Review: “Your name” by Makoto Shinkai

Director: Makoto Shinkai
Genre: Animation, Drama, Fantasy
Country: Japan
Duration: 1h 46min
Original title: Kimi no na wa
Cinema release date: January 26, 2017

Japan, 2010. Mitsuha Miyamizu, a high school student living in the small mountain town of Itomori, near Tokyo, is fed up with her monotonous life: she would like to be a charming boy from the metropolis. His mother died of illness, while his father, the mayor of the city, is almost a stranger. Thus he lives in a temple with his younger sister, Yotsuha, and his elderly grandmother Hitoha, a priestess. At the same time, Taki Tachibana, a high school student who lives in central Tokyo and carries out a part-time job in the Italian restaurant: The garden of words (reference to Shinkai’s previous work), wakes up in Mitsuha’s body, without knowing that the latter instead woken up in hers.

After understanding what happened, they try to communicate with each other by exchanging written messages on paper, or reminders on the cell phone, since the exchanges seem to last only until the next awakening. Accustomed to the strange situation, they begin to intervene in each other’s life: Mitsuha organizes for Taki the first date with his colleague Miki Okudera, an older girl who works with him at the restaurant, with whom he is in love, while Taki helps Mitsuha to be more popular in school. Subsequently, Mitsuha tells Taki about a comet that will pass near Japan on the day of his appointment and the autumn festival of his country, but the boy does not understand what you mean.

One day, Taki wakes up in her body. After the first date with Miki turns out to be a failure, he tries in vain to call Mitsuha. Later he realizes that it is no longer possible for them to exchange bodies and a few days later he decides to go directly to meet Mitsuha. Worried about Taki’s recent bizarre behavior, Okudera and friend Tsukasa join the search. Without knowing the name of the village, he travels to various rural areas of Japan, asking for information and showing his drawings of the place to the people. Eventually he gets to know the name of the village, Itomori, from an elderly restaurant owner who was born there, but is sadly told that three years earlier, during the village festival, a fragment of the comet Tiamat had fallen on it. , destroying it and killing a third of the inhabitants. Searching through the news about the incident in a library, he discovers that Mitsuha also died that day.

To try to resolve the situation, with the help of the restaurateur, Taki goes to the sanctuary of the local patron god Musubi, not far from Itomori: he thus discovers that the time lines in which the exchanges of bodies had taken place had been approximately 3 years from the start. After entering the sacred place, he decides to drink some kuchikamizake prepared by Mitsuha and which he himself, in her role, had left there as an offering, thus succeeding in rejoining Mitsuha’s body before the comet fell. Aware that there will be no more body exchanges after that, he runs to meet the girl at the top of Mount Hida that surrounds the shrine. Taki recommends that she persuade her father, the mayor, to evacuate the village, as the fall of the comet would be a catastrophe for the village.

The two boys, who know that at sunset, after dusk, they will resume their normal lives and will probably forget all the experiences lived in each other’s body, decide to write their respective names on each other’s hand; Mitsuha, however, disappears before having written her own, while Taki, as the girl will later discover, writes “I love you” on her hand. Back in their own bodies, as expected, the two are no longer able to remember anything of what had happened in their “dream”. However, with renewed determination Mitsuha turns to her father again to try to evacuate the country and thus change the course of events: shortly after the comet fragment crashes into Itomori, razing it halfway to the ground.

Eight years later from the comet, and five instead for Taki’s present, it is learned that that time Mitsuha was able to convince her father to evacuate the country just in time and avert the massacre. The boy, meanwhile, has graduated and is looking for a job, but still has the constant feeling of having to find something or someone. Furthermore, he has remained strangely attached to magazines and people concerning Itomori, which seem strangely familiar to him. While the two are on different trains and look at the window, when the vehicles run side by side, their gazes meet, arousing a strange and intense sensation in Mitsuha and Taki. Both get off at the next stop and start looking for each other, finally meeting at the foot of a staircase, but passing hesitantly and uncertainly. Taki finds the courage to speak to Mitsuha and, crying, the two wonder: “What is your name?”.

“It was like a vision within a dream, nothing less than this, a magnificent sight.”

You Name is a gem of its kind, an animated film that is hard to forget because the plot, story and characters are well characterized and leave the viewer with a vertigo of emotions and butterflies in the stomach. For the entire duration of the film you hope that these two guys will at least once manage to hold hands and be able to exchange their names.

At first it is quite funny, especially when the person is exchanged; Taki the first thing he does is just open your eyes to touch her tits, many times the sorrellina of Mitsuha surprises him and thinks his sister is crazy and then back to normal the next day. Instead Mitsuba wakes up with the urgent need to pee and this embarrasses her enormously. These scenes greatly lighten the tragedy that will happen next, as we learn about both the boys and their lives.

Hardly you will not be caught by surprise when the story will take the tragic vein, but it would not be a Japanese film, they worship the pain and sufferings, and also in this film does not deny.

You empathize with both of them and it’s impossible to hold back the tears. The existence of Mitsuha and the whole village, where she leads her quiet country life, risks being wiped out forever.

“It can’t end like this” is what I repeated to myself as I tried to swallow the Magone.

Taki becomes my hero, he does not give up, although there is no logical sense of what happened. There must be a reason why even though it had been 3 years since that disaster Mitsuha somehow got in touch with him, and it happens, he finds a way to save her.

The music is beautiful and creates the right suspense in the various scenes, especially the more dramatic ones. The designs are bright and almost real and the story is a modern fairytale with a happy ending.

If for some obscure reason you have not yet seen it or have left it aside, because the vision did not convince you, I warmly invite you to see it as soon as possible. You too will become fans of these two guys who, with only willpower and great determination, have totally changed their future.

“Sorry… Haven’t we met before? (tears)

I thought so too.

(Together): What is your name?


Your Name is a 2016 Japanese animated film written and directed by Makoto Shinkai. The film premiered at Anime Expo 2016, held in Los Angeles, California on July 3, 2016, and then in Japan on August 26, 2016.

The feature film is related to the novel of the same name by Shinkai himself, published on June 18, 2016.

Shōsetsu: kimi no na wa. (小説 君 の 名 は), published in Italy with the same title as the film, is the official novel of Your Name. However, Shinkai considers it “a new version of the film”. The two works are complementary since, while dealing with the same plot without making major differences, each tells it in a different way, enriching itself with details that the other version does not have. The novel was published in his homeland by Kadokawa on June 18, 2016, already in September of the same year it had sold more than a million copies. In Italy it has been published since January 18, 2017 by J-Pop and in February 2017, it returned to the list of the fifty best-selling books in the Feltrinelli bookstore circuit.

A children’s edition, also written by Shinkai, published by Kadokawa on August 15, 2016, was offered with illustrations by the artist Chico and ruby ​​notes in furigana to make reading easier for children.

“If this was just a dream… I recognize this landscape because I must have remembered the disaster three years ago.

If not, then is she a ghost? No, it must be in my imagination.

I do not remember what his name was. “

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