Kimi no Na wa – A “classic masterpiece” of the modern era anime.
Allow me to first clarify that this is more of an admiration of the movie rather than a review. Before I begin discussing the movie let us talk a little bit about ‘anime’ itself first- I myself have always been a fan of all sorts anime but keeping in mind the cheesy set ups and exaggerated dialog deliveries alongside awesome action sequences that you see in most of the popular anime series, it might not be a cup of tea for everyone.
But if you take the time to browse through some classics by some of the more serious studios you will see that some of the most heart touching and unique story telling can be found in this genre that possibly no feature film could deliver in that manner. There is a unique and different vibe to anime movies that even a non-anime lover can appreciate if he/she takes the time to delve into them. Most of the movies by Studio Ghibli alongside ‘Grave of the Fireflies’, ‘Princess Mononoke’ , ‘The Girl who leapt through time’, ‘The Secret World of Arrietty’, ‘My neighbor Totoro’ to name a few are some of the anime movies that give you goose bumps even when you re-watch them.
Rest aside the amazing story to be told in itself, the effort that goes into creating these movies with such fluid hand drawn environment and illustrations, the rich color pallets often presented, the authenticity of the sound effects, the accuracy of the landscapes and geometry of the buildings or objects for even the minute details is what makes these film appear even more realistic, enjoyable and in some cases more relatable to viewers of all age group.
Now coming back to the title in discussion – Kimi no Na wa – literally translated and released as ‘Your Name’ outside of Japan, obviously has all of the features I just mentioned and the astonishing fact is all those features were present in the classic movies decades old but were not truly present in any of recent releases.
This one however was an exception, having been released in 2016, it is a multi award winner and the 4th highest grossing movie of all time in Japan, to date. That sure speaks volume about it, does it not? I will not go into details about how much of a commercial success it was and all the awards it won, simply because there is wiki for that. Unfortunately I was two years too late to watch this masterpiece however I consider myself lucky to have stumbled into it without any specific reference in 2018 and watched it. Needless to say I was blown away by this fantastic movie, which is why I could not keep myself from writing this belated review.
Let me talk about the movie itself now. This movie has a broad genre due to the sheer scope it covers. The story transitions so well into multiple genres, all the while maintaining the viewers interest. This movie has two teenagers – a boy and a girl by the name of Taki and Mitsuha respectively as its main character who do not know each other but get to experience each other’s life from their point of view – by a certain way – I do not want to give out the details because I want to keep the mystic. It starts as a romantic spin off with a magical touch that has been seen in many movies, at which point you feel like its just a generic movie but soon after you begin to get this feel that it has something more.
The story subtly changes its tone to a more serious and chilling tone to a thriller genre and then with such grace switches to a sci-fi setup having you kind of confused but in a very good way as it completely grasps your mind waiting for an explanation. Even the side characters although given much lesser screen time somehow feel important and you can understand their sentiment as well. It makes you scold yourself for not paying enough attention at the beginning and you feel like you missed something somehow at the beginning because the story takes such a sharp turn after about halfway through the movie, the drag gets you spinning and admiring the awesomeness in the story.
I literally got chills more than one time at the later stages of this movie. The movie occasionally and subtly highlights some of the ancient Japanese customs in a very well presented ritual that makes you feel like you are watching the ritual in first person as it gives a very good amount of screen time to the scene which also acts as a very meaningful plot to the main story that you figure out later on. Like I said every detail that you skip at the beginning thinking of it as generic, later bears so much weight to the story that it make you realize that you underestimated the movie’s plot at the start and that’s exactly the brilliance in this movie’s story telling.
If my blabbering so far convinced you to watch this movie, simply go watch it but if not and you are looking for more about the story in a review with spoilers I suggest you don’t do so as any more info takes away the movie’s charm which is in its unsuspecting twist. As much as I would like to write a more detailed review about this movie, it simply would not be justice to you as a reader if you have not watched this movie, I would be simply be spoiling it for you, which is why I will not do that.
Just trust me on this one and watch it for the sheer brilliance you will find in this story.
And if you already have watched it, I can say for sure you agree that this movie, if not the best, is very well one of the most interesting and thrilling stories that any anime movie has presented in the last decade.
This is an absolutely must-watch movie for any anime, sci-fi, thriller, romance … well pretty much all the movie lovers out there.
A 10/10 in my view, for it is a movie about a lifetime, that will be in my gallery for a lifetime.