All the Anime hosted a press screening for Your Name ahead of the release date on November 24th for the Uk. This is the latest feature film by Makoto Shinkai who brought us amazing work such as; Voices of a Distant Star, 5 Centimetres Per Second, Journey to Agartha, She and Her Cat: Everything Flows and more. Anime being a niche it is nice to see more titles on the big screen alongside Studio Ghibli.
The film also known as Kimi no Na wa (in Japanese mean’s “story of miracles and love” which from watching the opening sequence you know revolves a boy and girl. You are introduced to Mitsuha who lives in modern day Japan but in a quaint rural area nestled deep in the mountains where her and her sister are raised by their grandma, a shrine caretaker. Her father is the mayor of the village and has been banished from their family home and barely interacts with the family at all. Mitsuha is a regular girl who wants to do regular things not do shrine traditions which gets her bullied by kids at school and one day she shouts at the shrine ‘I wish I could meet a boy from Tokyo’. Be careful what you wish for should be the tagline.
Enter: Taki a high school student who lives in central Tokyo with his dad. He spends time with his friends, is interested in architecture, works part-time at an Italian restaurant and has a crush on his supervisor. One day, Mitsuha has a dream where she is Taki. Taki also dreams he is a in a town in the mountains that he has never been to. They both begin to wonder- Is this really a dream?
Shinkai is Teamed with Masashi Ando (Spirited Away, When Marnie Was There, Paprika) as the animation director and Masayoshi Tanaka as character designer(anohana, The Anthem of the Heart, Toradora!). This film has been compared to Studio Ghibli which I disagree with it is charming in it’s own right and there are no super cute animals, (apart from a brief encounter with Tassie’s Shiba).
The film voice acting cast boast a list of well-known people including: Ryunosuke Kamiki (Summer Wars’ Kenji, Howl’s Moving Castle’s) as Taki Tachibana and actress Mone Kamishiraishi (live-action Chihayafuru: Kami no Ku’s Kanade Ōe) as Mitsuha Miyamizu. Masami Nagasawa (Detroit Metal City’s Yuri, From Up On Poppy Hill’s Umi) plays Miki, an older schoolmate whom Taki admires, and Etsuko Ichihara (Horus, Prince of the Sun’s Hilda, Miyori no Mori’s Granny) plays Mitsuha’s grandmother.
Looking at the animation, part way through the year you are explained that the braids that the Grandma weaves and in turn teaches Mitsuha and her sister to make is a metaphor for the strands of time and how they break but connect again and we are shown a beautiful sequence of what looks like pastel drawings on screen coming to life. It’s hard to describe but it looks like traditional hand drawn animation for the brief few minutes which blew me away.
All the music and songs are performed by rock/pop band the RADWIMPS which gave it a different feel, as rather than enjoying background music you moved along the story with the songs. All the music in the film is performed by the band and can be bought as the Your Name OST.
Overall it is a funny movie that appeals to the masses, young boy and girl problems being woven into a mystery and they get to know each other through texts and memos which is the new generation we live in. A film to be enjoyed by family and friends with a little bit of fan service implied.