Based on the novel by Makoto Shinkai, Your Name finally came to my local theater after raking up over 300,000,000 dollars at box offices around the world. The story centers around two teen-agers, a city boy and a country girl, who begin to swap bodies during the night.
The characters do not, initially, know each other, but as they spend time in each other’s bodies and living each other’s lives, they naturally start to get an understanding of each other, communicating by leaving journal entries, and their lives become intertwined as they bicker, commiserate and become inter-twined with each other’s friends and families.
What emerges is a unique and tearful love story with a bunch of plot twists and reversals that challenge the characters and make the audience suffer as we wait to see how, if ever, these characters will get together.
I found Your Name to be one of the most beautiful animated films I have ever seen, including numerous still shots that inform and fill out the world of these characters, as well as stunning scenes of natural beauty.
Despite my warning, I don’t want to reveal much of the plot of the movie. I will say this is a film that does not spend a lot of time exploring gender. Aside from one or two moments, especially when they first wake in bodies of the opposite sex, each character just adapts to the life of the body that they wear. There is a fascinating story line about the girl’s town that is gradually revealed as the story progresses, and a kind of hazy magic to the proceedings, as we discover that in the girl’s town, body swapping is not all that unusual, and it is taken as a matter of course.
I loved every minute of this film, and I will be buying it on DVD to watch again and again. It is a very moving and traditional story about love, with very non-traditional sci- fi flurishes.
Bring the tissues!