It’s hard not to mention any spoilers so refrain from reading past the break if you haven’t watched this.
I don’t post reviews for anime here but I’ll make an exception this time. Last night, I watched Kimi no Na wa (Your Name) at a local cinema. I didn’t really plan on watching but I’ve seen some reviews and they’re all quite positive, even one of my favorite movie reviewers (Chris Stuckmann) gave it an A+ and he doesn’t usually do that unless it’s actually good. That piqued my interest.
In a nutshell, I think this is one of those anime worth watching once in your lifetime.
Story – 8/10
Characters – 9/10
Music – 10/10
Visual – 10/10
(spoiler review after break)
This is such a huge hit in Japan and I was worried it might be overhyped but when I walked out of the cinema, I thought it exceeded my expectation. I actually enjoyed it a lot. I won’t go as far to say it’s perfect because the plot does seem a bit clichéd, but I’m glad they didn’t focus too heavily on the romance. You know how some love stories can get really cheesy, lack substance and sink into that melodrama abyss.
They managed to make this deeper than I expected, starting from body swapping, thrusting the two leads into a chaotic yet exciting out-of-the-world experience. It really helps if you’re familiar with anime or Japanese culture, because there are certain body languages and even the use of pronouns/dialects that are different for the leads (one coming from the countryside and another from Tokyo). So it’s nice to pick up the slight variations, largely thanks to the amazing voice acting by Kamiki Ryunosuke (Taki) and Mone Kamishiraishi (Mitsuha), especially when they’re in each other’s bodies, Taki sounds more feminine while Mitsuha, more masculine.
BTW, did anyone think of Kokoro Connect? Because the body swap really reminded me of that anime, if you haven’t heard or seen it, I recommend it!
To be honest, when the twist came, I didn’t really know how I felt about it. Perhaps, I was thinking of something different from a comet disaster (in my mind, I was hoping for some time slip or them coming from a totally different era; not just a few years, which would make this totally heartbreaking XD) but anyways, the connection between the comet and the body swap alongside the whole ‘musubi’ beliefs are tied nicely together.
Apart from that, I don’t have much to complain at all. I wouldn’t expect any less from Makoto Shinkai, judging from his previous works. So it’s visually stunning and color-rich I don’t know how anyone wouldn’t appreciate the beauty. The impressive details in the landscape, for example, the crater where Mitsuha, Yotsuha and their grandma visited, that particular scene was just breathtaking! So pretty. Tokyo’s urban landscape is equally remarkable. The skies too.
Onto the music, it’s perfect. Firstly, having RADWIMPS to deliver the songs is one of the best decisions they ever made, I haven’t watched anime where they insert songs in between (I think there were 3-4 times) so that was refreshing, even the lyrics are fitting (Yojiro Noda, the vocalist was asked to compose and write lyrics that match the characters/plot). If not for the soundtrack, I don’t think I would have enjoyed this as much so make sure you get the soundtrack, it’s beautiful and stirring. If I were to pick some memorable scenes with great music in the background, the train scene where Mitsuha went to find Taki for the first time, the piano track is so poignant, my heart almost stopped beating. Even that scene when they met during twilight at the crater is so whimsical and melancholic.
I’m tempted to watch this again XD