Your Name (Kimi no Na wa) was the biggest movie in Japan last year—it is now the fourth-highest grossing film of all time in that country. It was technically released for one week in LA last year, in order qualify for Oscar consideration…an then it wasn’t even nominated. Luckily, it was brought back to US theaters this weekend, where I was able to see it.
A synopsis of the story from Google:
The day the stars fell, two lives changed forever. High schoolers Mitsuha and Taki are complete strangers living separate lives. But one night, they suddenly switch places. Mitsuha wakes up in Taki’s body, and he in hers. This bizarre occurrence continues to happen randomly, and the two must adjust their lives around each other. Yet, somehow, it works. They build a connection and communicate by leaving notes, messages, and more importantly, an imprint. When a dazzling comet lights up the night’s sky, something shifts, and they seek each other out wanting something more – a chance to finally meet.
And here’s the English trailer (you can find the Japanese one here):
It’s easy to see why this movie was so popular last year. The animation is gorgeous, and the story is a great mix of genres, with a feeling I would call bittersweet, tinged with hope. I think even people that don’t normally like “anime” would like this movie.
I’m not sure how long Your Name will be in theaters, but I’d definitely recommend seeing it while you can. I was able to find a theater only 30 minutes away from me showing it in both dubbed English and Japanese with subtitles. (I’m sure it will be out on DVD soon, too.)
I saw it with subtitles and loved it. As always, there are some things that just won’t translate well. There’s actually a really funny scene where Mitsuha has switched into Taki’s body and speaks to his friends using “watashi,” and when they give her a weird look for using such a feminine form, she starts cycling through pronouns until she arrives at “ore,” which they finally accept as normal.
There’s plenty of other humor, too, which is a nice balance for the pathos of the story. No spoilers, but it ends up being way more complex than a simple teenage body-switching story.
The last thing I want to mention is the music! As you can hear from the trailer, the music is done by a J-rock group named RADWIMPS, and it is amazing. You can stream the soundtrack several places, including Spotify. There are even English versions of the songs from the movie. Definitely check out the opening song “Yumetourou,” the ending song “Nandemonaiya,” and the theme heard in the trailer “Zenzenzense.”
You can also check out the MV for “Sparkle” here with clips from the movie.
Hope you all enjoy this one as much as I did!