Updated: Jun 1, 2020
Do you like young love, romance, spy novels, long distance relationships, time travel, dinosaurs, jetpacks, the movie deep impact or tales of kids in candy factories!?
If you answered yes to even some of those things then chances are you will love Kimi no Na Wa (君の名は) Your Name. Of course some of those things have nothing to do with this movie, so I hope you chose wisely. Your Name is the 2016 film written and directed by Makoto Shinkai that quickly became the highest grossing anime ever made...read that again. EVER made. Shinkai sensei is a well established manga artist and anime filmmaker whose prior most notable works are: Byōsoku Go Senchimētoru (秒速5センチメート) 5 Centimeters Per Second, and Kotonoha no Niwa (言の葉の庭) The Garden of Words. But this guy isn’t just cool because of those films, no, he has had his own asteroid named after him since September 12th, 2001, Asteroid 552222 Makoto Shinkai. (And it just so happens that an asteroid is a major plot point of the film Your Name.)
Shinkai sensei has often been compared to the legendary co-founder of Studio Ghibli, Hayao Miyazaki, the master animator/ filmmaker who is the creator of the critically acclaimed and second highest grossing anime film of all time Spirited Away, among many other greats. Shinkai sensei’s work earned that comparison due to the stunning quality of his animation and wonderful writing. But to me this film is on a whole nother level. It is not only a fantastic work of art and a beautifully crafted piece of animation but it is also an incredible story of 2 teens finding themselves in their vastly different hometowns and respective traditions and experiencing a whole new world through each other.
On top of that, it is scored entirely by one band, Radwimps. They supply the soundtrack that is equal parts pop punk and indie rock but they also provide the ambient tones for setting every scene which works as the perfect companion. I did say this film is a work of art in both animation and story, but with the added soundtrack and the performances of the voice actors, it is an unequivocal masterpiece that deserved all of the awards it won, and was nominated for.
We first heard about this film through a picture packed Kotaku article. Seeing that a new anime finally dethroned Spirited Away was jarring and intriguing. Needless to say our interests were pleasantly peaked. The trailer had a killer pop punk song accompanied by some awesome animation and beautifully defined set pieces that really grab you by the eyeballs. It instantly made the list of must see anime, which we rectified right away. And we proceeded to weep like a bunch of babies because HOT DAMN this movie will do exactly that. Onions, everywhere.
I could continue screaming from every rooftop my unfathomable love for this film, and I could spend hours describing the character motivations and plot points of each and every scene, but under no circumstances do I want to give anything away. I don’t want to deprive anyone that sweet release of serotonin by saying anymore that could lessen its effect. Just know that this is one you shouldn’t have slept on and you need to do yourselves, your friends and families a favor and spread this film around like a wildfire!
The spiritual successor to Your Name titled Weathering With You, had a theatrical run in the US last fall 2019, and earned a whopping $192.7 million worldwide according to the box office information from it’s wiki page. Weathering with You dropped last Wednesday on Amazon’s Japanese website and after finally getting to see it, all we can say is it was gosh darn good and definitely worth your time. Look forward to our review in the coming weeks. Until next time, またね.