Slice-of- life type movies are a favorite of mine, but there is something to be said when anime is introduced into the mix. Your Name reminded me greatly of another favorite called Wolf Children that takes simple concepts and transforms them into heartfelt stories. Written and directed by Makoto Shinkai, who also helmed anime classics such as Voices of a Distant Star and 5 Centimeters Per Second, Your Name had me tearing up towards the end and absorbed in its storyline. There are few movies that have me so invested in their characters, but this is one of them.
Mitsuha Miyamizu is a high school girl who wishes to live in Tokyo one day and be apart of the bustling lifestyle found in the city. When she goes to sleep, she dreams she’s living the life of a high school boy that is a stark contrast to her simple countryside life. Taki Tachibana is a high school student who is working a part-time job and hopes to pursue a career in architecture. Taki has been having strange dreams of being a high school girl living in the countryside, but soon he learns it’s not a dream at all! Taki and Mitsuha both find out these ‘dreams’ they’ve been having are based in reality. Their actions have a dramatic impact on each other’s everyday lives and soon they begin to ponder their circumstances. What fate or higher power weaved their lives together?
Your Name presents an interesting love story between Taki and Mitsuha that’s both intimate and touching at the same time. The entire story feels familiar, one I believe anyone can say they’ve heard before, but presented in such a fashion that it gives a fresh spin on the genre. I laughed, I cried, and at certain points even felt anxiety that things weren’t going to work out between these two.
The artwork for the movie is stunning from the use of soft pastel colors for the countryside to sharing the brightness and vibrancy of Tokyo. While I was sad to hear the town of Itomori is fictional, the location drew inspiration from real-life locations like the city of Hida in the Gifu Prefecture. Even the opening song of the film fit in well with the overall tone and emotion of the movie, spurring me to go back and listen a second time just to have the lyrics dance across my eardrums once again.
Your Name presents a timeless story that is heartfelt, beautiful, and filled with emotion. I can easily go back and watch it a second, third, and heck even a fourth time. The depth of Taki and Mitsuha’s lives intervening with each other is hilarious and heartbreaking at the same time, especially when the film begins to reach its climax towards the end.
The slice-of- life story told here is timeless and beautiful all on its own. If you’re a fan of Wolf Children, add Your Name to your watch list. You won’t regret the time spent getting to know these characters and the interesting (and cute) story they must tell.