By Isis Wozniakowska (California State University in Florence)
Your Name, the newest Japanese anime movie making its way into international popularity. If you know anything about Studio Ghibli this movie is done in a similar style. This has less of a magical world setting, however, but revolves more around a strange phenomenon of the universe for its unexplainable happenings. I do have to say, its popularity is definitely warranted. I had the misfortune of having to look up the plot of the movie beforehand as I wanted to be sure I’d be able to follow the Italian dub of the movie as best I could, and even then there were twists to the story that I hadn’t seen coming. Despite being only two hours long, the movie feels like it covers so much without ever feeling like the plot line is moving forward too fast. To cover the fact that it doesn’t have enough time to show every single event of each day of the protagonists lives, the movie uses montages so that we can understand how their relationship has grown over time.
The movie follows the lives of two college students, one male who lives in Tokyo studying architecture, the other a female who lives in a small country town far outside of the city. Unfortunately, our female protagonist is dissatisfied with her life in the country and wishes in her next life to be a boy living in Tokyo. The next day she wakes up in the body of a young man and the young man wakes up in her body in return. I don’t want to spoil the entire story of the movie for those who appreciate going into it blind, but I will say that the movie has a lot to do with memory and keeping a record of daily life. You can tell the modernity of the story as well by seeing how cell phones and technology play a large role in the movie as well. I think personally it is a worthy love story between boy and girl, and while I don’t usually care much for films that entirely about romance, there was enough going on in it for any science fiction or anime fan as well. I’m personally a sci-fi person, myself, but this film falls into quite a few genres so it can appeal to many different kinds of people.
The musical score of the movie I quite enjoyed, too. Obviously, it is classic Japanese style anime (j-pop in some instances too) music so if you really don’t like that you might have a hard time watching some of the montages, but I think it all fit the mood quite well. I especially enjoyed how the nature of the country side would contrast to the city, not only through music but in color as well. The ups and downs of both lives and both settings were clearly displayed through the motions of the plot. All in all, I’d say it’s a well done animated movie that you can even bring the kids to see. It’s perhaps not a brilliant masterpiece of the 21st century but the plot is interesting and original, the music is nice and its well done, over all. So if you have nothing else to see soon, check this one out.