Your Name (Makoto Shinkai) – Movie Review

Your Name

“Your Name” will undoubtedly become a top-grossing Japanese movie this year. Within two weeks of its release, its box office growth speed has already surpassed all animations made over the past ten years, including “The Wind Rises” and “Ponyo on the Cliff” created by Miyazaki Hayao, “Detective Conan” and “Doraemon Movies Collections”, etc.


I always enjoy watching Makoko Shinkai’s movie collections, but his collections always have flaws. In the movies, there are always aesthetic pictures but plain and boring plots. Every time when I finish watching, I feel a little baffled. For example, the sakura falling off along with the wind in “Byousoku 5 Centimeter”, and the genuine rain water in “Zhiting Leaf”. These are beautiful anime, but the stories always cannot be easily accepted and understood.


However, this issue is changed by his latest work “Your Name”, which not only has landmark beautiful pictures of Makoto Shinkai but also breaks through in its storyboard. With beautiful pictures and perfect stories, this movie is very successful.


According to Makoto Shinkai, the story of the movie sources from a famous Japanese waka, the general meaning of waka is: “those coming across to each other in the dream don’t meet in reality”. If aware that it is dream, there is no need to wake up. Even if always meeting in the dream, how could it be better than to meet once in reality?” Makoto Shinkai further adapts this story into the one that the two people exchange bodies in the dream with addition of rare “the background of doomsday” under which the comet returns to the earth.

The main female character, Mitsuha, is a girl who lives in the remote mountains. Her mother was dead in the early age while his father is busy with local political campaign. She lives with her grandma and little sister. The life in the small town is insipid and boring. Mitsuha has already been bored with everything here. She really hopes that one day she can live in Tokyo. Meanwhile, the male character, Taki, is a senior high school student from Tokyo. He lives with his father and often does part-time job in the restaurant. Similarly, his life is insipid and boring.


Everything has changed from their dream. Mitsuha enters Taki’s body in the dream, Mitusha gets to live in Tokyo in Taki’s body. Indeed, Taki enters Mitsuha’s body too. Taki lives in Mitsuha’s body, and becomes a cool girl who is brave enough to face all the conflicts in Mitsuha’s life. In addition, the body-exchanging is irregularly. They always leave a diary of the day to each other to communicate. The young boy and girl shuttle through the space-time incessantly, communicate with each other and also have impacts on each other but they always fail to meet each other. The first half of the movie manifests the arrival of comet as a kind of splendid astronomical phenomena. Until in the end, the girl comes to realize that her beautiful small town will be destroyed by comet.


Along with the approaching of comet, the story is gradually evolved. One day, Taki realizes that body-exchanging dreams have stopped. He begins having doubts on everything he has been through, suspecting whether Mitsuha exists or not, the beautiful town which Mitsuha lives exists or not. For this regard, he begins to go on to a trip to look for the result of his doubts. In addition, the truth found by him astonishes him, also astonishes the audiences. Originally, the story in the dream is not just a spatial traveling but also temporal traveling. Mitsuha is a girl who died in comet disaster three years ago while the boy is the one of the present. The ultimate meaning of the body-exchanging dreams is to assist both of them to save the town and the residents in the town.


In the end of the movie, they underwent innumerable hardships and finally saved the small beautiful town. Mitsuha survived after coping with the disaster and she finally comes to live in Tokyo. Indeed, Taki always lives in Tokyo. However, they both mutually forget the experience in the dream. Also, they forget the names of each other, which are the last thing they want to forget, but they are always looking for each other indistinctly.


Time flies fast. One day, both of them glimpse at each other on different trains. Suddenly, they feel like they have known that person for a long time, also they feel the person is who they are searching for. But, they don’t have the courage to speak after meeting each other. They try their best to hold back the impulse and pass by each other quietly while lowering their heads.


Until Taki shouts: “Have we met before?” Mitsuha bursts into tears and says with a smile: “Yes, I feel like we met before. What is your name?” This reunion feeling has passed to every single one of the audiences. I have to say this is such a pure and memorable love. I really admire this love. All the reunions are after a long-term departure. Even if you haven’t genuinely met each other, or perhaps you’ve met in dreams. But after you woke up, the dream will mostly likely to disappear. So enjoy the dream and cherish everyone you’ve met, or tell me your name!

Comments are closed.