Oh gosh, it’s been a while since I’ve been so in love with a film.
Your Name is a wonderful film. Go watch it.
If you like Studio Ghibli creations, this is for you. If you like a gripping fantasy romance animated story with a wonderful sense of humour, a mesmerising soundtrack, and gorgeous aesthetics, this is the film for you.
Contains spoilers, duh.
Your Name follows teenage girl Mitsuha, who wishes for a more colourful life outside the dull and tiny town she lives in, and Taki, a city-dwelling boy who ends up body-swapping with Mitsuha. What follows initially start as funny (as they both struggle with being unceremoniously thrown into each others’ lives and masquerading as each other), to satisfying (as they change each others’ lives for the better: Taki’s strong will overturning Mitsuho’s bullies’ reigns and Mitsuho’s kind, caring personality endearing Taki to his crush Okudera), to horrifying (as Taki realises Mitsuho’s outcome), to tense despair (as everything seems to not work, including Taki trying to get back to Mitsuho from three years ago and the villagers refusing to evacuate).
The story was beautifully woven from the get-go. Mitsuha’s desire for adventure and the bigger world is endearing and her enthusiasm in grasping her chance at this ‘dream’ of being Taki in Tokyo made her an easily sympathetic character. The story could have been quite memorable and enjoyable as it stood, but there’s another wrench — Taki and Mitsuho’s timelines run separately.
And to top it all off, they’ve already met, even though Taki didn’t know it at the time.
I honestly thought the story was initially going to end with Taki failing to save Itomori and everyone there dying anyway. That would have been a horrendously harsh ending a la GRRM, but not quite matching the happy, chirpy tone the story followed thus far. The, I thought it would end with both of them surviving, but losing their memories of each other (and that does happen) as the price for Taki essentially changing history. That would have been bittersweet and a fitting ending, but I’m not surprised the producers ultimately opted for the feel-good happy ending where the two characters end up meeting again as if they hadn’t rewritten the past. The bittersweet one would have been better, IMO.
But damn, the stringing along, wondering if Mitsuho even survived the comet crashing down the second time round, if the evacuation went on as planned, if everything else in the aftermath didn’t kill her, and then wondering if they’ll ever meet again — the tension had me on tenterhooks and I loved it.
The soundtrack and the aesthetics of it have quite the Studio Ghibli feel. I’m not usually one who notices the soundtrack of films, but damn, this one has me shook. The dramatic crescendos and the sweet melodies — just…
Just watch it already.
Verdict: 5 Stars. Will go back to the cinema to watch this.