After seeing Makoto Shinkai’s 5 Centimeters Per Second, I was really looking forward to seeing his latest film, which received a lot of glowing reviews. I was already impressed by his style, but wanted to find out if the story in this movie would be stronger and how much he had grown as a storyteller in then ten years between the films.
Mitsuha, is a high school student living in a small village, together with her sister and grandmother. She hates her simple life and dreams about living in Tokyo. When a comet closely passes the earth something special is happening. To her great surprise (and shock) start to regularly change bodies with Taki, a teenager living in Tokyo.
Both are shocked by what is happening and the people around them also notice that they sometimes behave differently. It doesn’t take long before they start communicating with each other by leaving text messages in each others phones, so they are aware what has happened the previous day. Sometimes those are things they aren’t happy with. Mitsuha arranges for Taki to go on a date with a colleague, something he really doesn’t appreciate. When the body switching stops Taki decides to search for Mitsuha. He discovers something he wasn’t expecting.
Where to start with a movie like this? It’s one which really impressed me. First it’s the animation, which is of such a high level that each shot will impress. Even if those shots are only a second, it’s hard to imagine this was all drawn by hand, colored in and also having so much detail that you can’t imagine how much time has been spent on them. The story has a couple of surprises and besides the humour also has a lot of serious moments which will move quite a few viewers. What initially starts out as a simple body switch comedy turns into so much more and with Your Name Shinkai has delivered an anime masterpiece which really impresses.