Film Review: Your Name (Kimi no Na wa) (Japan, 2016) will leave you spellbound

The Japanese Anime genre has a long history of producing masterpieces. Makoto Shinkai‘s Your Name is no exception. Ahead of its release in Australia, the film has enjoyed rave reviews around the world – and deservedly so. The film centres on Mitsuha (Mone Kamishiraishi) and Taki (Ryunosuke Kamiki), two people with nothing in common except a connection through their dreams. Cutting a long story short, a bizarre twist of fate brings them together so they can save each other.

There’s so much to love about this film. The visual rendering of settings is quite stunning in its realism. The characters are well developed, and in addition to stand out animation of their physical appearance, their voices carry a lot of weight in regards to their personality and situation. Not only do the teen characters go through the usual awkward and comedic experiences, but they also find themselves in more mature, dark situations. The film takes teens seriously.

But as wonderful as the film is, it’s not perfect. The unique take on body swamp, precognition, deja vu and time – which all play major roles – can be confusing as no explanation is given why Mitsuha and Taki are connected, but it does keep you intrigued. Even though their romance is something to root for, their attachment and love feels sudden and there’s no explanation why they share feelings for each other besides they being psychically connected.

But none of this takes away from the film. And if you’re worries there might be too much sci-fi or fantasy in the film, rest assured the film is mainly realistic; though there are elements of it. The supernatural is a subtle agent, something that just sets off a chain reaction and doesn’t intervene. It’s quite refreshing.

You don’t need to be familiar with Anime to enjoy Your Name. With refreshing characters and stunning animation, the film will leave you spellbound.

Rating: FOUR AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

Your Name is in cinemas now through Madman Entertainment