NOTE: Although this is considered a 2016 movie since it had an Oscar-qualifying run in Los Angeles last fall, it didn’t come out in my neck of the woods until last Friday. This is one of the few exceptions I’m willing to make. Enjoy!
It’s safe to say that everybody has seen the “body swap” plot at one point or another. However, “Your Name” is a unique take on the concept. In a typical “body swap” movie, the main two characters remain in each other’s bodies until they learn the moral of the story. However, the main two characters of this movie swap bodies every other day. They manage to write journals to each other before they switch back to their original bodies. This works to the movie’s advantage as it gives character development to the main characters. You get to see their relationship blossom as the movie progresses. There is also a twist in the movie that is well executed. I won’t go into details here since it would spoil the whole movie.
There is a lot of debate about who will be the successor to Hayao Miyazaki would be. There are several candidates such as Goro Miyazaki (who is Hayao’s son), Mamoru Hosoda, and Makoto Shinkai, the director of this movie. Thanks to the overwhelmingly positive response this movie has gotten, the latter might be a possibility.
The overall animation for this movie is gorgeous. The scenery of the movie is very detailed and while the character animation is very distinct. It’s a crying shame that 2D animation is considered a near-extinct art form.
I must mention the fact that I have only seen the dubbed version of this movie so far so I couldn’t tell how it differs from its original Japanese. However, I can reassure you that the English dub is solid. Funimation is the gold standard when it comes to English dubs.
Overall, “Your Name” might be Shinkai’s best film to date.