I'm Not Crying, You Are... *quietly sobs* - Kimi no Na wa (Your Name) Review

Thursday, June 1, 2017
Kimi no Na wa (Your Name) Review

I don't know how I'm suppose to do this film justice with this review... (I mean, I just can't...). My thoughts are currently such a churning mess that I'm not sure where to begin, but Kimi no Na wa (which is also known by the English title "Your Name") is undeniably a masterpiece. It's easily the best film from 2016 I've seen.

Synopsis & Details:

From director Makoto Shinkai, the innovative mind behind Voices of a Distant Star and 5 Centimeters Per Second, comes a beautiful masterpiece about time, the thread of fate, and the hearts of two young souls. The day the stars fell, two lives changed forever. High read more... schoolers Mitsuha and Taki are complete strangers living separate lives. But one night, they suddenly switch places.

Mitsuha wakes up in Taki's body, and he in hers. This bizarre occurrence continues to happen randomly, and the two must adjust their lives around each other. Yet, somehow, it works. They build a connection and communicate by leaving notes, messages, and more importantly, an imprint. When a dazzling comet lights up the night's sky, something shifts, and they seek each other out wanting something more-a chance to finally meet. But try as they might, something more daunting than distance prevents them. Is the string of fate between Mitsuha and Taki strong enough to bring them together, or will forces outside their control leave them forever separated?

Title: Kimi no Na wa (Your Name)
Series: N/A
Director(s): Makoto Shinkai
Studio: CoMix Wave Films
Release Date: April 7, 2017 (USA)
Genres: Contemporary, Fantasy, Romance

Going in, I wasn't quite sure what to expect.

From the trailer and everyone else's gushing, I knew it had something do with a boy and a girl body swapping and comets, but other than that, I was relatively clueless. And boy was I in for a wondrous surprise...

I have never been so touched by a film before. I'm at a lost for words. I don't know how to describe the pure sense of euphoria and deep sadness Kimi no Na wa left me with. Yes, it is a film about a girl and a boy swapping bodies, but it's also so much more. It's a profound examination of time, life, connection, and memory. It had me pondering the very nature of human existence, laughing my heart out, choking back sobs, and crying from happiness. (Haha, as expected this review has quickly devolved into a gushy and emotional mess....)

Taki watching the comet in Kimi no Na wa

I can not express the pure brilliance of Kimi no Na wa with its eloquent storytelling, powerful motifs, and exquisite soundtrack.

Oh the soundtrack, every note's perfection, and just listening to it now makes my heart ache so much.... It matches the tone of the film extremely well and does what any good soundtrack should, improves your watching experience and further envelops you in the story.

I hope that one day I'll be able to create something so heart touching, so brilliant, so incredibly eloquent.

Kimi no Na wa has left me in absolute awe. I can't say much without stumbling into spoiler territory (I want you all to have the same glorious revelations that I had while watching the film), but this story is just weaved so beautifully, and the comet adds such a magical aura to the movie.

Comet opening scene in Kimi no Na wa

Once it grabs your attention, Kimi no Na wa never let's go.

It takes you on a heart pounding, exhilarating journey that leaves you breathless and aching for more. The light humor melds perfectly with the deeply touching themes to create a moving and clever story. Throughout the movie, I kept trying to figure out how the director, Makoto Shinkai, possibly came up with such an amazing concept.

I'm not sure how I went so long without mentioning the stunning animation, but it's time to talk about the animation....

Every single frame of this film is freaking magnificent.

It's practically indescribable, so I'll just leave a bunch of screencaps for you below (after all, they do say a picture's worth a thousand words):

Mitsuha watching the comet in Kimi no Na wa Mitsuha and Taki connected by a red cord in Kimi no Na wa Shinto shrine gate in Kimi no Na wa Picnic on journey to the shrine in Kimi no Na wa Misty valley in Kimi no Na wa Journey to the shrine in Kimi no Na wa Meeting on the bridge in Kimi no Na wa

My only critique is that, if anything, the characters are a bit weak.

While the complex storyline was all I could think about after finishing Kimi no Na wa, the characters, even the main ones, barely left any imprint on me. Though, now that I think about it, this could've been an intentional move by Shinkai if he, say, wanted the viewers to project themselves onto Mitsuha and Taki.

The ending was everything I could've hoped for,

it ended at just the right moment and left just the right amount of questions unanswered (view spoiler)[even though my poor, long suffering heart desperately wanted to see them happily married with like 50 kids]. I'll certainly be watching for Shinkai's future work, as I'm sure pretty much everyone else will....

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Have you seen a Shinkai film? This was my first. What's your favorite Japanese animated work? (I'm on the prowl for more things to watch...)