The phrase “happily ever after” has been popularized ever since fairy tale films in the likes of Cinderella, Snow White and Peter Pan greeted our eyes. Stories of fulfillment, romance, family and contentment – a “happy ever after” ingrained into our very minds. From that point on, our childhood has been revolving around that concept of “happiness” – that we must reach a point where we have our “prince charming,” or “princess,” a complete family and other conclusive goals.
With the advancement of technology, we’ve seen more shows being released for every season. It’s quite amusing how before we complained about having less anime to watch compared to complaining now that there’s too much anime. But with the usage of tools that make shows easier to create, we’ve lost a certain aspect to anime that gave its charm a long time ago.
It has been almost a year since the anime film, Your Name, released on theaters worldwide and the fame its generating is not slowing down. In Japan, the movie became a huge hit and grossed over 190 million US Dollars. It was ranked second among well-heard films like Spirited Away.
DISCUSSION – During the month of September, of this year, we got an announcement that Paramount Pictures and J.J. Abrams have received rights to adapt the anime film, Your Name, and give it a place in Hollywood. The reactions of this announcement from the anime community was, in majority, somewhat negative – and honestly, I cannot blame the fans.
REVIEW – A film that was deemed number one on it’s first opening weekend in the Japanese box office and earned 17.92 billion yen as of November 7, 2016 (www.en.wikipedia.org). Kimi no Na wa is one of the five highest-grossing anime films in history – what could be the reason for its overwhelming popularity?
Kimi no Na wa. is a fantasy anime film written and directed by Makoto Shinkai (5 centimeters per second, Garden of Words), and animated by CoMix Wave Films.
It depicts the story of Mitsuha, a high school girl who is fed up of living in the countryside and wishes to be a “handsome young boy living in Tokyo”. She then wakes up in the body of Taki, a high school boy living in Tokyo. The two realize that they’ve switched bodies and try all sorts of communication to keep their lives in check, ultimately helping one another in their own life problems. However, as time passes on, they’ve lost the ability to contact each other and swap bodies. Taki goes and looks for town of Itomori, in hopes of seeing Mitsuha again.
The film does a wonderful job of bringing the characters to life. It shows a lot of humor and the slice-of-life aspect as the main characters live in each other’s lives. I was particularly amused as how Mitsuha, a girl, would act in Taki’s body – the clumsiness, the polite and feminine way of speaking distinguishes each character cleanly. Taki would act tough while living Mitsuha’s life, committing some rowdy acts here and there – to the surprise of Mitsuha’s friends. Mitsuha would struggle to hide her feminine side as she talks to Taki’s friends in his body. It’s just great humor and fun to see people swap bodies and how they react.
Animation-wise, the film was splendid and very detailed. The animators spared no effort in creating each and every frame for this film.
As for the soundtrack, the film’s theme “Zenzense” by Japanese rock band RADWIMPS was catchy and upbeat to hear. “Nademoniya” fit the emotions of sadness and desperation as Taki and Mitsuha try to meet despite the impossibility to do so.
The only confusing aspect of the film that I found was how religion and fantasy was connected. It explained the concept of “musubi” and how everyone was connected but not how it got Mitsuha and Taki to meet. But I can get past that.
Kimi no Na wa. is a wonderful and visually-appealing film. It deserves its popularity and is worth your time and money should you go and view it in a movie theater. It’s probably best if you do since you’d be giving money to the creators rather than just torrenting it from the net.
“Why does the scenery of a town that no longer exists wring my heart so?”
– Taki Tachibana, Kimi no Na wa.