Your Name – review

City boy and country girl discover they can swap bodies. Initially they find this to be an inconvenience but after beginning to appreciate each other, they want to meet, but will they be able to before fate divides them?

One of the most popular animated movies from Japan in 2016 (and the fourth highest grossing of all time), Your Name is part body swap, part time travel, part coming of age teen drama. Honestly for a film aimed perfectly at the teen girl market I am surprised it has done so well. But then again, there is no Studio Ghibli at the moment is there?

The animation itself is very well done, the 3d aspects, the use of a moving camera are very impressive and some of the stormy skies and use of colours are very pretty too.  Again this is not Studio Ghibli so it doesn’t have a great deal of complexity, such as environmental dangers, loss of traditions from the countryside maybe, but anything else gets lost in time travel romance.

The initial fun of the fish out of water body swap works well and the two teens a put into different situations they need to overcome, then the story completely shifts into a time travel story that really doesn’t make any sense. Have you seen The Lakehouse? That time travel romance with Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock where they live in the same house at different times and communicate through a letterbox. Stupid right? well it is a bit similar to that. Time travel romance is crazy.

Not really the type of story I would normally watch or want from anime, personally. Even the J-pop soundtrack is aimed at teen girls. Worth a watch for curiosity, but keep an eye open for writer director Makoto Shinkai in the future.

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