Your Name centres around two school children – Mitsuha, a girl living in the countryside, and Taki, a boy in the bustling city of Tokyo.
It quickly gets on with the plot as once the opening credits are done, the film proper begins with them waking up in each other’s bodies, so it’s of great surprise to Taki when he wakes up with breasts! Even more of a surprise to Misuha’s younger sister, Yotsuha, when she comments on ‘her’ seemingly weird behaviour, first thing in the morning.
Itomori is a town Mitsuha clearly can’t wait to grow up and leave. It’s a small place with emergency announcements made via intercom (something that’s an alien concept to us in the UK), with just pubs and nowhere for the kids to hang out. Meanwhile, in Taki’s Tokyo world, where everything costs a lot more than in Itomori, Misuha thinks she’s living in a dream.
During this time, a comet is traversing over Japan, making me wonder if that was playing a part in the situation, but the film turned out to be a real mind-bender.
I really didn’t expect to be grabbed by Your Name, given its rather ridiculous body swap premise, since that comes across like something from Disney’s Freaky Friday and a number of other films, but here, everything takes a wildly different turn from what I was expecting, and in ways I don’t want to spoil, the game of trying to find each other took so many twists and turns right up to the final moment. It grabs you by the heart and makes you feel tight in the chest* as you’re not sure how things will turn out.
(*”tight in the chest” – borrowing a phrase from one character)
In addition, I wish I’d seen this on the big screen. There were a few IMAX screenings on one particular day, August 23rd, but for the Vue Printworks’ 6.30pm screenings, you can’t park in the centre of Manchester before 8pm without paying a fortune, while Odeon Trafford Centre were also showing it, but they charged a staggering £18 for a ticket!!! The screen is tiny by comparison to the Printworks!!
However, do try and see this on a big TV if you can, with all the speakers blaring away. I have a 50″ TV and I had my face pressed against the glass for certain scenes.
The film is bizarre and really screws with your mind, with elements that just really spoke to me.
I’ll also add the amusing moment when the kids were carrying Mitsuha’s grandma about on their back like Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back.
There are multiple options for the soundtrack: English 5.1 with English songs, English 5.1 with Japanese songs, and Japanese 5.1 with English subtitles. I went for the middle option. I may check out the Japanese equivalent at some point, but when it comes to animation, I find the English dialogue easier to get to grips with. Normally for a movie, a foreign language with English subtitles is perfectly fine, but when it’s animation, that’s what I want to concentrate on, rather than be distracted by subtitles.
Note, that when you select English dialogue, the English subtitles don’t show up (although they will do for the Japanese songs, of course). There is a subtitle option to force them during the film, too (I use a PS4 and it was the 3rd subtitles option), but since they’re not quite exactly what’s being said, I stuck with the default which was presented to me. In fact, sometimes, they’re completely different! I occasionally only put them on if I needed to confirm the name of a character.
The film is presented in the 1.78 (16:9) widescreen aspect ratio it was made in, and in 1080p high definition, and will have been very slightly cropped top and bottom to 1.85:1 for the cinema, or a little further to 1.90:1 for the digital IMAX ratio. What’s on view often feels like photo-realistic animation with pin-sharp detail and which looks exquisitily beautiful.
The sound is in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, with a score that’s set around all the speakers so it keeps separate from the dialogue, which is perfectly clear. There’s also some sound effects which come across superb, but I’ll leave these for you to discover, so as to avoid spoilers.
The extras are as follows:
- Japanese promos (5:04): Five trailers of varying lengths, all in Japanese.
- English Trailer (1:39): Like the above, it’s in the original 16:9 ratio.
- Makoto Shinkai Filmography (10:45): Info and clips, all in Japanese with English subtitles, for Voices of a Distant Star (2003), The Place Promised in Our Early Days (2004), 5 Centimetres Per Second (2007), Children Who Chase Lost Voices (2011), The Garden of Words (2013) and Your Name.
- TV Special (22:27): Los Angeles Anime Expo AX 2016 where the director was a guest, plus info about him and a strange Q&A in a cafe, which is clearly set-up, even though it tries to look impromptu.
- Madman Trailers (5:31): 4 trailers for their films, all preceeded by a bizarre anti-piracy advert, which briefly features Shane Ramsay from Neighbours. The films are: Boruto: Naruto The Movie, Steins;Gate The Movie: Load Region of Deja Vu, Dragon Ball Super Part 1 (Eps 1-13), and The Boy and The Beast.
The menu features one of the characters in silhouette with subtle animation in the background, set against a piece of the score.
Your Name is released today on Blu-ray, DVD and Limited Edition Steelbook with Blu-ray, DVD and CD soundtrack, which is surely the ideal Christmas gift for an anime fan!
Also, click on the packshot for the full-size version.
Running time: 106 minutes
Released: November 6th 2017
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
Languages: Japanese, English
Widescreen: 1.85:1 (Digital (1080p))
Disc Format: BD50
Director: Makoto Shinkai
Producers: Kôichirô Itô and Katsuhiro Takei
Screenplay: Makoto Shinkai (based on his novel) and Clark Cheng (english script)
English voice Cast:
Mitsuha Miyamizu: Stephanie Sheh
Taki Tachibana: Michael Sinterniklaas
Katsuhiko Teshigawara: Kyle Hebert
Sayaka Natori: Cassandra Morris
Tsukasa Fujii: Ben Pronsky
Shinta Takagi: Ray Chase
Yotsuha Miyamizu: Catie Harvey
Yukari Yukino: Katy Vaughn
Toshiki Miyamizu: Scott Williams
Taki’s Father: Marc Diraison
Japanese voice Cast:
Mitsuha Miyamizu: Mone Kamishiraishi
Taki Tachibana: Ryûnosuke Kamiki
Katsuhiko Teshigawara: Ryô Narita
Sayaka Natori: Aoi Yûki
Tsukasa Fujii: Nobunaga Shimazaki
Shinta Takagi: Kaito Ishikawa
Yotsuha Miyamizu: Kanon Tani
Toshiki Miyamizu: Masaki Terasoma
Futaha Miyamizu: Sayaka Ohara
Taki’s Father: Kazuhiko Inoue
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.