Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. - Albert Einstein
I really do wonder what was the genius physicist I admired so much on my childhood thinking about when he said that. What would later become a well renowned quote that many just I would cite and presented depending on how fitting it's the occasion. such deep thought and intriguing that begs the question onto what's real.
However it is the one thing that came to mind when I saw this film. Reality, Time, Identity and Romance all circle this very quote. Things that are very present on this film.
"Kimi no Na Wa" or "Your Name " It's a quite a controversial film, As it has climb up the charts at a unprecedented level even if it's MAL we are talking about. It has also taken Japanese theaters by storm and the film itself has outsripped various Ghibli films as globally aclaimed as they are and shove them behind them. It begs the question whether the film deserves all the hype or not after all. Is Makoto Shinkai a genius and is his work a work of art worthy of all the praise?.
FUNimation has acquired rights to it and plans to screen it on 2017. They've even gone as far as to enter the film for a Oscar nomination as strange as that sounds. as this development was happening I was wondering and asking myself, Is it really worth it?.
I'm a sucker for Gender Benders, Romance as long it has comedy and Ecchi. You can call that my guilty pleasure. So when I read the synopsis I was intrigued and honestly I didn't know what to make of it. It even annoyed me at some point because people wouldn't stop talking about. It's mere name irritated me to no end.
Like the obsessed Naruto fans and their Anime Gang Signs they throw out all day (LOL, I know it's Ninja shit). Anyway let's begin.
[SLIGHT SPOILERS AHEAD]
Plot: 6 / 10
After all I've said, You're probably flipping out. Why did I give this film at least for it's story a 6 / 10. Well the story revolves around two high school students from different places in Japan. Miyamazu Mitsuha a girl with city dreams who abhors the country life. there is nothing interesting going on and lacks absolutely everything that relates to entertainment.
Kinda like a more grounded version and more humble of Megumi Shimizu from SHIKI. though this isn't as tragic, there is the sense of despair present for a time. regardless of which, she wishes she could escape the country life. Out right declaring on a shrine that she wishes to be a cute boy on the city as she wants to be on Tokyo. Why does she wanna be a guy on Tokyo? Who knows. what we do know is that she has had recurring dreams on which she is a guy on the city. However while awake, she is told she acted quite bizarrely the previous day and she begins to question whether it was ever truly a dream to begin with or is something supernatural going on.
Her switch partner Tachibana Taki a city young man whom we really aren't told much about. He works multiple part time jobs and has a talent for drawing and subtly has been shown to harbor a slight desire to escape the city life for a bit. The body swapping allows both individuals to experience each other way of life, To gain experience and perhaps learn stuff that you'd normally wouldn't learn. As time goes by they leave each other notes about what they do on each others skin. leaving things written on each other bodies and/or cell phones and give each other tips on how to handle things.
Till one day, the messaging stops and so does the body swapping. Just to find out that Mitsuha the country girl and her town disappeared out of existence 3yrs ago and over 500 people died on a comet crash that erased the town. Now Taki becomes engulfed by the intrigue of how did he talk to the girl and to reach her and perhaps save her and her towns life from a deadly catastrophe.
Now although the plot is now evident. this films biggest issue is it's pacing and shaky focus. it doesn't know where it's heading at all. this anime swallows the world building and the how to of how in the world is soul switching by time travel even being done on the first place.
Although from experience, Anime shown this way isn't about the plot but it's symbolic nature. Anime such as "BokuMachi" or "Erased" whole purpose was about dealing with regret and showcasing how it affects your future and can with hold you from achieving your best at your dreams. going as far as to intervene on your love life too. The plot of saving an old classmate was never important plot wise but it's symbolic nature of awareness of your surroundings.
This film constantly jumps around and whatever message it wants to get across gets lost on a white noise. There are traits of what perhaps are a desire to be with the same sex hinted from one of the characters and it's vaguely approached whether the experience is to be missed or was it simple lifestyle that somehow turn into romance as each one of the individuals live on each other skins and get to know each other from within.
one can argue that "Kimi no Na Wa" contains a coming of age element to it on which two youth are dealing with their place in the world as well as getting to know their identity better by living on each other skins. however it's execution it's quite poor. throughout the film you can't help but feel potential brimming but this films biggest mistake was to be a film.
"Kimi no Na Wa" was a mistake!. A TV show would have made this show stand truly atop as for now I perceive this show being graded on it's potential and what it could have been. Aside of being full of holes on regards to consistency and the set up to create a form of drama but coming out slightly above average.
The art is very good and the visuals are astounding. the characters designs are ok and aren't very important as the youths exist solely for whatever purpose the films wants to show you rather than have you get attached to them. basically a means to an end kind of thing.
The characters are good and decently developed. However though bouth Tachibana Taki and Miyamazu Mitsuha hold a somewhat equal relevance you can't help but think "Convenience" aat their character dynamics despite their set up on regards to the past with each other.
The characters are designed to just be able to boost each other just enough but not enough to be memorable.
This film was enjoyable at the line of good but it was most certainly not perfect not masterpiece worthy. I was entertained by the first half of the movie and it's showcase on a different approach to body swapping / gender bender was these are quite rare to find as a whole, Trust me I've looked since it is my guilty pleasure.
To jumpy to what it wanted to accomplish and wrong expenditure of time for it's different themes of Gender Bending, Time Travel, Body Swapping, Identity and Romance. As I mentioned earlier, This should have been a TV Show.
I give this Film a 7/10 since it's a most fitting score taking everything into consideration. Would I recommended? perhaps but people who don't care much about details. Meticulous people would be good for this film as they would enjoy it.
If you're here for the gender bending and it's showcasing on dynamics, It will be quite interesting but to be frank, As a enthusiast of this kind of theme. I shedded more tears at Maken-Ki Two Episode 0 approach and their portrayal of it's consequences better than how it is presented here.
If you're looking for fulfilling romance well, "Ano Natsu de Matteru" or "Waiting in the Summer" it's a hint for that. As per time travel well, It's just used as a means to and end and it will most certainly not be explained as it's just a vehicle to the what is happening in the plot and it requires you to look past it.