Makoto Shinkai's Your Name Review
Date: 2016 November 17th Thursday [15:41] | Posted By: Joe
Makoto Shinkai's latest movie Your Name is due for a UK wide cinema release on Thursday 24th November 2016. You can find a screening near you by visiting YouNameTheMovie.co.uk.
We saw the the movie before it started to climb at the Japanese box office and become one of the highest grossing movies of all time in Japan.
We also interviewed the director Makoto Shinkai asking him lots of interesting questions about the movie.
Now the question you're asking, is the movie actually any good? Well wonder no more. We wrote this review before the hype picked up. So read on to get thoughts on the film!
Your Name is the latest offering from renowned anime director Makoto Shinkai. Based on the book also written by Shinkai, the story follows Mitsuha, a teenage school girl living in rural Japan. She lives in a small town, with not much in the way of excitement. She lives with her grandmother and little sister, who together run the local shrine and perform traditional rituals. Her dad is running for office as the local mayor, so she constantly has to behave as the perfect daughter in the eyes of the locals. She longs for the bright lights and buzz of Tokyo.
Meanwhile in Tokyo we have Taki, your regular Japanese school boy who is the same age as Mitsuha. Taki lives with his dad in a small apartment and does shifts as a waiter at an upmarket Italian restaurant to make ends meet.
The two have never met, but somehow share a connection. Both dream of the other's life and switch bodies as a result. It's not clear to them how they triggered this body switching, but each wake up in the other's body.
Looking at the movie, even without being told, it's obviously a Makoto Shinkai feature. It has all his trademark elements: the detailed lavish background scenery, the distinct colour palette with those bold sunsets that stand out. The use of mobile phones is also a classic Makoto Shinkai plot device, ever since his debut with Voices of Distant Star. The Tokyo scenery makes The Garden of Words look like a warm up for Your Name.
Shinkai's story telling has become more mature. The supporting cast is well thought out and you'll enjoy them just as much as the leads. Some of the signature Shinkai melancholy has been replaced with humour. There's lots of laughter to be had as Mitsuha and Taki have to adapt to each other's gender and lives while switching back and forth.
There's a great flavour of Japanese culture in the movie, with the bleeding-edge modern Tokyo, offset by the traditional shrines and dense forests. Lookout for the symbolism with the red cord too, a nod to the red string of fate.
It's as if Shinkai's whole career has been a warm up for this feature. It has a big budget which translates to a level of polish beyond his previous works. It's destined to become an anime classic. It did well in the Japanese box office, which isn't surprising.
Even if you're not familiar with the directors previous works, you should seek this film out. It's everything good anime should be.
We enjoyed Your Name on the big screen and suggest you do too. Your Name makes a fantastic impact on the big cinema screen. It'll be shown nationally around the UK on Thursday 24th November 2016.
If you want to find out more about Your Name then head over to our interview with the director Makoto Shinkai.