- Fiona Prior
Directed By: Makoto Shinkai
Written By: Makoto Shinkai
An early Christmas present that is extraordinary in detail, vast in concept and gorgeous in realisation.
Your Name, a wonderful Japanese anime by Makoto Shinkai is pure treasure. Makota Shinkai definitely positions himself as the rightful successor to Hayao Miyazaki (the deceased creator of the acclaimed Howl’s Moving Castle) and his work hails another Grand Master of anime. It is extraordinary how the Japanese culture can take a medium or activity; flower arrangement, packaging ‒ and in this instance animation ‒ and turn it into a high art form.
The story of Your Name is one of those mythical tales where a catastrophe – of the ilk of a nuclear meltdown or a natural disaster and in this situation a comet falling to earth – is glimpsed in the past, present and future by our hero and heroine who are both united in a strange, time warping experience.
Apart from the exquisite artwork of Your Name, all glistening rural lakeside villages and super cityscapes, the conceptual dimensions of the film raise it to a level of sophistication not frequently found in Western animation entertainment.
Your Name gives us insights into ancient Japanese traditions, rituals and present day lifestyles; the body changing process of puberty, this body switch experience heightened by our hero and heroine waking in each other’s bodies; and a glitch in time of an almost imperceptible three years in the young ones’ realities, where their rural and city lives could be decades apart anyway. It is a time increment critical to their mystery.
You will find Your Name a film full of love, life and death, with hints of real occurrences and hefty dollops of Japanese mysticism – all packaged in the exquisite craftsmanship of Makoto Shinkai.
Across time and distance our young couple realise that they must meet or literally die in the effort.
An irresistible film.