I watched this film at Anime Expo 2016 Los Angeles. I'll try to keep my review as spoiler-less as possible.
The film holds true to all the expectations of a Makoto Shinkai production, from heartfelt smiles to crying the 5th time within the last 30 minutes. His signature metaphorical use of trains, the idea of a hopeless and distant love, and beautiful scenery really dive you emotionally into the story, even for how generic and simple it may seem.
The story is fairly simple to understand, and very easy to guess where the story will head while watching the
film. It warrants a 7 simply because I felt a lack of surprise going through the film. Be this as it may, I am also a 4 year long film major, and having seen and analyzed film tropes in an educational environment, I am confident to say that I am more proficient at guessing most stories than your typical average Joe. However, this does not take away from my overall score which I shall highlight later.
As expected of a Makoto Shinkai film, the artwork is beautiful. The production quality is off the charts. The art in itself is enough to evoke tears, as it did for me during even the trailer. His choice of colors and use of movement and focus within the frame really help you pay attention to what you need to pay attention to, while also not skimping out and leaving out detail if your eyes do decide to stray, which I recommend you do while watching any Makoto Shinkai film for every blur, light flare, and particle floating along the screen really do add incredible amounts of emotion to the scene/screen. Among my friends we consider most Makoto Shinkai films as "5 Wallpapers per Second" and for good reason.
Granted I watched this film in an auditorium with hundreds of people, I can't give an accurate score as of writing this review. I don't know who did the music for the film, but during the Q&A Panel held with Shinkai, he mentioned that he messaged one of his favorite bands that he was working on a film, and wanted them to do the music, to which they said yes.
The music was done by the band RADWIMPS, a Japanese rock/alternative rock band. Some people have come to me asking whether or not this took away from the cinematic or emotional feel of the film, but in my opinion it helped in a way characterize the characters of Mitsuha and Taki. Rock music carries with it a sense of youth. Bringing that youthful feeling to the film's soundtrack helps to establish the sense of naivety to the characters and their interactions. It really helps establish the characters as teenagers who don't know or care about right from wrong, but rather would do what they feel in their heart is the right thing to do, which is exactly what motivates Mitsuha and Taki in their adventure.
I wouldn't say I have much of a complaint about main characters Taki and Mitsuha. We all can relate to the high school phase of our lives, it appeals to us because stories we read or watch in books or films set on characters that are going through this remind us of our own springtime of youth. Shinkai did a good job at portraying them and their relationships. My main gripe is that I feel they weren't explored enough to feel a strong sense of emotional attachment. Their lives, personalities, traits, habits, friends, lifestyles, etc are all explored in the first ~20 minutes, I personally felt that we only skimmed the surface of these characters and are forced to go further into the shallow end of a pool, only hoping that it gets deeper to actually swim around in this world of possibilities. I wanted to laugh, cry, and even relate more with the characters, but I felt that I only read about them in a story, or saw them in a film (which I did).
I wanted to feel they could have actually existed, but the film seems to be a bit too reliant on cliche tropes to incite certain emotions. The feeling I felt is similar to seeing characters smiling and laughing with each other, and having to individually accept that this is enough to establish their inner motivations, time spent together, individual goals, etc. I felt like it wasn't enough, and just had to accept that Taki and Mitsuha were the way they were. It felt sometimes that their actions were baseless and lacking a strong motivation to be deserving of the emotion the characters poured into their actions. As if acting on a limb to do something as insane as climbing a mountain alone. I will admit that this can be disputed, however, as they are still children/teenagers, and we all do weird things for no reason growing up.
As little as I felt I delved into the personalities of the characters, I did enjoy the film a lot. Shinkai's metaphorical use of trains just continuing to go along their routes that diverge in several ways really applies in this film, as much as it did in 5 Centimeters per Second. Everyone's lives diverge in different ways, things happen in dreams and are forgotten the next day, things happen in reality and are forgotten over a lifetime. I enjoyed Taki's and Mitsuha's struggles throughout the film to help each other, and as much as it made me well up tears in my eyes, I enjoyed his questioning of how much our memories make up who we are.
An absolutely stunning masterpiece by Makoto Shinkai.
Edit: I watched this at the World Premier in Los Angeles on July 3rd. It was released in Japanese theaters on August 26th. It is set to be streamed online (for north america) via funimation, hopefully within the next month or so.
Spectacular animation. There is one particular scene near the beginning which has a sort of "3D camera rotation" that looks so real that I thought it was rendered; but at the last second, the character turned their head, and I was able to tell that it had been
entirely hand-drawn. There are scenes where basic physics are completely altered, yet they managed to make it 100% smooth, dragging me along through the character's experience.
Characters. Due to the movie format, most of the characters had very simple personalities. The depth of the characters was sacrificed for the overarching story, ultimately leading to the main characters having deeper personalities, with the side characters left behind. Don't be confused though. For the format, the character depth that they managed to convey was incredible. Small hints were blended into many scenes, discretely conveying the characters' backgrounds and personalities.
Sound. The depth of the musical score was incredible, though I will need to re-watch it with my usual headphones before committing fully. There was not a single sound that felt out of place. All the characters' voices suited their appearances, leading to a very immersive experience.
Story. The story is conceptually very simple, but a lot of depth is added as the story goes on. The show drives several important points, which can be very philosophical, without being too complicated for the average viewer to understand. Additionally, none of the story is sacrificed in order to drive these ideas, they are inseparably blended together.
Impact. During the show, I laughed, and I cried. Now don't get me wrong, that's a big deal. At the time of writing, only two other anime have made me cry. Also, I was at the premier, and thus out in public; I certainly wasn't the only one. Please don't approach this anime lightly. It's truly an experience that you can never forget.
Timing. During the movie, there is a sequence where two characters get to know each other, which felt slightly rushed. It could have been better to have the full experience played out, or at least pieces of it, lengthening the movie as required.
World building. The depth of the story and characters took a toll on the world's completeness, leaving some unanswered questions. Most characters didn't have worldviews or ideas of right vs wrong, there simply wasn't time to develop them. Also, where the world came from, and what the ending implies for the world itself, is left unanswered.
-- I wrote this review immediately after leaving the premier. I will continue and edit it after I have had time to process the movie's depth.
Review of "Your Name."
Directed, Written, and Created by Makoto Shinkai
"Your Name." is, in a word, a journey. A journey into what will surely be the future of cinematography, as well as a journey on a grand emotional roller coaster.
Technically speaking, labeling this film a "masterpiece" is an insult by omission. Given that Shinkai is a master, anything he makes is obviously going to be a "masterpiece," but among silt there is gold, and among gold there may be diamonds. This movie is a diamond, easily the prettiest feature length film I've ever seen; more so than even fetishistic attempts to be just
that such as Samsara.
Feats of the cinematography include impossibly vibrant and dynamic crowds, animation that is outstanding even among his other works-nay-ESPECIALLY among his other works, match cuts that would make Kubrick jealous, impeccable blocking, usage of the golden ratio in memory of Akira Kurosawa, domicile camera work reminiscent of Yasujiro Ozu (and Tokyo Story in particular), and ellipses reminiscent of the late Satoshi Kon. I'd also like to add that this film featured GENIUS uses of animation to do what I can only describe as Buster Keaton esque "impossible gags" and I am CERTAIN he must have spent many months studying the godfathers of cinema to have POSSIBLY seen the seeds for this type of genius cinematography.
Worthy of particular praise is the editing, and ESPECIALLY the sound design. Immediately, I was slammed by how immersive the atmosphere was. The music is so successfully integrated and the sound so visceral that you can't tell where your internal pace starts and where the score starts having its way with you. As the film progresses, the movie integrates full, soulful rock songs by the Radwimps (my favorite Jrock band, btw). Appearantly, Shinkai and the Radwimps worked together for more than 18 months as they constantly modified and worked on the audio of the film, as early back as letting the cuts and rythym of the storyboards dictate every aspect of the COMPLETELY ORIGINAL SCORE.
Make no mistake in correlating beauty and technical marvel with lack of emotional range, as this is Shinkais funniest film to date by A HUGE MARGIN, as well as the saddest, happiest, most dramatic, suspenseful, philosophical... this film is a superlative in every sense of the word.
Now, on the topic of the plot, it is not that I won't spoil the movie for you, it is that I genuinely cannot. Much like how Inception cannot truley be summarized, this film cannot truley be summarized. It contains complexity exceeding that which I thought truley impossible while maintaining any kind of narrative. And it not only maintains narrative, it DRAGS you nose first on the wildest emotional journey I've ever experienced. And it does so using an unprecedentedly real approach to subject matter too long fixtured to the perverse and otherwise absurd. I never thought the plot device he used was even capable of being used classily, but holy CRAP I was wrong.
The story is full of foreshadowing, "Iceburg effects", and such personal and visceral tradgedy the likes of which I've only seen described by Shakespeare.
The Wachowski's "Cloud Atlas" was a similar film to this one in a few regards (AND ONLY A FEW). Both have unprecedented scope, the likes of which are so human and so emotionally intimate that one would think the story doomed to the uncanny valley of unsympathetic characters. "Your Name." Succeeds where cloud atlas failed.
Layers of meta narrative and copious amounts of immersive shoehorning will glue you to your seat like an unblinking tear fountain.
Before the film, Shinkai said to the audience "I finished making this film 4 days ago" and I believe this absolutely. Not because the film felt rushed (because it didn't), but because I genuinely believe that there is nothing left he could have done to improve this movie in any way.
-40 minutes of my convention time compulsively writing this review
-The TOP of my reccomendation list
“Kimi no Na wa.” (Your Name) opens with a radiant comet traversing over the night sky, splitting apart into various meteors that illuminate and streak the heavens. Stars and celestial imagery often feature in Makoto Shinkai’s films, and the brilliance of the opening set piece could be dismissed as eye-candy. However, its significance is not fully understood until much later.
To speak of names, one does not invoke Makoto Shinkai in conjunction with the phrase “happy ending.” To say that he has made his fame off producing romance anime is only half the story, as his work’s exploration of themes such as distance and unrequited love
often impart a wistful and bittersweet aftertaste. “Byousoku 5 Centimeter” (5 Centimeters per Second), his most famous title to date, is both loved and reviled for its directorial willingness to defy the sort of resolution that viewers have come to expect out of the romance genre.
While “Kimi no Na wa.” continues to incorporate motifs and concepts familiar to past Shinkai works, it reflects a maturation of his artistic vision to tell a tale of love and determination that transcends time, distance, and even apocalyptic odds.
The film centers on two characters, Mitsuha Miyamizu – a schoolgirl in rural Japan who dreams of going to the city, and Taki Tachibana, an aspiring architectural student in Tokyo. With the passing of a rare comet, the two start imagining out of body experiences in which their consciousness swaps with each other while they sleep and dream. This leads to no shortage of comedic moments, as the two characters take turns exploring and manipulating their alternate lives – and bodies. As the nature of their dreamlike, out of body experiences is revealed, the two resolve to meet each other. But in their attempt to do so, a dark truth of their relationship emerges, accelerating the story and replacing the comedic elements with a suspenseful quest to find each other and ultimately, race against time. “Kimi no Na wa.” weaves a complex, multilayered narrative that explores the struggle of human emotions against fate. You can feel Mitsuha and Taki’s determination, confusion, and desperation as they toil against temporal reality, a journey that leaves viewers equal parts thrilled and emotionally exhausted.
Makoto Shinkai reaffirms his place at the forefront of animation, as the film’s stunning backgrounds and fluid motion easily make this one of the most visually ambitious anime of the past year. Superb art direction and character designs with the assistance of Masayoshi Tanaka (AnoHana, Toradora, KokoSake) give the film a modern, colorful aesthetic.
Though some might be repelled or jaded by segments that feel like emotional manipulation – especially when considering Shinkai’s past filmography – “Kimi no Na wa.” succeeds in delivering an engrossing experience, complete with magnificent set pieces, laughs, and heart-wrenching, gripping drama. This film — the culmination of Shinkai’s skill in exploring the melancholy aspects of love and distance, is just as much a lesson on the value of finding happiness through unshakeable resolve, initiative, and overcoming doubt and hesitation.
Makoto Shinkai's latest work goes even further to support the theory that he's fantastic at directing a visually brilliant movie, but lacks the writing ability to tell a good story.
An absolute mess. Without spoiling it, this movie fails to get into the main plot until roughly halfway through. Before that point, it views like a teenage slice of life; nothing to be disappointed by. After the halfway mark, the plot becomes incredibly contrived with no logic, reason, or thought put into its creation. There were at least 4 separate climaxes (which is inexcusable for any movie which is not Return of the King) and
an overly drawn out epilogue sequence. The main climax happens off screen, which negates the entire build up to it, because Shinkai wanted to have a reveal with little weight. There are an unacceptable amount of plotholes, mostly due to the concept of Musubi. There's little coherence, and amateur directing/writing displayed frequently throughout. To differentiate this from his other movies, Shinkai infused supernatural elements with romance, which fails horribly at enhancing the movie and instead detracts very significantly. Even amongst the people who love this movie, there is a large percentage that find the plot messy.
It's Makoto Shinkai. If movies were judged by aesthetics alone, this would be one of the best ones. There are no issues with the art. Scene composition is mostly great, the animation was very high quality, and the art style was beautiful. While there are not as many wallpaper opportunities as in 5cm/s, the quality of them is significantly higher. Watch this in the highest possible quality you can find. Worth watching for the art alone. The animation is what you'd expect from a high budget movie, but it's not anything revolutionary. There are several scenes that move beautifully and feel like magic to look at. The animation quality isn't quite up to Ghibli standards but it is nothing to scoff at.
Voice actors were quite good and played different roles effectively. The change in voice aesthetic was notable during the first half. The soundtrack was unmemorable, but set the scene adequately, and it may help to broaden your horizons and expose you to new music. Sound FX and general background noise was well produced and sounded natural. The opening sequence song in particular stood out and is worth a listen, but I can't say that for most of the soundtrack.
The mains were adolescents, which meant there was a lot of adolescent stuff going on in the first half. The characters were interesting initially, though none stood out as incredibly well written and became less and less captivating as the movie went on. The main positive about the characters was that they mostly felt natural, save for when they were clearly not meant to. Side characters were certainly more natural than the mains, and contributed well to the atmosphere of the movie. They develop plot stupidity and have no depth or drive other than the forced romance, and plot amnesia is introduced for added gratuitous drama. There is no reason for the characters to become stupid, or amnesiacs, and it detracts from the believability of the characters and the plot.
Buy this on bluray because it looks stunning. Don't expect good characters, or a remotely good plot, but do expect to salivate at another of Shinkai's wallpaper opportunity movies. Worth the watch for the visuals. It's an awful movie that looks good.
As of writing this review, this film is currently the highest rated anime on this site and naturally I was curious to what all the fuss was about. While this movie has absolutely amazing visuals coupled with a fantastic musical score along with great directing by Makoto Shinkai, unfortunately, the script and characters, in my eyes, could have been a lot better.
The narrative of this film centres around our two protagonists; Mitsuha, who lives in a rural part of Japan who is bored of her everyday life and wishes to live in Tokyo and Taki who, well...lives in Tokyo. There is literally
nothing else that defines this character at all. One day they begin to switch bodies and live out each other's lives for short periods of time at regular intervals. Why this exactly happens is never explained to us at all and feels more like a plot convenience than any other supernatural or spiritual event of some kind.
The first half of the film plays out like your typical high school comedy and while this concept of a girl and boy switching bodies is not entirely original it still comes across as fun. Easily my favorite part of this film are the scenes in which we see how each of these characters affects each other's life and the consequences that arise as a result of this. The scenes in which they were instructing each other on what not to do when they're in each other's bodies, comes across as smart and funny and I was interested in a concept of how each person could have made one another appreciate their life more, or help to improve their life in some way. But that's all we really get as a whole. The characterisation and characters themselves felt a little weak and dry too but, despite all that, the first half is somewhat enjoyable and fun all the way through.
However, where I really being to lose interest is during the second half and this is where it becomes more apparent that the film is trying to ride on its own conveniences a little too much. For starters, the love that we're supposed to buy into, for me at least, came across as forced and boring. The two characters begin to muster feelings for each other and it comes across as superficial since they've barely even spoken in real life to each other and every time they do, they forget about each other immediately afterwards. Despite a massive threat of death looming over these characters, I simply didn't care since I was so uninterested in all of them since the film never gave me any reason to care from the start. None of the characters are barely developed and Taki especially has hardly any personality to speak of so it becomes hard to attach yourself onto him or to care for his struggles in the least.
When the film began to introduce time and amnesia into the mix, it felt like a cluster of ideas and themes that never really fit together nor played out in a satisfying way. A lot of the time the story felt way too convenient and some of the plot devices felt kind of lazy. To me, the fact that everyone was evacuated before the comet hit OFF screen felt really lazy and that scene could have been fantastic character development for Mitsuha as she would of had to finally confront her father and we could learn more about their relationship. I can perhaps understand that the writer may have wanted to create some suspense for the audience by leaving it ambiguous as to weather or not they escaped but since we find out only three minutes later it seems kind of pointless in retrospect. Some characters I felt were a waste of time and didn't really add anything to the overall plot. Miki could have been removed from the plot entirely and it wouldn't have made much difference. I feel as if the final shot could have been much more powerful if I had cared about these characters at all during the duration of the film
Now the film does do a good job in the FEEELS not because it was derivative of the characters (which it should be to feel a greater sense of urgency during the climax) but because of the beautiful animation and framing. Every frame looks amazing especially during the more emotionally heavy scenes and, as I said before, the directing for this film is fantastic. The frames are well detailed with high levels of movement and the music does a fantastic job at immersing you in its world. I can appreciate all of the effort that went into the technical side of this anime which is why it pains me to see the plot and characters being presented in such a weak way.
All in all, if you're able to look past the flaws in the script the film is highly enjoyable and it doesn't take too much to feel the emotion they try to convey through the cinematography. Just turn your brain off and enjoy the great visuals and the music.
THE AUTHOR-Makoto Shinkai who is regarded as one of the finest director of recent time and with works likes "Hoshi no Koe" "GOW" "5CMPS" under his belt,there is no doubt about the caliber of this man.
His majority of works relies mainly on the visual effect where each frame speak a word for itself,the tension he creates between the characters,the emotion he depicts with that and overall execution which even makes a simplest of the story somewhat extraordinary to watch.
I really find myself fond of those and following Shinkai over the years,I realised that plot-based work is never his strong point
and when I heard that "Kimi no Na Wa" is a full-length film,I didn't felt much confident about it but the internet made me crazy overnight,reading the reviews of numerous self-made critics and the comments over social networking site,it feed my desire more and more to watch the film and at one point I was like even if I stumble upon a black and white 60P print,I would take it without any hesitation but fortunately I got better than that and I was prepared to ride on the feel train but my experience were utterly different from what I imagine to be.
STORY- (3/10) First of all the plot isn't original, to begin with,I could relate a lot of work that gives close resemblance.
Let's start with "Ditto" a Korean film where two people living twenty-one years apart in time able to contact each other through radio or "Lake House" an American film with the same concept but the time difference is two years and mean of communication is through letters.
Bringing another work to notice, 'It's a Boy Girl Thing" Where two individuals swapped bodies,adapted to their surroundings and over time fall in love.
How does it sound?
Finally mixed it up with Japanese settings and some unexplainable science fiction stuff,here comes the idea of masterminded plot for "Kimi no na wa"
Anyway,the introductory couple of minutes will give you the vibe of "5CMPS" two distinctive individuals who're always searching something meaningful in their life which they have lost but can't recall,they don't know what trigger the feelings but it initiated since the faithful day when the star passed by.
[A good impression]
Then it went back to flashback,Mitsuha (the main female lead) a countryside girl and Taki (the main male lead) a boy living in modern Tokyo two completely strangers to each other, started swapping body in dreams and despite the fact that they were from totally different places,they started adapting to the surroundings over time and even made some rule so that it won't hurt their daily life.
It was really intriguing to watch how Mitsuha in Taki's body made a girl fall for him,the breast groping scenes,the cameo of Yukino from 'GOW",learning about fascinating culture ,I could say that this was probably the only entertaining part of the whole story but there are a lot of things that can't be outlook.
[First of all;nobody knows what caused them to swap even seem like the author didn't and secondly,it's surprising that they didn't try to contact each other for real,they didn't notice the date nor tried to talk about it clearly,probably for the sake of the plot to take an interesting turn]
After spending quality times in each other bodies , finally they stopped swapping and now Taki wants to call him for real but not able to reach her over cell phone,he decided to visit her for real on the rough presumption sketch he made from his memories only to find out later than the place is destroyed by a meteor three years back and she died.
He realized that the Mitsuha he swapped bodies with was three years in the past ,even she came to see him once but he didn't recognize her because of the timeline difference and that's the time she gave him the "braided cord".
Now he went to underground (the place where the body of the shrine god was supposed to be) here comes one of the stupidest illogical plot twist ever with no explanation at all,he drank the kuchikami sake (The sake that Mitsuha made three years by chewing ,spitting and fermenting the rice )
and magically it took him to the past by mean of body swapping to alter it,he was able to experience Mitsuha's past as well,For the success of the story you need to have a sad past of a character and here's no different with it,a two minutes recap of her life with gorgeous animation.
Now when Taki is back to the past in her body,how would he react is such despair moment?how would he save countless people from the verge of dying?
*GROPE THE BREAST AND FEEL IT*
*USE THE POWER OF FRIENDSHIP TO CONVINCE YOUR ONE FRIEND TO BLOW THE POWER PLANT AND ANOTHER TO FAKE REPORT OVER MIC TO EVACUATE PEOPLE*
Sounds so realistic,right?
Next what'll about to happen will sound more realistic than ever,Mitsuha back in senses in Taki's body was extremely surprised but then Taki in Mitusha's body went there after making all the preparation and despite the timeline difference an unexplainable phenomenon happen,they were finally able to see each other and what's the first thing she said to him?
"You pervert you drink that,your grope my breast several times"
Such conversation makes me go WOW.
Now, in short, they were able to share a just little moment until disappearing to their respective timeline and somehow this cause them forget about the memories they had.
Before that,taki wrote that he love her in her hand instead of writing his name because that is "SWAG"
Back to his timeline and having another chance,she miracle able to convince the villagers and her dad to evacuate,again we didn't know how she did it.
It's like you know the outcome of the equation but not the steps,anyway they were saved and Five years have passed since then for taki and eight years for Mitsuha,now both of them live in Tokyo,they passed each other on several occasion but never been a moment where they recognize each other until the train sequence,wasn't that predictable from beginning?
It's unlikely from Shinkai to give an ending like this but for a change,he did it and another reason that made this work mainstream.
SUMMING UP ALL THE POINTS-
(*) Promising start,entertaining to watch but nothing explain why they were swapping,they didn't even check the dates nor contacted each other for real,you didn't even care to look for the place where the girl is in neither the girl care to look for the boy.
(*)A strange girl gave you braided cord in train and you don't even know her,why care to keep it for three years?Plot convenience.
(*)The relationship between the main characters were so vague,I know this is Shinkai's usual style but for a change I thought he'll give us something more but it turn out another cliche romance,I wonder if the use of word "romance" is right or not.
Neither of them knows each other for real,just share the empty shell and experience each other lifestyle,suddenly feeling started to burst out from where?
(*)The way he time travel back to save her,the way he convinced the friends in her bodies,the final execution to evacuate the village all feel so foolish and out of the line.
(*)confusion of different timeline-
It's the most complicated part,Mitsuha's timeline was parallel to Taki's timeline of three years ago,she eventually died over there.
But the taki that had the body swapping and all the interaction with her is the one in the future three years ahead,so when he realized that he fall in despair and tried one last time to change the past and he succeeds in the most unrealistic way ever,anyway the thing is that what happen to two different timelines,did they merge or separated?we never got an explanation of that,it's like thing happens so let move on and observe the emotion not the logic behind it.
If we bring the first couple of minutes in the film,we get a clear image what trigger the emptiness inside them,the feeling of missing something important in their life,it was since the day meteor pass by.
-Taki in the current timeline never had the feeling before he interacted with her and even he had no knowledge of the meteor and stuff,he wakes up with vague memories in the mountain after the effort to save her whereas taki's of the different timeline was shown to have all the knowledge of the incident and even had the empty feeling ever since that day.
For mitsuha,she might have more reference to what happen as in the ending,when taki asked her "if they ever met",the way mitsuha reacted to give a good idea of that.
The emotions aspect can never overshadow such part.
CHARACTERS(7/10)- There's an interesting perspective on representing the characters,on one hand, there is depiction of rural lifestyle where life moves more slowly and people are bound together by strong relation and the fact that Mitsuha is a countryside girl, she's bound by familial responsibility and inclined to hold on to stability with everything she has but sometimes,she wants to go out of boundary and explore outside world, on the other hand,Taki is from urban area and people over here lives in exactly opposite fashion,taki has been presented as a normal high school guy who's living a regular like,just like you,me or anyone else.
Their friends, families and surroundings are totally dissimilar and Shinkai have done quite well creating a barrier and exposing us to two different atmospheres but I felt like there was a lack of character development.
MUSIC(8/10)-It won't be wrong to call it as a partial musical film,literally, it is overused in the place even it didn't mean to be.
Although we can't deny the fact that each OST is done brilliantly and goes with the flow perfectly, never heard of the band "RADWIMPS" before, but they did some extraordinary job with the music and surely deserve all the praise.
Sometimes it felt like each song was made for the each sequence.
ANIMATION(10/10)-I didn't have the opportunity to experience the visual effects to the fullest extent nor more than 85% voters over here but from what I experience,I can pretty much say that this surpasses even "GOW" and you've to give credit to "CoMix Wave Films",they have been loyal to Shinkai since the beginning of his career and with each project such improvement,unbelievable and the only one they compete with is themselves ,there have lots of scenes which have even executed so beautifully that you can find deeper meanings within it.
ENJOYMENT(6/10)-I got a mixed feeling about this,I thought it'll make me laugh,cry and would be a whole different experience for me,I did enjoy in the in the first half but as soon it progresses,It felt like the plot was trying too hard and with all those illogical stuff going on,nothing much to say.
OVERALL(6/10)-The story wasn't anything special,we can say pretty much mediocre,there were many moments that felt unrealistic and even lots
questions were left unanswered,despite that it have been well-executed
along with the music and animation,which somewhat make it enjoyable to watch but it's no near "Perfect" and just above average.
well, the overall plot is good and unique/something only anime can represent but with little bit more effort and it would've been better than this. The story will leave you confused while provoking around the same point without any tiny explanation trying to represent characters with full of emotions and kind even without introducing them. avoid this Kimi for the bad story processing and plenty plot holes
lot of questions in this movie hasn't answered with tons of mysterious unnecessary events take place in the story which makes Kimi no Na wa not only boring movie but also annoying; for example, after your body has
been completely switched you won’t think about love or attend to school –sorry, I didn't know attending to school is that much important in Japan.
another problem is at the ending of this movie, it feels kind of barren because the movie leads the desired result or central plot point open to interpretation it kind of begs several questions such as; "Why was it like that?", "What was the point?", among many others, it’s just unsatisfying messy story filled within nonsense unexplained proceedings.
The main characters in this movie were pathetic because these characters were never important to the author of this movie except the part he draws ‘em and he kept ignoring the fact that a well represented characters means/equal-to acceptable story It’s sad though but it seems that any other meme could’ve been put on as MCs role for this movie and nobody would notice it.
What we have here is a chaotic story including impenetrable supernatural events as well as childish characters with no description about their backgrounds or how they are necessary to this movie. everything is randomly picked and there is no connection between any minute of this movie to the next minute, plenty/plenty messy story-line and foolish characters but as always the art is good.
Fair warning: this review contains MAJOR spoilers of basically the entire movie. First off, it's a movie that has taken people by storm, so I'm sure that if you want to watch it, you already have by now. If that's not the case, I recommend you exit off of this review immediately. You've been warned.
With that out of the way, assuming that since you're still reading, I assume you've already seen the movie or don't mind being spoiled. Either way, I just wanted to let you know the reason why I'm writing a review filled with spoilers. Basically, Kimi no Na wa isn't a movie
where the quality remains consistent from start to finish. It starts off pretty good but ends bad. To completely justify why I rate it the way I do, I need to analyze the entire movie. So, with that out of the way, I'll now begin.
There comes a point where anime becomes so highly praised among the anime community to the point where it becomes unavoidable, though this isn't ALWAYS in a good way. Sometimes, things are popular just because they fit a specific audience that enjoys the things present within the series, despite potentially bad writing (SAO is a good example for that). That's really how it is with just about any "shut your brain off and watch the fights" action series... people care more about what's seen and less about the substance, thus poor writing is excused because everything looks cool.
I've always thought of the company behind a lot of well-known visual novels, Key, is similar to what I've stated above, though with more dramatic works as opposed to action-filled ones. They write very tear-jerking stories that border on the line of being melodramatic, and bundle them together with a lot of pretentious plotlines and themes and fantastic art+a great soundtrack, all things that allow people to completely avoid the fact that the writing isn't all that great and just enjoy the way it's all presented. And to me, Makoto Shinkai, the writer and creator of various other anime films including the one I'm reviewing right now, is like the Key of the anime world.
Kimi no Na wa isn't QUITE the same in the regard that I listed above, but I do think it's on the same boat in its own way. As opposed to being very popular, whether for good or bad reasons, what this film has done is jump almost instantly to the top of the MAL ratings, which makes it nearly unavoidable in its own way because you begin to think, "what is it that makes it so good? Why are people so in love with it?" That's what caused me to watch it, and I was left severely disappointed. Here's my reasons why.
The movie starts off as a typical school comedy with very typical characters that seem like they're not meant to have any definition or substance to them, which is okay as long as the writing remains consistent and doesn't try to take itself too far (unfortunately that isn't the case). The movie reminds me a lot of Kokoro Connect, with a boy and a girl occasionally switching bodies at unknown times and trying to adjust to their new lifestyles. The cause of this new phenomenon is never given.
This was one of my very first problems with the movie. The setting is within a fictional world, but that doesn't excuse plot convenience. Stories CAN include fictional things that don't exist in the real world, things like giant robots, or monsters, inhabiting another planet. Things like that are okay, because they're meant to be fictional, and their worth as a story is presented in the very beginning. But, with Kimi no Na wa? The film tries to set itself up in a realistic world, where everything is normal like our own but... this strange thing happens between these two people. In situations like that, explanation needs to be done. Why it's happening, why it's only between these two people, things like that. Even horrible explanation, such as saying, "a loop in space and the fact that they met on this day at this time at this spot," or something like that, would be far better than no explanation at all. All it does is show why you shouldn't be too pretentious when writing fiction. Very poor writing right there.
However, the first half really isn't all that bad, simply because it's something you can stop thinking about completely and just enjoy it for what it is. A lot of stuff made no sense, but it was still fun to see how each person was affecting each other's life and how they dealt with it. It was still kind of hard to not catch some of the problems, such as how they adapted to the entire situation so easily and even went along with how the other was affecting their life without a whole lot of trying to stop them. Regardless, it was still fun for the most part, something I'd view in similar light as a typical school comedy/slice of life with a small twist... rating it around 7/10 and considering it a very safe watch if you're looking for a way to comfortably pass the time.
The second half comes along and it's where all of the problems of the film begin to show. More mishaps occur that make you realize that the film trying to take place in a realistic world similar to ours is complete bullshit. They don't just switch bodies, they also travel in time. They never realized this because it seems people don't talk about current events in each timeline. It seems calendars or phones/computers with dates on them don't exist either. Many things that make you think it SHOULD take place in a fantasy world, but it doesn't because that would require a completely different style of writing. The entire second half just stops making sense.
One character actually tries to take the initiative to meet the other person in real life, which is something that is supposed to seem out of the ordinary simply because, for whatever reason, they never attempt to talk to each other in real life besides through notes they leave during the times that they switch bodies. I've heard some people around the anime community try to dismiss this with "they thought it was all a dream," but there's absolutely no way that that's possible because their lives were affected by it and they understand that fully. So go ahead and completely dismiss that idea of yours if you were one of the people who have it because it's completely impossible.
Regardless, the girl does finally take the initiave to meet the guy, but the fact that they're in different timelines is almost instantly seen as a problem, thus the guy has no idea who the girl is. And for WHATEVER reason, the girl doesn't question this at ALL! She pretty much just accepts it, with hardly any struggle. Not asking the guy if he's had any strange dreams recently, nothing. She doesn't even think for a second to wonder, "why doesn't he know who I am?" Even though, if she DID think that way, she'd realize that something's wrong and might even be able to figure out what's going on.
However, all of that is thrown away when actual time travel happens. After they managed to meet physically on a train, which was the situation I described above, they eventually meet again in spirit form thanks to the power of plot convenience. Neither meeting affected the plot at all, all it did was gave the audience a potential pairing to ship together even though they had no face-to-face contact that they didn't end up forgetting about shortly after. Gotta love amnesia being used as a plot device.
Yeah, this film doesn't shy from using amnesia as well. Whenever the two speak to each other, or share messages, or anything, it's almost instantly afterwards that they forget about it. They're left with a lingering feeling of "I feel like I'm missing something" but they still fail to remember anything in the end. This is all because of plot convenience, because it allows the plot to continue on for far longer than it really needs to.
Eventually, the characters are trying to affect history, which is to prevent the deaths of people caused by a natural disaster. As if enough amnesia hadn't been used between the character interactions alone, the boy forgets completely about this natural disaster, like it wasn't important enough for him to remember or how he's somehow never heard of it despite it being one of the most tragic natural disasters in recorded history. They attempt to pass this over as "he's been traveling through time and doesn't remember everything that hasn't happened yet in the current timeline" but that's complete bullshit as well. That has NEVER been a theme in any sort of story related to time travel; that's just not how it works. It's time travel because you visit times you haven't been to, or were once in in the past, while keeping all of your current knowledge. Otherwise, you're just visiting another spot on the timeline; that's not actual time travel, that's time jumping. And even with all of that said, it's still bullshit simply because the guy DOES retain some knowledge throughout the various timelines, the most notable one being that he remembers that he's there to save someone. It's all just selective memory, all for the sake of plot convenience.
Everything is saved because the girl manages to convince her own father to evacuate the people in time. This is another form of plot convenience, similar to the one pointed out above. She remembers perfectly that a disaster is coming and even has an extensive plan to prevent it from killing all of the people that it did in a different timeline, but doesn't at ALL remember how she knows that the disaster is incoming? How does that make any sense whatsoever? And the girl convincing her father to evacuate all of those people? It all happens OFF SCREEN. Why? Because there's no way it could be shown in a way that makes ANY sense, because it's such an absurd thing from the viewpoints of the entire village. The girl's original plan to cut off all of the electricity with a bomb and make everyone believe that a terrorist attack is incoming, despite it also being stupid, actually made a lot more sense and if that would've been used as the method to evacuate everyone and save all the lives they did, then okay. Stupid, but it would've worked a lot better. But, that's too simple, and would've ended the film too quickly, so we just have to stretch everything super far until it doesn't make any sense. Doing things the Makoto Shinkai way.
The tragedy is prevented and somehow, no time paradox is caused even though literally hundreds of people who should be dead in the current timeline are still alive. Life continues on as it normally would for the guy and nothing changes for him into the future. After an unspecified number of years later, the two of them meet again by pure accident and it's implied that they end up remembering everything, since the movie is ended with, "do I know you?" All thanks to the power of nonsense and plot convenience. And bullshit.
The movie is a perfect example of exploiting every single type of lazy plot convenience that exists out there as opposed to actual good writing, but that's all forgotten about because it's animated well in order to maximize the amount of feels you get without having even a small hint of good writing or logic. You're expected to forget what's going on and instead view everything like you would a show with a laugh track. Enjoy the amazing art, laugh, cry, and not give a single shit about the actual quality of writing. Kimi no Na wa is yet another example of how bad a majority of modern anime are. Tons of plot conveniences; time resets, amnesia, all without any explaining.
Imagine a gift box, wrapped up very nicely with tons of bows and ribbons with a tag that says it's to you from the most important person in your life, or the biggest crush you have, or whoever you'd most want a present from. But you open it up, and it's completely empty. That's basically what Kimi no Na wa is. A pretty box with nothing in it. Something that looks nice but has no substance.
In short, Kimi no Na wa is a film that looks amazing, sounds even better, but fails in so many other regards. The story isn't that bad at the beginning because it plays off like a comfortable time killer with only a few issues outside of the actual series composition. However, during the second half, everything turns to an absolute shitfest of plot convenience and nonsense. The characters throughout the entire movie are extremely one-dimensional, as they're simply just horribly characterized AND developed, which during the first half really doesn't matter but it's definitely a problem in the second half. Overall, Kimi no Na wa is simply just a failure of a film, only saved by great presentation and how comfortable and safe of a watch it was during the first half, and the first half ALONE.
Below is my scoring if you care about it. Otherwise, that's all for me.
Final score for Kimi no Na wa: 4.78/10
Rounded for online databases: 5/10
Given how sick I am of talking about this series, the only recommendations I'm going to give are extremely obvious and extremely lazy: 5 Centimeters per Second, Garden of Words, Children who Chase Lost Voices, and The Place Promised in Our Early Days. They're all of Makoto Shinkai's other full-feature film works, and they all follow very similar story structure and overall film composition that I'm sure you'll like them if you're one of the many Kimi no Na wa fanboys out there. Outside of those obvious recommendations, I have nothing that I'm gonna attempt to offer you as of right now; maybe I'll edit my review one day and add some actual unique recommendations of series' that do what Shinkai tries but ultimately fails to do. Who knows.
Before watching this movie, I must say I was pretty hyped as lots of my friends recommended it and it took the #1 spot on MAL. However, I have to admit I am quite disappointed in the end and here's why:
The first half of the movie is about typical high school boy living in Tokyo swapping body with a countryside girl with a boring-ass life dreaming to go to Tokyo someday. There's a bit of comedy here and there but nothing impressive so far and quite boring to be honest. But then comes the second half, it turned out the main heroine already
died years earlier which is why the boy could not find her or call her and then warned her to avoid the cataclysm. At this point I suddenly realized the plot is way too similar to a movie called "The Lake House" and obviously I'm quite disappointed with the lack of originality of the story.
Art & Sound: 7/10 & 8/10
Honestly, the music is the only saving point for this movie. For the art, all I can say about the art is adequate, nothing more nothing less.
Nothing much to say about the characters. That's how generic I think the characters are. This movie focuses only on these two students so surely some in-depth background for the characters should be provided right?
Overall I'm not saying this movie is utter rubbish, but its definitely not a masterpiece either and it's definitely not a movie which deserves to be on the top spot especially with the lack of originality of the story. What surprises me the most is that some people realized this and still giving it a 10/10. I definitely won't recommend this to anyone unless you want an anime similar to The Lake House, well here you go!
Ever since I was a child, I wanted to be an author. I’d write for days on end, using every ounce of my imagination, and then stored my works away in some secret drawer when I finished. Frightened to death of sneers and condescending laughter, I rarely shared my writings with anyone, only submitting them to a contest or two over the years. A couple of months ago, I heard that there was going to be a prestigious writer’s conference, known as Books Alive, in my town, where literary agents would search high and low for the next great author. Despite having a small amount
of time to prepare, I pushed aside my fears and toiled furiously on a brief sample for a murder mystery that I was planning to write (you can read it at the end of my review). On the day of the conference, I approached one of the most famous agents there and, with a stutter and shaking hands, I presented my sample to the agent. She thoughtfully looked over what I had and, with as much grace as she could, turned me down. Before advising me to come back next year, she complimented my writing skills but said that I was too focused on establishing the setting rather than developing the characters in it.
That, my friends, is Your Name in a nutshell.
I thought that, after the disaster known as Erased, the good people of MyAnimeList would be more selective in what they label “great”, more reluctant to flock to whatever’s the biggest and brightest. I, of course, was wrong. Your Name, in no time at all, skyrocketed to the first spot on MAL’s Top Anime, and this fact is depressing. Apparently, anything that happens to look fantastic, and has a combination of time travel and “feelz” is automatically adored by the masses. Looking from afar, I thought there has to be more to this film than what’s on the surface. There has to be a reason why Makoto Shinkai, the director of Your Name, is hailed as “the next Miyazaki”. This is why I decided to watch Your Name and the result?
The first few minutes are a work of art, with the story shifting the perspective back and forth from one character to the other, and the gorgeous animation overwhelming your eyeballs. If there’s one thing that I’ll remember about Your Name, it’s that this film is scenery porn at its finest. The cinematography won’t exactly captivate you but practically every frame in this work is shot with an impeccable eye for detail, making sure the smallest pieces of the environment don’t go unnoticed. It is this specialty that shines in Your Name’s greatest scene, where the protagonist scurries into a cave, running form the cold, constant, and unforgiving rain (It’s simply a beautiful sequence to witness). When it comes to camerawork, Erased clearly soars beyond the likes of Your Name. However, in a contest to smother the audience with its looks, this film is unrivaled.
Of course, just because something looks great doesn’t qualify it as the Citizen Kane of anime unless it has something beneath the glitz and glamour. You need something substantial that can provide a foundation for your film, like a quality cast of characters, and Your Name just doesn’t have it. Now, before you start dubbing me a hater, just wait – wait! – a second. Below, I have three requirements that I think a show should meet in order to have a quality cast.
1. Does the personality of the protagonists change at all?
2. Do the protagonists stand out?
3. Does the supporting cast matter?
These requirements aren’t long-winded or multi-faceted, and yet there’s no way you can tell me that Your Name meets any of them.
1 and 2. Taki and Mitsuha are our walking clichés of the day. There is no difference in who they are from start to finish. There isn’t one trait about either one of them that would make you remember them at all. I will give you a million dollars if you can prove me wrong on this one.
(Before I type any further, I want to talk about amnesia for a sec. It’s been the quintessential plot convenience device since, like, forever; while some writers were able to use amnesia in a realistic and convincing fashion, it has often required a copious amount of suspension of disbelief to make it work but here it borders on ridiculousness. Let’s say I met someone I haven’t seen in a while. We talk and then that person walks away. You seriously can’t expect me to FORGET THAT PERSON’S NAME A MINUTE LATER, right? Moving on…..)
3. Ummm, let’s see, there’s that one guy with a crush on Mitsuha, that restaurant chick with the torn dress, and Mitsuha’s family: her dad, sister, and grandma. Not one of them is someone you’d regard as memorable or important, and I just can’t understand for the life of me how that’s forgivable (Well, the grandma does have a pretty solid knowledge of what’s occurring in the plot).
“Character flaws, huh? You might have a point ther- OH MY GAWD THOSE STARS ARE SO PWETTY!”
To be completely honest, I became really bored when the animation ceased to amaze. The romance isn’t funny or interesting in the slightest. The characters are dull and boring. The plot is horrendously slow and uninspiring. This is what I thought while about to fall asleep…… and then the plot twist happened. It slammed into me like a sack of bricks, instantly breathing life into something that was on the verge of becoming forgettable. For those of you that weren’t half-conscious while watching Your Name, you might’ve seen the twist coming. For me, however, as soon as I saw the words “three years ago” at the bottom of the screen, I thought that the film was about to justify the hype. Instead of putting their heads together to create a finale for the ages, Your Name’s writers collectively shrugged their shoulders and settled for the cop-out of cop-outs: true love conquers all.
**and now for the writing sample that I promised to show you in the first paragraph**
Drenched in the all-consuming blanket of rain, leaning over the bridge’s rust-speckled rail, Don exhaled the whispery dark gray smoke that hailed from his wiry thin Newport cigarette, his fifth of the day. Don gazed thoughtfully at his reflection that appeared on the surface of the town’s heavily-polluted river, a mixture of juniper green and the darkest brown from the steady flow of the chemical waste from the most environmentally ignorant factories. Bystanders rushed to and fro, this way and that, attempting to escape the oppressive downpour of the sky’s sadness. Not Don. With the utmost carefulness, he ever so slowly rotated away from peering into the river; with his back and elbows resting on the rail, he observed them in their futile war against the natural elements. Attempting an informal method of saluting their efforts, Don’s hand scoured through his thoroughly soaked pocket before clenching an ancient but capable lighter. The hand glided out of Don’s pocket with the lighter in its clutches before illuminating the previously extinguished butt of the Newport that slouched limply on the private eye’s mouth. As the fire burned bright, Don was ready to inhale the remaining contents of the already-used cigarette when a particularly vicious gust of the chilly midmorning wind snuffed out the Newport’s flame. With an empathetic shrug of the shoulders, Don allowed the Newport to float gracefully from his lips onto the ground, where he boredly drilled the heel of his penny loafer into the cigarette and stirred from his position on the rail. “Stop trying to show off your writing skills already and let me get my work done,” grumbled Don. As bystanders panicked, running to and fro, this way and that, attempting to retreat from their war with nature into a secure building to rest, Don effortlessly strode slouching, his hands jammed in his dampened pockets, through the crowd. Then, the private eye was gone.
*Before you go, allow me to give you a few final words on Your Name*
It wasn’t the top-tier animation that made Hayao Miyazaki a household name. It was the combination of childhood nostalgia and an innocent sense of adventure in his films that elevated his success. It was the ability to include an array of social statements and dark elements to movies made for children without coming across as pretentious. More than anything else, it’s the feeling that you witnessed something special that established Miyazaki as a legend. Someday, I’ll be 90 years old, peeing on myself and losing my memory, but I’ll still recall the impact Miyazaki’s films had on me. Obviously, Your Name doesn’t contain that appeal. As soon as the anime community realizes this, they’ll move on from this film and idolize yet another time travel rom-com/tragedy with great animation and glaring flaws. It won’t be next week or next month but it will definitely be soon. When the time comes, there will be others like me, who scratch their heads in confusion and ask, “Wait, we’re doing this again?”
With "Your Name" storming up to MAL's top, I had to check it out for myself and experience this phenomenon, that has a score of 9,40 out of 10 at the time of writing.
With so many people agreeing, that it's a masterpiece, it has to be good, right? Well turns out I didn't enjoy it quite as much the majority of MAL users.
The story starts fair enough. Our main character suffers from "Disney princess syndrome"; she's not satisfied with the surroundings she was born in and wants to see the world, that is so much bigger than what she knows. Luckily for her, magical
realism is a thing in her world as well. Out of nowhere she gets the chance to live out her dreams by switching bodies with a boy from Tokyo every now and then. The boy, turns out to be the other main character. This sounds like the basic story, in which our lead learns, that "every place is beautiful, but home is still best" or that everybody has troubles in their life, no matter where they come from. The set up definetly has some potential, since the main characters parallel each other in an interesting way and they're pretty well characterized.
But that doesn't turn out to be the case with "Your Name". The writer was far more ambitious than to just recycle the classic body switch plot. About halfway the movie switches into a pretty convoluted romance story, that just doesn't work, because the whole second half is built around wanting to give the audience the "feels". Don't get me wrong, I like a good romance or a good tragedy as much as anyone else, but if it all feels as contrived and transparent as in this movie's case, I won't be able to jump on the feel train.
The climax was a pretty interesting idea, but was pretty inconsistently build up, where things worked out way too conveniently to be believable.
I've already addressed it in the previous section, that I found the characterization of the characters pretty good. With the exception of the self-absorbed and ambitious father almost all felt pretty lively. Unfortunately characters can at time's be only as good as the plot allows them to be. This shows especially with the side characters, who at times just conveniently join into the plot, even if it doesn't make much sense. Same goes for our leads, they're pretty fun at first, but as soon as the plot starts becoming contrived and convoluted, I no longer found them as likeable.
The art and animation were pretty good, but it was pretty standard in terms of style.
Just like the plot the sound was also heavy into making you feel stuff and to be fair it did resonate with me somewhat. Interestingly there were alot of pop songs instead of the more typical choice of instrumentals.
Imagine the world’s most beautiful person. We take an X-ray of that person. You see his/her spine. And that’s it, no other bones. That is a Makoto Shinkai film.
Every story has a skeletal structure, a beginning, middle, and end. We all know this. Makoto Shinkai films also have a structure to their story. Just that they’re all the same.
Beginning: I love you.
Middle: I can’t stay with you forever.
End: I hope we see each other again.
You may be asking: With such a basic structure, how can any of his films be so successful? It’s all about the flesh.
You don’t see someone’s skeleton, but if you actually try and think about the story, you really can see this structure. Criticisms aside, however, there is another thing that always happens in Shinkai films: Frickin’ incredible artwork. This show was no exception when it came to beautifully detailed backgrounds, natural scenes, and characters.
Of course, the soundtrack was also nice, performed by Radwimps. Personally, watching it in the theatre was a bit overwhelming, but the songs were great individually, and I thought that most of them played their role as part of the film.
These two factors (artwork and soundtrack) really cover up the basic story, and make it a beautiful film to sit and watch. But nothing more than that. It’s just eye candy. The rating 10 means masterpiece. A masterpiece has a well thought out story, and highly developed characters to execute it (at the very least, this would be a standard way of forming a masterpiece, there can be exceptions through extraordinary uniqueness, etc…).
—which now takes us to characters.We have the two main characters, Mitsuha and Taki. First spoiler incoming (not too much of a spoiler but…): in the story, Mitsuha and Taki switch bodies while they dream. Second spoiler: They end up falling in love. Okay, so they know each other because the switch bodies, but they never switch characters, they always remain themselves, just with a different body. In other words, they’re falling in love with someone who’s personality they actually know nothing about—I think that tells you enough about the depth of these characters (笑). But jokes aside, if I were to give you a description of these two, I would ask you to imagine incredibly normal high schoolers (the girl being a bit cute, and the guy being a bit handsome), and give them a super effective love potion that makes them want to see each other no matter what. That’s about the level of development we see.
Despite all said, Shinkai films never fail to at least seem heartfelt to me. It may be that since the structure of his stories are so simple, they feel relatable at the same time, and extremely real. I’d be pretty reluctant to give this film a masterpiece rating, but it does what Shinkai does best, which is more than enough for me to have thoroughly enjoyed the film.
At the time of watching this movie, Kimi no na wa or Your Name in English is number 1 on MAL with an average score of 9.40 (the highest any anime has ever gotten in my memory). Naturally, as so many people, I was curious to see what this film had that earned it a top spot on a database filled with thousands of anime, only to finish the movie wondering if I had seen the same movie as others. It was beyond my understanding what this movie had (aside from good technical aspects) that gave it this masterpiece status since all I got was
an average story about two people falling in love combined with a lot of sci-fi ideas which often contradicted each other and greatly affected the plausibility of the movie along with the characters often acting as retards. I will admit that it was initially quite enjoyable but it quickly went down when the romance was quickly thrown in.
ART and SOUND
Beautiful! Kimi no na wa has some of the best art and animation I have ever seen, not in just anime, but in any medium whatsoever. Each frame within the movie is a potential wallpaper of it's own, with it's gorgeous scenic shots, vivid colours and stunning animation. The character designs may not be particularly unique but they are very well drawn with the lights and shadows used perfectly. Combine that with the fluent way everyone moves and you get a movie that is pure eye-candy! I will admit, I spent a few minutes marvelling over the animated beauty that this was.
And combine that with the sound. Each of the musical tracks usually matched with the scene it was being played on and whenever I was bored with the movie (which I often was) the music was the one thing which kept me going (aside from the art, of course). The sound consisted mainly of calm and soothing music. The songs were upbeat during the first half, but calm and sad during the second. As for those, I may have preferred if one or two of them were sung by a female singer. Furthermore, I was comparatively bored with the songs near the end, part of the reason being that they were just prolonging the inevitable. That's just my opinion though, sound tastes are different. The voice acting was alright. It had it's ups and downs but it was nothing to complain about.
Another complaint I had with the sound was that it was at times too soothing and it did not match the theme. Despite appearances, this is a high-stakes movie, but because of the sound, the danger was never felt.
STORY and CHARACTERS
And now, things are gonna get ugly and I don't think you're gonna want to read on if you loved this movie. The story in a nutshell, is a romance with sci-fi ideas thrown in with no consistency whatsoever. The premise is about a boy and girl switching bodies from time to time and influencing each others lives. And while the story was about that, my enjoyment was pretty high. I'm going to excuse the fact that they got used to each others lives so easily as I have no idea how people are supposed to react if they wake up in someone else' body (aside from the fact that they should go crazy...) What cannpt be excused is the fact that they were never trying to contact each other.
And then, a major revelation occurs and that's where the movie goes downhill. It then turns into a sci-fi where the characters pass through time and they themselves don't know it (despite the fact that they have cell phones which if I am not wrong tells you the date and time). Furthermore, you even have amnesia thrown into the mix and the way it combines is very convoluted. The movie then tries to force more problems and the way they arise usually make no sense. Also, the reason for these supernatural happenings is never given and if they are, they make no sense.
Furthermore, each of the problems are fixed out of screen and with the power of plot convenience, such as the characters magically remembering everything when required or there being no time paradoxes when there should be. Also, there is no payoff for any of it as the ending was quite predictable.
The characters of the movie showed promise in the beginning. They were colourized with distinct personalities and a vague backdrop and it was quite fun to see those personalities emerging in the other body and influencing it's life.
And yet, how they fell in love was a complete mystery as they had zero chemistry and they did not even talk to each other for a majority of the movie(I am not joking) and the first line of spoken conversation between them was "You groped my breasts". It was hard for me to even believe that they were in love and this sentence was said when there was a threat looming over them. Furthermore, there is no development of characters. They are quite moody in the end as compared to the beginning but that has no logical reasoning behind it (Also, mood swings don't count as character development). The characters also have a very small backdrop (which was shown to us in seconds).
If I have another good thing to say about the story, it's that there are many symbolisms and metaphors in the movie (such as the trains thing you may have read about if you've read the reviews). They are just dressing, however, and not an integral part of the plot.
I guess it was fun while the good parts lasted. But to me, this is a very overrated film that should have been rated far lower. If you enjoyed it or think that you will enjoy it, don't let me stop you from doing so. Oh, and by the way, if the Wikipedia plot summary is real, then yes, I was watching the correct movie.
Sound:9/10(Beautiful, but a bit messed up here and there)
Story:4/10(Fun for awhile, that's it)
Characters:4/10(Fun for awhile, that's it)
Overall:5/10(Not an average of the above)
(+)Amazing animation and some good music
(-)Quickly falls apart
(-)Nothing makes sense
(-)Many plot conveniences
Thanks for reading my review. Feedback will be greatly appreciated and will be even more so if it is more constructive than 'If you didn't like it, why did you watch it?'
Makoto Shinkai never fails to frustrate me. His works have tremendous potential, yet they all inevitably end up as shallow exercises in romantic drama that are pretty to look at and not much else. With the release of Kimi no Na wa. I was very skeptical if any of that had changed. It released to the top of multiple anime lists seemingly over night and I figured it would be 5 Centimeters Per Second 2.0, but maybe, just maybe, Shinkai would break away from his old patterns and surprise me.
Spoilers, he didn't.
Kimi no Na Wa. tells the story of a girl
and boy who mysteriously switch bodies and have to learn how to deal with being each other… or not.
If anyone is expecting Kimi no Na wa. to stray away from Shinkai’s typical formula they will be sorely disappointed. All of his usual angst ridden longing relationship drama is on display here, including copious amounts of scenery porn, sad piano music, dramatic running scenes, and even love murdering trains. I suppose this also means that anyone who likes his other works will probably enjoy this one as well for the exact reason that it isn't very different. For everyone else however, Kimi no Na Wa. is painfully predictable and lacking.
My favorite part about Kimi no Na wa. is the body swapping concept which creates some fun and humorous situations. The story is at its best during the scenes that show how the main characters handle situations while having their bodies swapped which leads to some awkward, funny, and genuinely charming moments. Unfortunately we don't get much of this after the beginning of the movie and what is the best part of the story goes underutilized in favor of Shinkai’s typical routine.
As much as l like the whole body swapping concept I feel it is poorly explained as are the mystical elements of the story. It literally comes down to some kind of magical spit wine, shooting stars, time traveling yarn, and/or some family bloodline thing, all of which are equally obtuse. Generally I hate time travel in any story, it just makes things needlessly convoluted and silly. Kimi no Na wa. is no different but I guess it’s not as ridiculous as the Terminator series. Overall I find that simpler explanations (or any at all) for the mystical elements would have benefited the story.
Pacing is also an issue in Kimi no Na wa.. Though it is less noticeable here than it is in other Shinkai works it is still apparent especially towards the end of the movie. There is a dramatic running sequence which feels like an eternity followed by an awkward time skip and more running before finally reaching the credits. A bit of streamlining and polish could have greatly improved the entire ending.
One positive difference in Kimi no Na wa. is that the main characters are a lot more interesting compared to Shinkai’s other works with the small but meaningful glimpses we are given into their lives. That said there are some weird decisions that didn't make a whole lot of sense to me. The female protagonist, Mitsuha, has an issue with her father and being bullied and both are resolved in an unsatisfying manner. The bullying seems to be taken care of by the male protagonist, Taki, kicking over a desk while in her body thus scaring the bullies off? I suppose this isn't too big of a deal since the bullying was not a huge part of her story but that just makes the decision to even introduce it to begin with an odd one. The issue with the dad is another thing entirely though, as this is built up throughout the story only to be solved by Mitsuha being more affirmative in a confrontation towards the end of the movie that takes place almost entirely off screen which is as disappointing as it sounds.
The side characters seemed like they could be interesting but we don’t get much of them. Taki’s boss Miki gets some screen time but this is mostly just to build the romance with him and Mitsuha more than anything. Even the date scene ends kind of abruptly with Miki saying that he seems more interested in somebody else and just leaving. This however is enough for her to accompany him and his other friend on some journey to find a dead girl.
It goes without saying that every Shinkai work is visually spectacular and Kimi no Na wa. is no different. Though I can't say I find the scenery porn as appealing as his other works it's just as impressive as the rest. Music is mostly soft atmospheric pieces and though nothing really stands out it works fine. All in all everything is very pretty and I can't complain.
Unfortunately Kimi no Na wa. is just an average film in a long line of average films with Shinkai’s name attached. There’s nothing new or special, other than Shinkai's foot fetish being traded in for a spit drinking fetish. He still is a one trick pony when it comes to storytelling which is a shame because Children Who Chase Lost Voices shows that he is capable of something that is at least a little bit different. Maybe one day Shinkai will surprise and impress me (probably not) but as of now he just lacks the tact and subtly of better directors. I guess he can always do commission work drawing feet if times get rough though.
I had the necessity to write this after thinking about the movie for a while.
Opinions are subjetive and if so many people like this so much and call it a masterpiece, good for them, but I just don't undestand why, or more like I don't want to, because I kinda have an idea and I would prefer if it wasn't true.
In any case, I'm not gonna make this too long (I hope). I'll just go to the point.
I enjoyed the first part. Not great, but alright. A typical body switch story that's been done many times before and pretty much the exact
same way, but the comedy made it good enough.
And then the second half arrived. To be fair, the twist caught me off guard, for some reason, but...well...
I'm just going to say it. I don't know if this is intencional or just a coincidence, but this just seems like a bad try at ripping off a certain visual novel which I'm sure nobody here knows, but probably knows about Punchline or the Zero Escape series. The creator of those made before them a certain series called Infinity, and the third game of the series is Remember11, a story about a man and a woman in different places (and time) that change bodys randomly for some reason, with the woman dying in the past and the man deciding to save her. Sounds familiar?
Again, maybe it's just a coincidence, but there are quite a bit of them between R11 and this movie. And that wouldn't be a problem (well, it kind of is, because it makes it not unique or original at all, as most people seem to think, ironically like ZE and Punchline fans) if this movie actually had good story and characters, but sadly the story becomes a absolute mess that makes no sense and it doesn't even try to explain itselfs or give any help or hints of how anything is happening or why, and the characters are generic and 1D and fall in love because why not. They barely talked outside of phone notes that were just them saying "do/don't do x".
I even found the love between the MC and his senpai more belivable. I don't even know why it uses so much more time building that possible ship between them if it's just forgotten and replaced with an obligatory ship between MCs because reasons.
Going back to the story. I'm not saying they should have tried to explain everything with science, but if they were just gonna do supernatural/fantasy then why build up the mistery of the body switch in the first part? And even if it's just supernatural, it still should have some basic rules of how it works, otherwise everything is just deus ex machina and magic that just happens and works because magic.
And again, even if you just forget about all of the time travel/body switching stuff and just focus on the romance part...well, I've already explained what I think on that.
I only managed to "survive" the last part by making fun of it while watching, because I just couldn't take it seriously.
In conclusion, the only reason I give it a 4 and not lower is because of the first part and the animation which is great, and I feel like I'm being generous. In the end it's just a mess that tries to be a romance with a ZE-like plot but is bad on both. Wait no, it does have a well done ZE-like plot, cause it's just as much of a mess. Sorry, couldn't help it.
Just go read the Infinity series. R11 doesn't even try to be a romance and it still infinitely better at it. Sorry again, for the pun I mean.
Yes, I just wanted to rant a lot because I don't understand why some things like this are considered masterpieces. Burn me at the stake, I don't get Spirited Away either.
Makoto Shinkai is a name that, to many, equates with “feels.” Whether it’s Voices from a Distant Star, the Children Who Chase Lost Voices, or the classic 5 Centimeters per Second, Shinkai’s films carry the guarantee of beautiful animation and emotional depth rarely seen in anime. Kimi no Na Wa, “Your Name,” is no exception to the trend. If anything, Your Name is the end product of years of experimentation with storytelling and filmmaking – the story that Shinkai has always wanted, and tried, to tell, finally made real, and done so in a satisfying, entertaining, and heart-wrenching way.
Your Name is the story of two
people: Mitsuha Miyamizu, a shrine maiden in the rural Japanese countryside, and Taki Tachibana, a stock standard highschool student in Tokyo. Their irregular body-swapping isn’t the sort that leaves much of a solid mark – their memories of swaps are hazy, and they can’t exactly take notes with them, and more importantly they’ve never even met. Yet here, one of the first themes Shinkai communicates comes forward – the echoes left by a person’s life, by their actions and in the people around them, is just as good as meeting the person themselves. Mitsuha and Taki both get to learn about each other not only during their body swaps, but in seeing the aftereffects of each others’ antics while swapped, be it Taki’s boldness in her body or Mitsuha’s setting up Taki’s love life in his. Love, as told by Shinkai, is more than just affection for a person – it’s in the things we do for others and what they do for us.
The core theme of Your Name is “musubi” – a word that describes coming together and growing apart, starting a journey and reaching its conclusion, and the ebb and flow of time and fate. It is a word that, perhaps, summarizes the whole of Makoto Shinkai’s stories on the topic of love and fate – it describes the insatiable urge to find the one you’re destined to be with, as explored in Voices from a Distant Star, and likewise the unavoidable flow of time that pulls people apart and leads to new beginnings, as in 5 Centimeters per Second. The topic of musubi dominates the story of Your Name, in a manner that makes the movie both coherent in its own plot and insightful in its approach to the standard “red string of fate” story.
It is difficult to put into words exactly why Your Name resonates on the threads it does (pun intended), but it has to do with the raw elegance with which the theme of musubi is presented. It encompasses both the sappy and giddy optimism of true love winning out, and the melancholy acceptance of time moving on. It perfectly describes the “why” to the red string of fate, and why that symbol holds so much power in the mind.
Of course, it goes without saying that the fundamentals of Your Name – the animation, the voice acting, and the like – are of the top quality. The name that Shinkai has made for himself and his works in regards to raw quality is strong for a reason – Your Name does not disappoint visually, or audibly. Of particular note is the ear-orgasming soundtrack, provided by RADWIMPS, who provided both the trailer music as well as several in-film songs. Rather than simply searching for music that matched his artistic vision retroactively, Makoto Shinkai sought out RADWIMPS’ inclusion in the film from the get-go, and the result of integrating them so early into the creative process is evident every time the film’s soundtrack gets going. If nothing else, Your Name is a movie that can be watched for the music.
Your Name is, if anything, a classic Makoto Shinkai work. It is beautiful, both in visuals and in story. It tugs at the heartstrings, appealing to things that every viewer can identify with, either out of personal experience or out of desire to experience. But more than anything else, it leaves the audience satisfied, throughout its runtime and in its conclusion, with a story well told. Your Name handily takes its place as not just my favorite Shinkai film, but my favorite film entirely.
The low-rating reviewers need to round this up for you guys. Kimi no Na wa is a poorly written piece of work that struggle to understand its own themes.
3 main flaws to be pointed out. 1) lack of direction. It's an issue before knowing what it wants to be, because it doesn't know it's supposed to be anything. Sit me down and make me take notes through a rewatch and I'd still have no idea what this film is about. Probably the intent is some contrived story about star-crossed lovers, an elaborate or posh love boundary, but you can apply "a love story, a mythological
story, a the-universe-is-bigger-than-us story, a coming of youth story, a complex society story" at any point of the film and still stand to be accurate. Which is fine per se, except there's no clear lead in any one of these themes.
Doesn't know how to use its strengths even, because so much could be done with the supernatural direction of the story which I won't reveal because spoilers. Director Makoto clearly missed out on a chance to emphasize the supernatural aspect of Kimi no Na wa because he doesn't enhance it any way.
Light spoilers ahead. Till now I question what is the purpose of sticking senpai and bespectacled friend to Taki on his road trip?
2) suspension of disbelief. Doesn't even know the name of her town after switching so many times, fine, are you telling me Taki couldn't Google the name of Mitsuha's high school to find out where her town is? That's one. A leap of faith and forced acceptance that they're suddenly star-crossed lovers. When... exactly did they fall in love? Off-screen? Sure I can imagine the in-betweens but it's not exactly satisfying and it's very rushed because I'm supposed to be focusing on Taki and his next actions. That's another.
3) mismatched themes. This is difficult to talk about without heavy spoilers but just know that a common tale consistently brought up by grandma has nothing in relation with the main theme of their series: which is your name. This name theme, this main theme, doesn't tie in well with any one thing in the film and I question, what does names have to do with this film really? It is never explained in any mythological aspect and if you expect us to accept it for a reason as simple as "a name ties in to a person's existence" I think this film has been carting down the wrong lane with all the other supernatural themes it's been pulling.
The first and second half of the film can appear to be like separate stories, which isn't bad in itself because it did serve to surprise me pleasantly, but serving on their own you'll realize they're both very lackluster be it the first half with its coming of age melodrama or the second half with its lofty and grandiose star crossed lovers plot. May I add that the second half spiral furiously out of control with its plot reasoning? There's just... no reason behind any happening. It happens for the sake of... an awful plot that doesn't know what it is?
Ah maybe another flaw, horrendous flow of story. When they set up a typical star crossed lovers meeting moment it is when a disaster is about to occur and frankly not even half of my attention is on them or remotely interested about their "love" when chemistry wasn't even built properly in the first place.
Ending was unsatisfactory because it was so... bland. It baffles me how you can make a film with as unfocused a story and direction as this.
I watched this in horrendous low-quality render but I think its key visuals are pretty stunning in true anime film style.
Don’t get me started on Kamiki (Taki’s seiyuu)… and Mitsuha’s seiyuu. I’m a fan of Kamiki in his actor life and he’s always been an enthusiastic and vibrant guy. Shows in his voice acting, doesn’t it? It’s charming and unique enough for me to want him to voice more characters!
OST wise it’s typical fare. I wasn’t smitten but they certainly weren’t hard to the ears.
Sides shine more than mains really, with one-liners such as "I thought he was cute," in reference to the protag acting weird or "Nothing really. I’m just gonna stay and continue living in this town,” when asked about future plans. Taki is an average, boyish, slightly thoughtful, conscientious city boy but I struggle to find anything that defines him beyond that. Kimi no Na wa never tried to explore their protag. If you tamed Mitsuha’s drama some, she could have made a decent heroine too.
Would have liked Taki to be more invested in the countryside life, or build a budding connection with grandma, etc. Honestly there are too many things Kimi no Na wa could have done, but never once did! All in favor of some trite, flamboyant story it never had the potential to draw out. I don’t think that was ever its forte, because the best moments in this film were seemingly inconsequential one-liners to me.
Light spoilers. Grandma though… I feel bad for her. She too had the potential to shine but, as Taki and Mitsuha were, was forced into a mold to move the story along. If she was there discovering Mitsuha wasn’t who she was it could have made for a nice conversational scene between grandma and Taki but all she really did is to impart, casually, the same may or may not have happened to me but the film isn’t wanting you to focus on her, but the fact that this runs in the Miyamizu family.
To sum it up the characters are half-baked. Neither here nor there. You see some glimpses of potential but they never truly get to expand on them. Kimi no Na wa’s characters are simply not memorable enough for me to want to type for them forever.
Needless to say I didn’t enjoy this all that much. It’s a very disappointing film be it in its story or character through and through. Visuals are beautiful ofc, but I wonder if that's all you need to pull you through a show? I wouldn't be inclined to waste my time like that.
Kimi no Na wa is the new movie from acclaimed director Makoto Shinkai who’s behind 5 Centimeters per second, Hoshi no Koe and The Place Promised in Our Early Days.
His new movie tells a story about a high school student Taki and a high school student Mitsuha suddenly swapping bodies but forgetting what they did during their swap after it ends, so they begin to communicate via diaries and messages left behind by the other person.
The story of Kimi no Na Wa is simple. There are some themes but they are light. The movie however suffers from several plot holes and
plot conveniences. They do not destroy the overall enjoyment of the movie since to me, it was never about some hard smart writing and complex ideas. It was about this interesting scenario of body swapping and how can you add different twists to it while still remaining true to your style of storytelling and visual art.
The characters are unfortunately not that interesting. What I however can praise is that both male and female main characters show strong sides of themselves when they swap. Mitsuha succeeds with her delicate and femine acting where Taki was not successful. Meanwhile Taki with his direct aggressive approach solves the situation where Mitsuha would potentially fail. The movie doesn’t simply go into “well Mitsuha is a girl so she’ll act cute while Taki is a boy so he’ll simply do boyish stuff which will lead into comedic moments” which makes me greatful for actually more realistic approach of this potential situation. Protagonists show their strong sides while as well showing their weaknesses. In a sense they complete each other
It’s not even worth to write about animation and music. We all know its top tier. We all know people love it.
So overall, is it good? Yes it is! It’s not 10/10 zomfg best movie of all time, but it’s a great fun movie. I enjoyed it a lot for what it is. I am going to do the unthinkable and throw logic behind my head. This one is not about that. It’s about atmosphere and feeling. Are there plot holes and weird coincidences? Yes. Does it matter this time? Not to me.
Story: Going into this without knowing anything about the movie; not even the trailer, I was kind of confused from the first 10-20 minutes until it became clear what was going on with their bodies. Both the MC’s come from different backgrounds, girl from a village/ small town and boy from the big city of Tokyo. Without spoiling the movie entirely, the film takes a huge turn somewhere around the middle where it becomes more than just an animated Freaky Friday.
Art: Even while watching this on medium-low quality I was amazed by how immersive
the art-style is. The amount of great overhead shots of the busy city of Tokyo to the large crater-esque shrine was gorgeous sight to behold. There is one scene in particular, with the comet, that completely made me forget that I was watching something animated and not a laser light show in a planetarium.
Sound: There are several songs from this movie that are a must-have for me. Normally I don’t compliment an animated movie for its music but Kimi no Na wa did a smashing job. I found the montage/ recap style music to be great and helped summarize what was going on and in addition to that the editing to the music was phenomenal to go along with what was going on in the screen.
Character: I won’t include character design in art because the atmosphere and world-building in its own deserved a 10/10. Now for character design I will say that some of the characters look a bit generic and halfway through I thought to myself Taki kind of looks like the MC from Konosubarashi. Out of everything in this film I will say that the characters are the weakest point but their traits, friends and personalities make them relatable and appeal to viewers. For the better half of the movie, the MC’s are mostly doing regular student or after-school part time worker activates that most anime watchers have seen in other shows.
Enjoyment: As someone who is not big on the school/ drama genres, I was a bit hesitant to give this movie a shot. However, the school tag is not so relevant and aside from the main characters being in school/ around it; it has no huge implications to the story. As for drama, the family ties each character had, to their respective families, played a huge part in getting the viewer invested. I found myself feeling both happy and sad whenever a character was being pelted with bad news/ going through tough times. I also enjoyed all the small chit-chat and conversations Mitsuha had with her sister or grandmother.
Overall I found the film to blow-away any expectations I had from the first few minutes of viewing. It will make you laugh/ giggle, cry, feel happy, cry, then sad, cry some more.
Should you watch it?
Do you enjoy sad romance movies?
Do you enjoy movies about time/ space?
Look for relatable characters in movies?
Is art style and sound something you look for in a move?
Looking for a movie you can’t explain to friends without having them see it with you?
If any of these were yes/ maybe, then please take a seat, get some popcorn, tissues and maybe some friends to enjoy it with. This is certainly a film you don’t just watch once.
Despite coming out recently, as I write this review, I’d consider it my favorite if not top contender for favorite anime movie.