Your Name.

Your Name. ★★★★½

I didn't know much about Your Name going in, only that it broke the box office record for an anime film that was previously held by Spirited Away for fifteen years, had some kind of body swapping shenanigans, and had become an absolute phenomenon in Japan. However, being familiar with Makoto Shinkai's work, I have to say that I should have seen it all coming.

I don't mean that in a negative way. This is Peak Shinkai in that it takes all of his favorite themes and mashes them together in a way that feels complete, as if his previous works were all rough drafts. Teen melodrama, soul crushing lonliness, romance seperated by time and/or distance, cataclysmic events - all familiar territory for him, all rearranged and upcycled to make his defining work. It's a more emotional journey than a logical one, with the details of how the various sci-fi elements work left a little vague for the sake of focusing on the central romance.

Shinkai, generally, seems to work better with shorter runtimes. Your Name 112 minutes, which isn't long, but compared to the pretty similar 5 Centimeters Per Second (63 minutes) it feels a bit dragged out. The emotional climax comes about fifteen minutes early, which makes for a pretty draining third act. Despite that, I was misty eyed throughout, so while it could have been tightened up a little, it's a minor complaint.

Watch this. And bring tissues!

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