Your name is a beautiful film made by Makoto Shinkai, a talented director who bought us “The garden of words, children who chase lost voices and voices of a distant star and so on.
Shinkai likes to tell stories that mostly revolve around star-cross lovers and childhood evolving into adulthood.
Many awards shows in the US were criticized for not including it in their best-animated film awards along with “A silent voice” with it.
The story, the visuals, the characters, the visuals, the music, the way the light touches the characters and its complicated and loving storyline, and the journey each of them takes, personally made me cry at the end of the movie, as someone who watches this movie almost every month as a ritual it has absolutely filled me with emotions each time.
Kimi No Na Wa is honestly a masterpiece defeating “spirited away” as the number one highest grossing film.
Your name is a 2D animated film that deals with the ties people have, the custom and traditions people have, and how time leaves everything together.
The movie highly takes on the Asian myth of “the red thread of fate” or “the string of faith” which talks about how two soul mates are connected to each other by a red thread are destined to be together no matter the time, place, or circumstance.
Your name is a time travel body-switching movie, the main plot is that the two main characters named Mitsuha and Taki randomly switch bodies whenever they are asleep, hence waking up in the other person’s body.
This makes Taki (the male protagonist) switches bodies with Mitsuha (the female protagonist)
Taki doesn’t remember anything that happens when Mitsuha is in his body and the other way around, so they have to write down on their phones what happened during the switch so that they are kept up to date.
The switches feel like dreams and are later explained in the film.
The film also talks about a greater power tying everything together called “musubi”, weaving threads is Musubi, people sharing bonds is Musubi and the flow of time is also Musubi.
Taki lives in Tokyo while Mitsuha lives in the fictional town of Itomori. Itomori’s lake was created by a meteor that had split and crashed onto earth many years ago, and another meteor is going to pass through the same route and create a second crater to unify with the old one.
When Taki visits the shrine, he remembers from his switch to Mitsuha’s body he drinks the Kuchikamizake and is reconnected with Mitsuha, and his Musubi is united with the thread that Mitsuha gave him three years ago.
The creative visuals in which Taki travels through her life is so beautiful that it can only be captured in 2D art. This sequence showcases how everything connects with each other.
From the fall of the meteor to the cutting of an umbilical cord and the creation of life to the end of life.
Creative scenes like these are what make Your name so beautiful to look at and enjoy, there is so much attention to detail, and every line matters, everything looks natural, and nothing on your face.
Unlike normal movies, these need to be drawn by hand, and hence Shinkai’s storyboards need to be perfect because, unlike 3D animations where you can easily change angles and make the characters do anything easily, it is similar to live-action films where if you do one thing wrong everything needs to be done again.
Everything from dialog matching to storyboard planning is done by Shinkai, he also created one of his first animated films all on his own.
What makes Shinkai’s movies so enjoyable is his weather and background portrayals that really set the scene for the movie-making us not only focus on his well-written characters but also on everything around them.
The entire film is like a fairy tale and yet tells us a simple love story about star-cross lovers while going through complicated theories.
It tells about love persisting even if you forget about love in the first place, even if time and space separates two people, there is something unworldly that connects them.
Shinkai looks at the more extrospective look into the character’s lives and how everything is tied together.
There is something in the movie that feels like escapism while still feeling grounded.
The characters are seen dealing with a lot of problems with their not so simple yet realistic lives while also trying to find one another, we not only see them feel these things but also act out on them and showcase these beautiful scenes that show these intense emotions and desires.
One of the most contrasting things Shinkai has done to add more thrill and drama to the plot is to keep a time limit- like how Mitsuha only has a day to save her town after learning about what is going to happen to it, which makes the viewers get on the edge of their seats waiting for what will happen next.
We see some things go right and in the character’s favor but we also see them get more and more desperate to do something which is why the next scenes are so amazing.
The final meeting scenes between the two characters are very refreshing and lets the audience breathe and reflect before having Mitsuha run down the huge hill and try to save the town in her own way.
Shinkai has an amazing grasp on his audience and lets them breathe after so many intense scenes hence making it more engaging before continuing on with the main plot.
The film doesn’t only focus on the two main characters but also their close circle of friends which shows us how they react when the two characters change bodies.
These reactions really help us grasp the concept of the bodies switching and their new personalities.
The switches show how Taki in Mitsuha’s body portrays her as more masculine and louder while Mitsuha in Taki’s body is much quieter. Eventually, they get used to the new surrounding and are used to their new lives.
We slowly see the two fall in love with what the other has written for them and how they treat the other person’s friends when they have exchanged bodies, but have never had a full conversation till they meet on top of the mountain.
The movie really builds up this long-distance relationship. The time where Mitsuha goes on a very long ride to Tokyo in order to find Taki shows and builds up the desperation even more, but she is met with disappointment, not knowing how the time in between them works yet.
The idea of the switching feeling like dreams that your start to forget becomes a curse around the end, and what was once a fun gag becomes a dilemma.
Because of this desperation, a small and final part of the movie is reserved to show us what had happened after the meteor crash to know if these two ever meet each other again.
The time skip is also an excellent way to show us where the rest of the characters have gone with their life’s now that five years have passed for Taki and eight years have passed for Mitsuha.
The narration at the beginning of the film, which is the same as the start of the film reaffirms the feelings the protagonists have, they have accomplished something great and have found love, but cannot find or remember each other.
The excruciating ending scene ends with the two passing each other many times, and then finally meeting each other out of pure chance, and after so long of showing how these characters are feeling.
The background score plays a huge part in the movie to showcase this “running scene” of them trying to find each other intensifies this moment leading onto the moment of truth which is truly heart-warming.
It is the message that no matter what time or place or situation one is in, what had once tied together with something, which in this case is love, always comes back in the end.
Because that is Musubi- the union.