I had not heard much about Your Name going in apart from the extent of its success, but I’m perfectly fine with something of this quality getting so much attention. Barring any concessions to mainstream anime sensibilities (I’m thinking mainly the character designs and the pop soundtrack), the way the story plays out has the feel of an old myth supplanted onto a contemporary setting. It uses a bodyswapping premise that could be so easily hackneyed – and has been in both other movies/ anime – and goes further with it to explore both its two lead characters lots of different dichotomies. Male and Female. Rural and City. Modern and Ancient. The present and the timeless. All of these things are further enhanced by animation (ranging from photorealism to painterly to digital) and the editing, merging all places and times together in a haze until all that’s left is the emotion: the right kind of sentiment.
This film will probably be the one to put Makoto Shinkai’s name on the animation map. It certainly has for me.
*This is partly short because I watched it in Mandarin without the subtitles. I think I’ll like this film more when I know what characters are actually saying; the intentional timeline muddling in particular made things confusing for someone watching without the benefit of exposition. To revisited!