Your Name (2016)

  • Gist: Anime romance that takes a familiar premise–two people switching bodies–and does far more, far better with it than any other story I’ve seen.
  • Storytelling: Exquisite. Briskly sets up the premise, makes the obvious jokes, lets you get comfortable, and then guns it into the main plot, which is richer than the comedy set-up prepared me for. Avoid spoilers!
  • Animation: Beautiful. High detail, vivid colors, flowing motion.
  • Voice acting: Usually I like an original with subtitles, but this time I got the English dub, which was good. I’ve read that the Japanese actors are outstanding.
  • Directing: Makoto Shinkai shines. This is the first film by him I’ve seen, but not the last.
  • Tears: Under my crusty exterior I’m a mushy romantic anyway, but this one had my eyes leaking most of the second half.
  • Score: Great original songs and soundtrack!
  • Audience: Probably aimed at 13+ with a median about 23, like a strong Disney movie, and has no serious objectionable elements. If you think of animated film as for kids, know that in Japan it’s just an art medium that carries any kind of story, from toddler cartoons to stuff that pretty much everyone is too young for.
  • Recommended: I saw this when Cecil on GoodBadFlicks made it his #1 movie of 2017. Since it is VERY different than what he usually reviews on his channel, I was intrigued.

Conclusion: See it when you’re in the mood for an emotion wash, a beauty bath, and a spirit cleanse. Available for $4 rental on Amazon Video and Google Play.