your name. Review

Thoughts on the latest animated feature film by Makoto Shinkai.

Have you ever wanted to swap bodies with a teenage boy in Tokyo or a high school girl who lives in the Japanese countryside? If so, then your name. is the film for you. your name. is an inventive and poignant take on body swapping that plucks the heart strings in the way only the director, Makoto Shinkai, knows how.

While the emotional beats are similar to Makoto Shinkai’s past works, the premise and way the story unfolds feels like a natural progression of his ability. The last time I watched one of his films was in high school over 10 years ago. I was a bit worried that the impact of a teenage love story would be lessened by time, but I’m glad to say that wasn’t the case.

The two main characters who find themselves swapping bodies on a regular basis are truly likable and interesting. All of the little details about them introduced in the first half come into play in the second half. The film feels masterful in the way it all ties together. The voice actors combined with the character animations do a great job of making it clear which character is in which body, which I found to be impressive.

The icing on the cake is that the entire film is gorgeous. The closing sliding door transitions, the food, the landscapes, the electronics—it is clear that the whole production staff captured the vision for the project.

The Japanese rock soundtrack highlights the emotional moments, which I found fitting. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea though, which I can understand. I’m personally excited to listen to the soundtrack.

My only gripe with the movie is that at times I felt the pacing was off in the first half. My mind started to drift, but I’m glad I kept with it, as it’s worth it. The second half is stellar.

I truly enjoyed your name. Don’t let it being an animated feature about teens in Tokyo turn you away. It’s one of the best films recently released films in the past few years. If you’ve got even a fraction of a heart, I think you’ll enjoy it.

If you watch it and enjoy it, I’d recommend watching 5 Centimeters Per Second after. It has very similar vibes.

I watched the subtitled version of the film with Japanese voices.

4/5 Stars

Author: Brett Chalupa

day: software developer, night: comic artist

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