“Musubi is the old way of calling the local guardian god. This word has profound meaning. Typing thread is Musubi. Connecting people is Musubi. The flow of time is Musubi. These are all the god’s power. So the braided cords that we make are the god’s art and represent the flow of time itself. They converge and take shape. They twist, tangle, sometimes unravel, break, and then connect again. Musubi – knotting. That’s time.”
Time. It always has a lot to do with memories. Only after spending time with people can we make memories. But what if the flow of time is altered? As human beings, we always think the line of “if only I could go back in time and change this” but it never happens obviously. What has happened, has happened. So that’s what reality teaches us. Yet, the feeling lingers in us. That’s where fiction steps in. This is my review of your name. better known to Otakus as “Kimi no Na wa”. My name is Yasaal by the way 😛
Premiere: July 3, 2016
Genres: Supernatural, Drama, Romance, School
Studio: CoMix Wave Films
Many people were shocked at the resounding success of Kimi no Na wa. More so they were impressed. How can a non-Ghibli film achieve what Ghibli films have? The answer? If you don’t have a Hayao Miyazaki you make your own. And Makoto Shinkai is who they got. He definitely wasn’t new to the anime industry. Although he had done many other works his most popular ones previously were “Byousoku no 5 centimeter” and “Kotonoha no Niwa”. The latter in particular was interesting since one of it’s characters featured in the film.
Makoto was praised for his direction many times previously in the aforementioned films but people miss out on an important quality of his which actually surpasses Miyazaki in this field. Multiple roles. A quick MAL Database search shows us the number of roles Makoto has taken up in his movies. Taking on between 5-7 roles in each film on average shows us he’s not only a good director but a talented individual who can handle a whole lot of responsibilities on his own. That’s definitely not to say that Miyazaki falls behind, he’s got an average of around 4-5 too, which is also mind-blowing on its own, but when compared to Makoto, he falls by a small margin. Why am I comparing these two together? It’s because they’re both legends. Miyazaki being a legend is as obvious as his movies’ successes, but a young Makoto achieving that much in his age left my jaw open. Is it inspiration? Talent? Hard work? All of them?
Relatability and attention to detail
The reason what makes Kimi no Na wa so popular is how juvenile it is. Its delicate plot is nothing but sweet and cute. Isn’t that how we wish our high school lives to be? Now the question here is, is it always that way? Are our high school lives always so sweet and cute? Definitely not. There’s sadness, there’s pain, there’s the feeling of losing someone close to you, be it a friend or a girl-/boyfriend. Although obviously this show is tagged supernatural, that doesn’t excuse it from still being realistic and exploring the emotions in us. Miyazaki’s approach was to everyone, Makoto’s approach was to the teenagers. And since it was so relatable, we teens ourselves adored the movie.
Its plot was so easy going at first that I felt it wouldn’t get better but the second half slapped me across the face. A slap I was happy to have since it meant the movie is moving on beautifully, and no, I’m not a masochist. A good tactic of directing is to split parts of the story instead of trying to manage all of it at once. Now the latter technique isn’t necessarily bad, it’s just that it takes much more effort and care to get it done right. Getting things done is easy, getting them done right is hard. The first half of the movie showed us how Tokyo is, how Mitsuha’s town is (Its name is a spoiler so I didn’t give it, so much for “your name.”, Pardon the pun).
It’s eye candy. For that matter, the whole movie itself is eye candy. The art is so breathtaking I lost my breath admiring the backgrounds, the sights, the characters, the faithful representation of Tokyo and Mitsuha’s town (in classic Japanese style). Now I did watch this movie in 60fps so that isn’t on Makoto’s side (maybe) but that all the more made the movie so wonderful. Maybe he did make the movie 60fps from the start. But it’s the second part of the movie that made it Kimi no Na wa and not Yamada-kun to Nananin no Majo (Sorry Yamada-kun). The suspense left on you, the pace that suddenly increased from the homely nature of the first half to a comet’s speed at the second half left you taken aback it all built up everything in you for the climax that would come. And then… A tag not completely explored plays in. Something so juvenile yet I haven’t mentioned it. Love. Unfortunately, I can’t delve deeper into this Romance since it’s all a spoiler in itself so allow me to only scratch the surface. It’s adorable. It’s cute. It made me laugh then left me in despair. It brought out all the teenage emotions I so bury inside myself like no other anime, (except Koe no Katachi of course). For the first time in a while, I felt like I was a part of the action itself. Like I was with Taki, I was with Mitsuha. I was moving around the lovely streets of Tokyo or admiring the scenery at Miyamizu shrine. The best part of the anime is its art. Period. You won’t get art better than this, and as a Ufotable fanboy, take this as the Gospel truth as that’s saying something.
So we’ve talked about the story and the art and the emotions it left in me. We’re still missing something important. The music. RADWIMPS did the music for the anime and let’s just start with the fun facts before we delve in. Kimi no Na wa’s soundtrack was something I admired BEFORE I even watched it. Since around July or August of last year, I’ve been in love with Kimi no Zense. I learnt all the lyrics in a flash and the song was the only OSU song I successfully completed at an S are 3* (I’m not good at tappity tap games as you see), this all shows how much I loved it. Yumetourou brought in the hidden emotions in us, Kataware Doki made us cry rivers and rivers. The music is a beauty to behold.
“Even when you completely disappear and all of you is torn into pieces
I won’t be lost anymore, and I’ll start searching you from the beginning again
Or rather we can start a world from zero” – Kimi no Zense
With lyrics like these, it leaves your hair on end. If you ask me how I felt about the music, to reply with RADWIMPS’ own lyrics “My heart rushed here faster than my body could”. Like I mentioned above, it’s lyrics, it’s beat, all fit perfectly in all the places it was kept, and I mean all the songs. It had the fun, it had the sadness, it had the romantic lyrics, it had character. Speaking of character, Taki and Mitsuha. Since this anime revolved around them the supporting characters were pushed aside in favor of them. Now the thing here is that they both didn’t develop to the extent I thought them to be (high standards I guess?), but the reason might be because they were already so well created from the start. When something’s good why change it? With that ideology, the characters didn’t go through a rushed development, they improved along with the plot. They made me cheer for them. I laughed at them, almost cried for them, smiled at the fun they had, and so many other emotions went through me watching these two characters doing what they do, most important of which was that they both were heartwarming. The flow of events Makoto had woven left my eyes open (my jaw was already open before, so eyes. Resisting a bad joke here but whatevs). I can say nothing but praise for Makoto and I have a lot of hope for his future works. They’re definitely going to be equal to Kimi no Na wa, if not better.
Different, yet so similar
Kimi no Na wa is an anime that resonates with us all. It’s not just any other Romance anime. I’m speaking as a hardcore Romance watcher here. Although I’ve spent my time on Comedy anime after finishing Gintama back in October of last year, before that I was always Romance first. Watching a lot of them gave me an understanding of how and what cliches would play out. Even as a cliche hater, I say that cliches aren’t necessarily bad. It’s their execution that matters. Body changing anime have existed before, the aforementioned Yamada-kun is a good example of a body changing gender-bender anime. Yet Kimi no Na wa feels different. It is different. Yet so similar. And that’s what makes it so adorable.
Warning: Unconfirmed rumors and hints of a rant below, skip to the next paragraph if you are a sensitive person.
Kimi no Na wa had taken the top spot over the incredibly overrated FMAB for quite a long time, at 9.37 or so I think, but then this is MAL. Due to the poor rating system, FMAB fanboys gave Kimi no Na wa 1 or 2 and brought that down to second place. Satisfied that they brought their overrated anime back to the top they stopped the underrating. A similar problem happened to Gintama as rumors say but that unconfirmed. Back to Kimi no Na wa, it’s amazing it managed 2nd place among overrated titles and multiple sequels and the fact it crossed all seasons of Gintama is also mind-blowing considering how it’s fanboys like me give it a 10 or a 9 each time.
Rant over. Continue normally.
A personal attachment
Now a fun story of me and Kimi no Na wa’s relation goes back to when I started out anime. It was September 14th, 2016 and I was obviously just 3 days into the anime world, I joined the anime world at the 11th. Yes, quite the unfortunate timing but eh. I checked the ranking and saw Kimi no Na wa at first place since it was Romance, a genre I was interested in for SOME reason I’ll perhaps never know (because I never liked romance before watching anime) so I PTWed it. Evidently, I never planned on watching it for a very long time. Until around August of last year when I started torrenting anime, I torrented a 60fps version of the movie and thought “Hmm. I’ll watch this in a few days in this month itself” and yet again I left it in my memory card. So near yet so far.
It was my close friend who forced me to watch Kimi no Na wa few days back that I thought “Let’s get this over with” not in an irritated way, but to quietly end the story between me and the movie peacefully and give the movie what it definitely deserved for a long time, my attention. I gave it and here I am beaming with happiness at this masterpiece of an anime. Yes, it’s not perfect, nothing is perfect. A 10/10 doesn’t mean perfection. It means it’s a masterpiece. It leaves its impact everywhere. Either it is the box office, the MAL rankings board and most importantly us and our hearts. It brings out the juvenile feelings within us. That’s what made this movie a masterpiece. You don’t force an emotion into someone, you give it time and make us develop the emotion within us. That’s what Makoto envisioned and succeeded at. An 8.9 at IMDB and a 79% on Metacritic might put some people off, but here’s the thing. This is an anime. An anime getting that much buzz in the West is shocking. It proves anime is growing. The industry is growing. And thanks to assistance by Funimation, more and more people got to see it. Even if you don’t like the movie you can’t deny that along with the Ghibli movies, Kimi no Na wa and Makoto Shinkai in general will push the anime industry forward. In case you forgot to my name, my name is Yasaal 😛
“Kimi no namae wo?”
P.S: Too bad romance doesn’t happen to most of us Otakus :'( But eh. Someday folks. Someday.
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