Anime of the Week: Kimi no Na Wa (Your Name)

Kimi No Na Wa, otherwise known as Your Name, was the gift that you didn’t even know you wanted. If you haven’t heard of this movie, I honestly don’t know where you’ve been because even people who live under rocks have heard of this divine blessing from the anime gods. With most anime movies being a part of an already on going series, this beauty came out of the blue and stole everyone’s hearts without so much as a warning. The first trailers that came out definitely made it look interesting, but we’ve all been there before. They make it look pretty good and then it absolutely flops. That is not the case with Your Name. The trailer made everyone underestimate this movie to the nth degree and there are so many reasons why.

Art. Not going to lie, this movie may have the best art I have ever seen. The character designs are simultaneously simple and very detailed. When you look at them they seem so life-like compared to other anime yet the more you study each character, the simpler of a design you realize they are. However, the scenery is far from simple. Having most of the locations being based off of real sights the amount of detail is astounding. But the artists did a terrific job of not over doing it and making the world feel busy and cluttered. Despite their attention to detail, each scene- no each frame feels vast and open even when it’s in a small Tokyo apartment.

Characters. Kimi No Na Wa went with a small cast, which is very uncharacteristic of most anime movies and I wholeheartedly am glad the writer and director, Makoto Shinkai, went with that decision. Because movies are only an hour or so long and not a multi-episode series, writers usually cram in a bunch of characters to increase the size of the story, which results in only one or two getting any sort of character development and the rest feeling a little 2-D (pun intended). Keeping the main characters to only two with only a handful of supporting characters, the amount of growth that happens in such a short period of time is extremely satisfying. The two main characters, Mitsuha Miyamizu and Taki Tachibana, are enthralling to watch as they both have realistic and relatable personalities that are more often found in novel series neo-classics like Harry Potter and the Hunger Games. Even the supporting characters fell into classic novel archetypes including a Guardian, a Mentor, and a Herald. For those of you anime-lovers who are into deep story and are also avid readers, these characters will be refreshing and yet somehow pleasantly familiar.

Story. I honestly debated whether or not to put a plot section here, because the movie is best enjoyed when going in completely blind or having at only seen the trailers. But I guess I do need to entice you some more (if I already haven’t), so I’ll give a brief description much like you’ll see on any movie or show database website. Mitsuha Miyamizu is a high school girl who pines after the thought of escaping her small town to live in Tokyo. Taki Tachibana on the other hand lives the bustling life of a high school student and a works a stressful part-time job in Tokyo. Their fates become intertwined when they both start dreaming of being in someone else’s body and living that other person’s life.

Now if any of that didn’t get you interested in Kimi No Na Wa, tell me Your Name so I can try to persuade you some more. Bad jokes aside, this animated film is an absolute masterpiece and, in my opinion, is now an instant classic. I even got some of my friends and family who are very prejudice against anime to watch it and each of them fell in love with it (though sadly they still won’t try any other shows). I think that in and of itself is enough to beguile anyone into watching Your Name.

My rating: 10/10 ConfiKeys

- MAB III