Kimi no Na wa (Your Name): Review

Written by: Stef Atega

Film | Dec 24, 2016

anime Kimi no Na wa Makoto Shinkai Mitsuha Taki Your Name

Makoto Shinkai has a real knack for tugging at his audience's heartstrings. Actually, that's an understatement:  he can send them into a frenzy of emotions with his visually stunning works and romantic narratives. So it's not really surprising to know that his recent movie, Kimi no Na wa (or Your Name) made waves in Japan's Box Office and dominated in China's.

Kimi no Na wa
tells the story of two teens who mysteriously switch bodies (and lives) at random times following a meteor shower.

Mitsuha struggles with a mundane routine in the remote town of Itomori while Taki balances both school and work in Tokyo. After realizing the weird situation they find themselves in, the two find a way to communicate by leaving messages in their smartphones, writing on each other's arms, and laying down some ground rules. But being in a new environment, the two can't help but break the rules, altering each other's lives in the process.

Even though they are miles apart, Mitsuha and Taki forge a unique, intimate bond, until it comes to a point where they want to meet each other in person. Sadly, the circumstances of that happening are complicated, as it requires both of them to go out of their way just to see each other.

On paper, it sounds like there's a lot of melodrama going on (and technically, there is), but the movie pulls the story off in such a way that it doesn't drag on. 

It's in these dramatic scenes where Makoto Shinkai expertly conveys the sense of desperation and longing - themes that were also explored in his other films such
5 Centimeters Per Second and Garden of Words. In Kimi no Na Wa however, he brings it a step further by providing a plot twist and visual spectacles in the form of picturesque landscapes and an Instagram-like montage of everyday life, all of which is encapsulated in the film's beautiful soundtrack.

It feeds your escapism and makes you want to relax in a café in Tokyo or stroll through the peaceful Itomori town where friendly fellows greet you with warm smiles.

The one thing I also admire about Shinkai's work in general is how he visually portrays a seemingly mundane activity in the most serene way. From the way Mitsuha braids her hair to the close-up shots of Taki sketching sceneries, Shinkai's cinematography breathes life into every detail of the scene.

I honestly don't understand why many critics compare Makoto Shinkai to Hayao Miyazaki. They both have entirely different styles of storytelling. Shinkai has made his own name, and although being compared to the mastermind behind Studio Ghibli is an honor, Shinkai just isn't the next Miyazaki. And I mean that in a positive light. 

After watching the movie, you'll probably notice several plot holes. You'll probably think, "Why didn't they just search each other up on Facebook?" or something along the lines. Don't worry, you're not alone. I wondered about these things too, but then I always say that as long as the movie successfully stirs the emotions it wants from its audience, then the story gaps don't matter.

And Kimi no Na wa does this wonderfully. Funny, heartwarming, but at the same time gut-wrenching, it is a must watch even if you're not into anime. It may be a film catered to teens but I think people of all ages would relate to it. This movie will definitely bring on the feels to anyone, young or old.

About the author: Stef Atega

GameGulp's current overlord. Stef is obsessed with cats and anything horror. She also likes shounen anime and Japanese food but refuses to be called a "weeaboo". She believes in the power of indie games.

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