Your Name 「君の名は」 was a big hit in Japan last year. It was close to dethroning Studio Ghibli, Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away, as the most successful anime in the land of anime. The writer/director, Makoto Shinkai, is well regarded as an anime director himself. He's done some very notable anime particularly 5 Centimeters Per Second, so the success of this film isn't surprising. If you watch it you'll know why you'll be surprised.

The film starts off as a body-switching tale. The male protagonist, Taki, wakes up in the body of Mitsuha. He's out of place not only in body but in setting. He's a city boy of Tokyo. She lives in the country. Little does he know that she wakes up in his body. Slowly they get to know that these things are happening and they begin to work around their limitations. She gets him a date with the hot senpai at work. He makes a mess of her hair. Eventually, affection develops between the two such that he wants to see her live.

Then there comes a twist, which I don't want to spoil, but needless to say the film changes direction. It goes into some action mode and some sadness that had me thinking that I don't want it to end that way.

I really dug this kind of movie. I did like 5 cm/s, but this is on a whole another level. It does rival Spirited Away with its themes and all. I like that Shinkai is romantic. I like that in my anime. I wish you should see this classic. It didn't get an Oscar nomination, because Funamation, the distributor, really botched this roll out. The film has been out there since last fall, but they didn't show it except for a small showing to qualify for the Oscars. It should've been a bigger movie in the US. I hope you get to see it sometime.

4 of 5 stars.

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