Your Name.

  • Written and Directed by Makoto Shinkai
  • July 3, 2016 (Anime Expo) / August 26, 2016 (Japan)

Voice Cast

  • Taki Tachibana-Michael Sinterniklaas
  • Mitsuha Miyamizu-Stephanie Sheh
  • Katsuhiko “Tessie” Teshigawara –Kyle Hebert
  • Sayaka Natori-Cassandra Morris
  • Tsukasa Fujii-Ben Pronsky
  • Shinta Takagi-Ray Chase
  • Miki Okudera-Laura Post
  • Hitoha Miyamizu-Glynis Ellis
  • Yotsuha Miyamizu-Catie Harvey
  • Toshiki Miyamizu-Scott Williams
  • Futaba Miyamizu-Michelle Ruff
  • Yukari Yukino-Katy Vaughn

Two strangers form a unique and inexplicable connection that will have ramifications for both.

I must start out by saying that Your Name is absolutely beautiful. It is animated art and that was perhaps the first thing that drew me to it. The Blu-ray sleeve has some gorgeous imagery on it. Hand-drawn animation can be good and enjoyable but some of it actually gets to the point of being art that you can enjoy with the sound off. Your Name often gets to that very point.

Japanese animation can make an animated world appear as authentic and viable as any live action film does. There are just so many minute bits that pull you in and trick your mind into almost believing that this has actors. And the film is done in such a way that one would photograph a live action film.

One minor detail that really struck me was the sliding of doors. The way the camera was positioned to show the opening and closing was just great. It’s a stupid detail to be impressed by but that level of attention to not only the functionality of a device but the cinematography really impressed me.

Your Name is mostly hand-drawn animation with some minor assistance from computers to give the shots and the effects an extra pop. I think if you used this as a template for a live action film you could have something visually stunning. Not that I am looking for another Hollywood retread.

Unfortunately the story of Your Name is only just okay. It’s not terrible but it just does not get to the level that the visuals should help it to achieve. There is just something missing from it all. Yet I still enjoyed myself. I think about the movie and find myself thinking I just might watch it again. It becomes something more than its parts alone are.

Perhaps it is because it is well structured. Clues to the plot twist are sprinkled early on in the film. I knew something was coming but I couldn’t quite tell what it was. And when the reveal came, I was like “Oh yeah! That’s it!” And it was a nice twist.

But-and there’s a spoiler coming-what bothers me is that the impact event seems to have been completely forgotten by our male characterof Taki Tachibana. He seems completely surprised when people start talking about it to him as if he had never heard of it. Your Name takes place in Japan and I would presume if you lived in a country where a chunk of a comet wiped out a town you would remember the event. You might even recall the name of the town more likely than not. That was as difficult for me to swallow as an unmentioned relative in a long running franchise.

Our central female character of Mitsuha Miyamizu has dreams of living as boy in Tokyo in her next life. Like every like many small-town girls, the major cities holding an attraction that home just does not. And that’s where they get something very right in this movie. The male and the female characters are both pretty real. They were not overly exaggerated in any aspect. These were people you could find in their respective environments.

Maybe my issue is that once you know of the impending event, things don’t feel as if they build. In fact, there’s no feeling of building towards much of anything until the day of the event when Mitsuha Miyamizu is trying to figure out how to get everyone out of town. Then there’s some real tension and honestly you are as panicked as one can get for fictional characters. I just wish the narrative had built a little more.

Interestingly it’s implied in the film that others have had a similar body switch experience but what that all amounted to is never explored beyond the implication. Why imply it if it goes nowhere? The script is good but needed a little more polish. A tweak here and there. The dialogue is this film’s second strongest part aside from the animation.

Your Name is a quiet film. It’s not loud or exciting. It’s a drama with science-fiction and fantasy elements. Don’t go in expecting big guns or loud explosions or things that have become the stereotype of Japanese animation to the general public.

Your Name is an okay film whose saving grace is the characterization and dialogue coupled with beautiful animation. Something about it just misses the mark but it’s not a total waste of time. I will give this an if you want.

Published by warrenwatchedamovie

Just a movie lover trying spread the love.

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