One of MrFodder’s friend suggested we go and see Your Name when it was showing last year, and while I was hesitant to see it, it was screening during the Japanese Film Festival, so I thought it would be suitable for the theme of movies I had lined myself up to see, so I responded that I’d like to go. Even though I like Japanese culture, I find some movies a bit hit or miss, as I’m not generally a fan of the over-the-top acting, super contrived scenarios, or harem-style stories (though Love Hina is an exception for me, probably because it was the first anime I was introduced to, courtesy of my cousin).
So I went into the screening of Your Name with very, very low expectations, despite the fact that the reviews were incredibly positive. Ever since I discovered the “Trailers always spoil” trope (warning: TV tropes link), the only movie trailers I’ve seen have been ones that screen at the start of another movie, so I had no idea what the movie was about at all. I was quite surprised to find that within the first five minutes or so, I was already hooked.
MrFodder and I went to see it again today with darkpast and kawarimi, and after the movie, we discussed how someone would go about trying to describe this movie to someone in order to convince them to see it.
I guess I should start by saying that the movie is in Japanese (I don’t know if an English dub exists, but I’m pretty sure there isn’t one at this moment), so if you’re not into reading subtitles, probably best to give it a miss. The next thing I should mention is that it’s animated – not CGI-style animation, but anime-style animation. Lastly, it’s a sweet romance movie, so if that’s not your thing either, then you can give it a miss (though it’s not overly saccharin-saturated romance, it’s actually quite touching, I mean, even MrFodder was willing to watch it twice!). OK, now that that’s over and done with, on to what the movie is actually about.
It starts with Mitsuha, who is a high-school girl living in a small village in Japan. She, along with her younger sister, are the local shrine maidens, which she seems to find embarrassing, and wishes she were a boy living in Tokyo. She begins a dream, believing herself to be a high-school boy called Taki, who lives in Tokyo. Not long after, *minor spoiler*, we discover that sometimes when they sleep, they end up waking up in the other person’s body. In order to help each keep track of what went on while they were swapped, they’d leave notes for each other about what they did in the other person’s body.
Both characters are quite reasonable about the situation, and neither one of them seems to behave in an, “I’d rather be you than me” way. They actually end up helping each other out with their lives, by doing things the other one wouldn’t normally be able to do.
I hope that that was enough to sell the movie to you, I definitely don’t regret seeing it twice!