In some ways, this anime film was almost exactly what I expected, but the unfortunate thing was that it felt a little too closely aligned with my expectations, to the point where I didn’t really feel any particular moments that really outright impressed me at all. Almost everything about Your Name feels very tropey, putting it in the same category as the slew of other Japanese animated films that come out on a regular basis, albeit all of them being very nicely executed on most fronts, putting it a slight cut above a lot of them. This was especially true of the art, which gave off an almost dreamy vibe at times while also allowing for some genuinely cool bits of visual creativity that greatly enhanced the overall experience.
Despite this, I wasn’t completely sold on the film, as while much of it was clearly aimed at delivering a character-driven narrative experience, the characters were one of the least interesting parts to be found. None of the characters seem to grow in any meaningful way, and when the movie hinges on the dynamic between the cast and how it changes between swaps, it ends up feeling unengaging due to all of the differences between the two characters feeling very surface level, with no real depth to any of them. This became especially difficult to swallow when the film seemed dead set on making the audience care about what happened to the characters, essentially screaming at you “I’m so sad right now! You should be sad because bad things happened!”
In terms of plot, I felt similarly, because while there were a lot of twists thrown around to elevate the tension of scenes and build towards the climactic final act, a lot of the time things felt rather slow without adding much to the overall atmosphere or liveliness of the settings beyond the more surface-level things.
Finally, the soundtrack. Among all the things that I have said earlier, the soundtrack of Kimi no Na wa totally got my attention. Compared to the anime film titled Weathering With You, I still prefer the soundtrack of this film. I really love how the music blends with some of the most iconic scenes of the anime. In fact, I’ve been hooked to the official soundtrack of Your Name that I played multiple times while doing some of my work.
Despite all of my criticism in this review, I still enjoyed this film to some extent, simply because, while it’s safe and doesn’t really have anything that really provokes any thought beyond a few needlessly convoluted story beats, it’s ultimately very competent across the board and is able to create some interest through its art. Give it a watch if you like a lot of the common tropes of this type of movie, because this movie does tropes really well, not in a negative way; it just depends on how much you like that sort of stuff in the first place.
About Kimi no Na wa
The story follows Mitsuha, a high school girl who dreamed of being a boy and live in a big city. One day, Mitsuha found herself in an unfamiliar house in Tokyo with the body of a boy. However, she discovered that she had been switching bodies with the boy.
Your Name, also known as Kimi no Na wa, is a Japanese anime film directed by Makoto Shinkai. The film was released in December 2016.