Your Name – 4.5/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Your Name – 4.5/5 – Japanese animation is something that I enjoy quite a lot.  Mostly referenced as anime in the western world, it is a form of entertainment that does have its ups and downs.  For all that are deemed great (Cowboy Bebop, Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood), there will always be those less worthy (Magical Warfare).  When an anime makes its way to America, it is an event.  Your Name is anime that goes beyond being an event.  From the characters, the story and relevant themes, Your Name is a truly transcending tale for everyone.

Premise: Two strangers find themselves with a bizarre connection.  Through this bond, they come to realize the true nature of life, love and what it means to meet that soulmate for the very first time.

Being a foreign film, the voice actors/actresses are generally not well known in America.  I recommend going to the IMDb page.  Overall, the voice acting is superb.  No matter if you’re focused on the main characters of Taki and Mitsuha, or any of the side characters, you feel their purpose to the story.  The depth comes from the power of vocal detail.  With a lack of knowledge of Japanese and only being able to follow through subtitles; the ability to feel that passion, joy and heartbreak with emotive sounds is truly aspiring.  The delicate detail comes in a combination of feeling the actions (of the animation) paralleled to the dialogue.  The witnessing of human depth comes across as pure as a real-life conversation.  You feel the reason in the main characters’ interactions, eager to learn more about the connection between two unlikely individuals.  No matter how big or small the screen time is provided to the main people in the film, you know there is a real, lively world around everything.

The direction can only be described as fluidity at its finest.  With the premise of the film starting with the generalized idea of two people ‘body-swapping’, the story flows through an endless array of intuitive themes, character dynamics and heartfelt disguises.  Combined with this is a mixture of many different genres.  You get a creative bowl of oddities that gives the audience a starting point to whom are unfamiliar with the common tropes that are associated with Japanese storytelling.  There is a sensual take on humor, an endearing attachment of drama and poignant detail with characters moving along the story.  This all occurs in a confessional like approach, breaking the traditional acts so that the story feels wholesome but ironically abstract.  As stated, the film puts the main plot on two characters, Taki and Mitsuha, who have some exceptional connection.  This connection allows them to switch bodies and live as the other for a day.  From the common ‘thrust into life’ anime cliché approach, the hilarity of mishaps and oddness helps bring to life the unique situation.  As the story continues, the methodical pacing of character building and story revelation helps to show some more background detail of the characters and their connection.  Slowly but gracefully, you begin to see a complexion of the core parts in a human relationship that lends itself to something personal.  There is substance to their bond, one that shows no boundaries against the linearity of time.  As there is a continuing lifting of the veil on both of their lives, certain plot points began to connect.  This brings about that auspicious trail (that most anime fans are aware of), that bridges to a linear but unpredictable journey to bring the characters together.  Through some convenient setups, characterized follies and typical Japanese story tropes, you are engaged in the common ‘race against time’ scenario.  Everything comes to head when the spiritual meets reality for both characters.  The hinting of consequences come to the fray as memories of everlasting begin to feel more like lost hope.  That fragile presences of human condition helps bring the dynamic of the characters’ connection to the forefront, showing a raw link towards life, love and belief.  That thoughtful approach shows the organic nature of the direction, showing that the development of the visual appeal is just as important as the dialogue.  There is a real sense to show emotional fervor; one that builds upon the likes that aren’t always found in live action films.  This helps raise the film’s enjoyment by showing meaning towards the characters, journey and ultimate ending.  Once you come to the epilogue, it is a winding down of past choices.  This will show you a different kind of complexion to the Westernized cliché of ‘happily ever after’.  It is obvious but fitting, generating that real notion of how real it is to meet someone for the very first time.

The visuals are some of the best-looking designs found in any form of animation.  From the creation of the characters to the vast artistic approach of people and places in Japan, you feel a part of this world.  From the lush, open valleys and mountains of Mitsuha lakeside town to the hustle and bustle of the livelihood of Taki in Tokyo, you are engaged from broad panorama to the delicate, microscopic detail.  The use of fluid motion, rich colors and focal transition of each scene helps bring to life the animated recreation of Japan.  The score is a mixture of songs and generic background sounds.  At points the music can bring up the enjoyment, but for the most part it doesn’t have a real touch towards the story or characters.

Your Name is an anime film that goes beyond its medium and gives you a a completely wholehearted experience.  From the characters, story to the all-around visuals, you will find something endearing in the end.  I recommend this for all anime fans, and anyone that wants to see a great invoking tale of life.  This is worth the full price, hopefully you all experience this amazing film.

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