Part body-swap comedy, part long-distance romance, part... something else. If you only see one Japanese animated feature this year, see this one, and see it more than once.
Stream Your Name.
What are people saying?
What are critics saying?
Like all of Shinkai’s films, the richness of the light coats everything it touches with such an evocative hue of nostalgia that the plot only puts a damper on things (and there’s a lot of plot here).
For all its entertaining novelty, it is still many steps behind the magic, penetrating insights and profound humanity of the Japanese anime pantheon lead by Hayao Miyazaki and Mamoru Hosoda.
Even at its most outrageously bizarre, Your Name is bound together by a passionately romantic core.
Prepare to be spirited away. A brain-scrambler to make hearts swell, Shinkai’s giddy romance brims with emotion and invention.
There’s admittedly a certain pleasure in the deft fake-out that Shinkai executes here—most viewers will automatically make an assumption that’s ultimately proven wrong—but it comes at the cost of overall narrative incoherence.
This thoroughly emo body-swap fantasia, a sizable hit on home turf, demonstrates that [Makoto Shinkai] inherited much of his [Hayao Miyazaki's] artistry and charm, but not yet his narrative mastery – nor, crucially, that magic that distinguishes lasting artworks from well-drawn ’toons for teens.
This vividly realized and emotionally satisfying feature ought to make Shinkai a household name — certainly in Japan, and with any luck, in other countries as well.
The only way to understand it is to swim in it for yourself, feel your own heart braid around these two interwoven lives, and gaze up in awe at the silvery arc those falling stars trace across the sky.
This is a film which handles its high concept with confidence, and a winning balance of comedy and emotional punch.