While I was on vacation last week, I had the opportunity to see a subtitled screening of Makoto Shinkai’s your name. anime film in a movie theater. I’d been hearing a lot of positive buzz about this film, so I wanted a chance to see it in a movie theater.

your name.
Directed by: Makoto Shinkai
Written by: Makoto Shinkai
Starring: Ryunosuke Kamiki, Mone Kamishiraishi, Masami Nagasawa, Etsuko Ichihara, Ryo Narita, Aoi Yūki, Nobunaga Shimazaki, Kaito Ishikawa, and Kanon Tani
Run Time: 107 minutes

your name. focuses on two characters: a girl named Mitsuha who is bored of country life and wishes she is a handsome Tokyo boy, and a boy named Taki who lives in Tokyo. The two start switching bodies intermittently, but their memories of each swap fade quickly (in a similar manner to dreams). As they start having their friends and family telling them that they’re acting strangely sometimes, the two of them start leaving notes for each other to explain what happened when their bodies were swapped. One time, Taki learns from Mitsuha about a comet that’s supposed to pass Earth during her town’s festival.

At this point, some very interesting twists start taking place in the story. Just as you think you know what’s going to happen, Shinkai throws in another twist that changes your perceptions. I can’t say anything further about the plot, due to providing spoilers, but I will say that the twists that appear in the story kept me on the edge of my seat as I watched the film.

After seeing the entirety of your name., I would have to say that it’s the strongest story that Shinkai has presented in one of his films. It felt like a fully realized story, unlike some of his earlier works. Technically, the audience is never given a true explanation for the body swapping, but the story is so riveting that by the end, the viewer doesn’t really care about not having that explanation. I also appreciated the character development and character depiction for both Mitsuha and Taki. They came across as realistic teenagers, and I found myself caring about both of them throughout the film.

When it comes to the animation, your name. did not disappoint. The backgrounds are lush, and it’s obvious that care was taken with character designs. The combination of the story with the beautiful animation makes your name. an endearing film that viewers will enjoy watching.

To me, your name. is the best film that Makoto Shinkai has directed to date. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to be able to add this film to my anime home video library.

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