has passed between the initial introduction and the breakfast scene. I was immediatley left confounded as to why one minute she didn’t get her reflection and the next she is acting ‘normal’. However it does eventually becomes apparent that the initial scene with Mitsuha was the day before.

I really like the introduction to Mitsuha, even if it isn’t technically Mitsuha, I immediately like her character. The foreshadowing is prominent from the beginning showing the speakers that announce the Mayoral Election and the television news which announces the comet that will pass by Earth in a month. I didn’t really realise the significance of these scenes until seeing the film for a second time. I initial thought they were ‘filler’ to give a feel to the film.

We are introduced to two side characters Sayaka and Tessie who are Mitsuha’s friends from school. You get the feeling that they are good childhood friends as the Itomori seems quite small and everyone knows everyone’s business. Tessie and Sayaka also comment on Mitsuha’s strange behavior from the day before.

Mitsuha obviously has a hard time from her other friends due to her father being Mayor. As a teenage girl she feels embarrassed by her father and obviously doesn’t want to be associated with him.

I feel really sorry for Mitsuha at this point, she obviously wants to escape from the ties of the small town and spread her wings in somewhere like Tokyo. The dialogue describes the Itamori as well as showing us different aspects of it, leading us to believe it is quite isolated from the rest of the world.

The background scenery is beautifully done within this film, rewatching it and spotting the little details made me appreciate it even more.

We start to realise that even Mitsuha’s friends are feeling confined to the Itamori that they live in and that they have no where else to go and just to adhere to the words of their relatives. It makes Itamori feel very lonely and traditional in a Japanese sense, with shrines and rituals for the Gods.

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We are then dragged into to the world of Taki. Who lives a much more modern life in the city of Tokyo. Some more comical moments are introduced much like the initial moment we have with Mitsuha. I find it really well done through the animation and voice acting making Taki come across as feminine.

The essence of Tokyo and through the animation and music is well done, making you feel in awe much like Taki is. Also the contrast between the hectic life of Tokyo and the calm tranquil life of Itamori.

We are pretty sure that it is Mitsuha in Taki’s body but this is confirmed through writing ‘Mitsuha’ on Taki’s hand, whilst still in Taki’s body. (Sorry I’m getting really confused on whether to say his or her lol).

We are then introduced to Taki, as Taki! Which becomes a series of very funny moments. The scenes continue with the time passing and showing Taki and Mitsuha switching bodies and the realisation  that they are actaully switching bodies.

We get to see their relationship progress even though they don’t meet and communicate either via through their phone or through writing on their bodies. I genuinely laughed out loud at some of the part during the switching of bodies.

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We are then subjected to some beautiful scenes whilst Taki is Mitsuha on a pilgrimage to give an offering to the Gods. I really like Taki as Mitsuha in these scenes even though he is in her body he cares for the Grandmother like her own and listens to her intently. It also shows that Taki is gaining feelings for Mitsuha.

The switch back shows Mitsuha also expressing feelings for Taki,  showing a feeling of regret for setting up a date for Taki and actually cries at the idea of this. I just want to hug her!

We are then given the inkling that they’re also in different times, she is speaking about a comet that he cannot see, and also tries to ring her with no avail.

Your almost given the feeling that something bad is about to happen, the feeling is ominous and the music also gives the feeling that disaster is about to strike.

Taki states that he never switches with Mitsuha again and from the Taki seems to spend a lot of time drawing the places he visited from memory. He then decides to go visit her…

However on his journey, we become learn the heartbroken news that Itamori was destoryed by a comet 3 years ago and the memories that he has of her slowly start to fade. We then learn further heart crushing news that Mitsuha died along with 500 other when the comet hit.

Your heart stops, I sighed, almost cried, but I also saw that I was only halfway through the movie so I lived in hope that something would rectify the situation. This feeling didn’t change when I watched it for a second time, I really felt so engrosed in the film I questioned what actually happens at the end and whether Taki and Mitsuha get a happy ending. I genuinely shed a tear.

The only thing about the scenes to do with Taki finding out about the comet hitting Itamori is the addition of Miki Okudera and Tsukasa Fujii joining Taki on his journey to Itamori. It just seemed almost bizarre that these two characters actually joined with him, no questions asked and with very some weird reasoning behind why Taki was doing this. Maybe I can understand why Tsukasa Fujii came along because they’re school friends but, Miki Okudera seemed a bit too far fetched, he has a crush on her, they even had a date and he ended up rejecting her pretty much. But who am I to judge?

Taki questions his memories figuring he got all the images of Itamori from the news, he also starts to to forget Mitsuha and can’t remember her name. Looking almost in pain trying to remember.

Why is there always bad weather when a climax is happening in Anime films? Whilst Taki is trying to find the place his visited on the pilgramage it starts raining, but the fog, the rain are beautifully animated, I almost feel like it used to show the cloudiness that is filling Taki’s head and making his memories foggy.

I find the next bit really gross, I shouldn’t really it is kind of charming in a weird way, but my reaction is pretty much the same as the girls from the school who mocked her when she was making the Sake or Kuchikamizake. Taki drinks Mitshua’s spit. Well not her spit, it is actually the traditional way in which Sake was made and fermented…but it’s still her spit.

There is no reasoning why, drinking this would help him, nor is there any reasoning as to why he came up with this idea. I don’t think viewers really need a why, it is almost tragic that we get to see Mitsuha’s memories and life flash before us including the time she was switching bodies with Taki. We then learn a vital piece of gut wrenching information. Mitsuha went to visit Taki.

Taki then wakes up within Mitsuha’s body realising that it is the day the comet will hit. Taki jumps into action trying to think of plan to save people from dying…but it’s really difficult for him as no one believes him. Including that Taki is forced to persuade Mitsuha’s father, its a bit of a sad moment, her father accuses Mitsuha being mentally ill. I just wanted to scream at them “LISTEN TO HER/HIM”!!!

Mitsuha wakes in Taki’s body and Mitsuha quickly realises her fate, that she died at the moment the comet hit, seeing her town destroyed. We are then shown a flash back of Mitsuha going to Tokyo. Questioning her self what Taki’s reaction would be when they met, but shes too early. Taki doesn’t know who she is as it’s 3 years before they meet. Meanwhile Taki as Mitsuha is giving it his all to get to Mitsuha.

The piano music feels so amazingly beautiful and you also feel so sorry for Mitsuha and annoyed at Taki. How dare you not remember her? But then you realise she’s too early, he doesn’t know her yet, he hasn’t swapped bodies with her yet. I really wonder why she got off the train? why didn’t she stay on it and speak to him? I suppose she would have looked like a nutcase if she did as he didn’t know her. But after seeing them as two separate characters for so long, it was bitter sweet to have that moment of them being together taken away by having bad timing.

The scene where they try to find each other but can’t see each other pulls at my heart strings. They finally see each other and know who each other are. At last! NOW KISS! Well, that didn’t happen.

They decide to write each others names on their hands to remember them so they don’t forget. But Mitsuha disapears before she can finish. The pain in Taki’s voice trying to remember her name while tears stream down his face.

Mitsuha then returns to get on with the plan of saving the village from destruction. All the time going through my heart “please work, please work”.

The rush of feelings going through my head and heart at this time, whilst trying to save her village but also remember Taki’s name makes my eyes stream with tears. The idiot didn’t write his name on her hand, he wrote ‘I Love You’, oh my days you idiot! Stop trying to be romantic at such a crucial moment. BAKA!

The art of the comet is so well done but almost bitter sweet, looking so beautiful but destroying so much. We aren’t given any conclusions as to what happened to Mitshua, obviously when Taki wakes up the village is destroyed, alongside hi memories of why he was there in the first place.

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5 Years later we see Taki as an adult looking for work, his monologue explaining the events and the lack of the memories he now has. However, it is revealed that the evacuation of the village worked, but Misaki’s fate was still unknown. In a chance encounter in a coffee shop, Taki is sat near a couple talking about a wedding it is apparant that it is Tessie (he looks like he has had it rough for the past 5 years to be honest) and I assume Sayaka although it isn’t explicitly said.

The beautiful moment when Taki and Misaki see each other on adjacent trains and frantically run to find each other. I thought they might run into each others arms but not. However it is a fitting ending.

It would have been nice to see a more conclusive ending with Taki and Misaki finding each other, even if it had been short snippets during the credit scenes.

I really can’t fault this movie in any other way. The music is beautiful, the art is well done, the voice acting and script is also amazing. It was nominated for an Oscar and disappointingly didn’t win even though it actually made more money than Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away.  I could probably watch this movie for a third and fourth time without waiting too long in between.

Whilst the ending isn’t conclusive I think it is fitting. I suppose everyone who went through the journey together with Taki and Mitsuha wanted something more conclusive such as a kiss, a wedding, children…but I think the way it ends leaves it open to the viewer to decide what happens to them and to be honest I’m pretty sure they end up together.

This film will definable stand the test of time much like a Ghibli movie. It will become timeless and probably in 10 years time, I’ll sit down to watch and have this feeling all over again. The music and story genuinely gave me goosebumps so many times throughout the movie. It will be interesting to watch the dub, I feel like dubs always give a different feel to movies, different scripts ect. However I have just watched the trailer for the dubbed version and I already want to kill the voice actors.

Anyway I totally recommend that you watch this film now!

10/10

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