“Your Name” Review – SPOILERS

Your Name is a film directed by Makoto Shinkai. It’s been released in American theaters, something not many anime movies have the honor of happening to them, and so far has received an incredible amount of praise. 98% by Google users, 98% on Rotten Tomatoes… It’s got incredible reviews. I was asked to review this movie by a friend of mine, who wished to stay anonymous, so here’s my review of Your Name.

**SPOILER WARNING**
If you have never seen this film and are planning on seeing it, skip past everything in this review until the end, and read what I give the movie overall. There will be spoilers.

Animation and Acting

If I were to speak strictly of the quality of the art in this show, it’s amazing. The consistency of the art is top notch, and the actual style, though reasonably generic for an anime, is well coordinated. The cinematography is well thought out, too, the camera often panning well and being important. It was never a drag to look at a scene, and every scene was well animated. There were rarely moments where people were just standing around, not moving, and just talking, if any. Everything felt alive.  The colors were also well thought out. It wasn’t extremely vibrant, but at the same time, it didn’t feel like a pastel world. It felt colorful, but not too colorful. There’s no let down here at all.

The voice acting was good, both in the American and Japanese versions. I say “Good” for the American version relative to the quality of other American-anime dubs. The voice actors are often bad on American dubs. However, this movie pulled it off, and I believe that it came together well. I’ll have to dock some points in regards to the English dub acting, though. It can get annoying to listen to. That’s not just to sound like a weaboo, or otaku, as a matter of fact I think it’s more impressive to do a good English voice acting job than a good job voice acting in Japanese, but oftentimes the voice actors that do Anime just.. Something always seems off. I’m not sure what it is. I don’t necessarily prefer to watch it with the people speaking Japanese, it just feels more natural.

Plot Summary and Review

The movie, from what I could gather, follows the story of two characters Mitsuha, and Taki. Mitsuha, living her life, and hating it, wants to be born in a new life as “a handsome Tokyo boy”, and ends up getting her wish, though she ends up feeling rushed and confused a lot there, too. They keep switching bodies, and quickly become aware of it, and are trying to figure it out.  They lay down rules or one another, and are having difficulties adapting to one another’s lifestyles.

The characters felt like… Well, people. None of them felt particularly like filler, they all felt like they served a purpose, both for themselves and for the story, like they were just people living in a world. The two main characters are incredible. They’ve got depth. They director took the time and care to craft every person in this world to be unique, to be their own character, and to be a part of this world. It’s almost second to none, the way Makoto did this.

The switching bodies idea worked out. Their frustration with one another was reasonable, as their lives were changing around them and they weren’t aware of it. They gave human and realistic reactions, and worked with what they were given, and the fact that they were separated by time was an incredibly interesting turn of events, and gripped my attention.

Final Thoughts

I honestly didn’t think that I’d be nearly invested in this movie as I ended up being. The movie took my attention, and it kept it. The world was far more well developed than most any other show that I’d seen, anime, cartoon, or live action, and I have to praise Mikoto Shinkai for his incredible work here. Whether you’re a fan of anime or not, I can strongly recommend this movie to you. When you get the chance, watch it.

Your Name – 9/10

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