Your Name is a stunning animated movie from director Makoto Shinkai that tells the story of two teenagers who find that they are swapping bodies frequently. They find a way to make the strange lifestyle work by keeping in contact virtually and guiding each other through their daily lives. Things get more complicated when they attempt to meet up in person and realise that their connection transcends time altogether.
Two people in a cosmic connection
Your Name tells the story of two people whose love begins before they even meet each other, stemming from the comet that crashed at Itomori years beforehand. They start switching bodies when teenager Mitsuha performs a ritual at their god’s shrine and wishes to live the life of a handsome boy in Tokyo. She then begins waking up in Taki’s body, and he in hers.
The pair make it work and enjoy their time leaving each other notes and guides to get them through. The pair affect each other’s lives in many ways before they ever meet due to their cosmic connection. They each get to live life in each other’s shoes and bring out different sides of each other and the people around them, allowing them to become better versions of themselves.
They meet in person
Eventually, Mitsuha decides to meet Taki in person, and gives him her red yarn bracelet. Unable to remember the event, Taki decides to track down Mitsuha’s home town to find her, where he discovers a comet had hit three years prior. Taki can no longer connect with Mitsuha, and all evidence of her in his life begins to vanish. He decides to visit her god’s shrine and partake in the ritual she had previously started. Taki is then is able to wake up in Mitsuha’s body again once more due to the ritual tying her to her hometown, which happens to be on the day of the second comet’s crash.
The pair are finally able to meet at a time of day called ‘magic hour’, where Taki returns her bracelet. They both begin forgetting each other as their connection fades, and in their last moments together, Taki leaves Mitsuha a message.
Years later, the pair have no memory of each other, but both feel the missing space in their lives. They are both yearning to find the love that they know exists, but they just don’t know with whom yet. When they finally meet by chance, they have the feeling that they know each other from somewhere, a familiarity like they’ve known each other for a long time. This is the moment where they both find the love that they had been longing for.
This represents the kind of love that feels familiar the moment you find it, even after knowing each other for only a short amount of time.
Emotional and memorable
Your name tells this emotional story through stunning cinematography throughout the movie, highlighted by its beautiful animation. The moments where the comets can be seen from afar are some of my favourite animated moments, as the visuals are unlike anything I have seen.
The score accompanies these moments, both the quiet and delicate ones and the most tense ones. One of the most memorable scenes in the movie is the last moments of Taki and Mitsuha meeting, right before they forget each other again.
The dramatic score goes deathly silent the second Mitsuha is gone, leaving Taki alone. Void of sound, you can feel his loss once she leaves his life, and the score made this moment as powerful as it is.
Your Name is currently streaming on Netflix, and I’d highly recommend it to any animation fans who are looking for a beautiful emotional story to embark on.
Read more by Katie Maughan.