Remember those golden times when amazing movies like Spirited away ,Princess Mononoke and rest of the Hiyayo Miyazaki plus Studio ghibli magic ruled the theatres and made anime movies worth remembering? Well after a long time we can see that the anime movie magic is still there only this time it wasn’t Ghibli. Yes, we are talking about one of the highest grossing movies of 2016 in Japan, Kimi no Na wa (Your name), it earned 1.28 Billion in less than five days and it has almost earned 12.8 Billion by the time of this review, and it’s the first non-Ghibli movie to do so.
The movie has amazing visuals, it starts out with Mitsuha the main female lead, a girl in the hill town of Itomori which is secluded and cut off from the busy metropolitan world of Japan. She seems to hate her life there which is filled with complacency and people hold on to tradition more than ambition. Mitsuha Miyamizu hates her life there and vows to go to Japan. Post the opening credits and in the beginning of the movie we also see a boy Taki Tachibana, the main male lead and Mitsuha both waking up with an immeasurable sense of loss and they both are continuously searching for each other. Mitsuha wakes up one fine day and to her surprise everyone tells her that she was acting weird yesterday and the same thing happens to Taki, it’s only then that they figure out that they can switch places with each other and decide to leave memo and notes for each other to protect each other’s normal lives. While constantly putting up with each other they grow accustomed to it and it is not until Mitsuha fixes up a date for Taki and Miki Okudera a coworker at an Italian Restaurant with Taki that she surprisingly finds herself crying, and Miki after her date with Taki remarks at how he has changed and gies on to say that she knew Taki had a crush on her but now he likes someone else and that this ‘someone ‘ was the one who changed him for the better. After that disastrous date he thinks of telling all about it to Mitsuha but shockingly he doesn’t change places with her anymore. He sketches pictures of Mitsuha’s hometown from his memory and reads up information on the internet for that location and sets off to find Mitsuha in real life, he is joined by Miki and a classmate of his as they aimlessly wander in search of that town. When at the brink of giving up a waitress at a restaurant finally tells him it’s Itomori but he shockingly finds out that it was hit by a comet breaking apart resulting on a meteor collision. From here on out he his memories of Mitsuha begin to fade and he sees the memos Mitsuha leaves him disappearing. He doesn’t give up and sets off on a solo-adventure to the shrine Mitsuha’s grandmother took her and her sister to, he realises their timeline is out of sync and drinks the kuchikamizake that Mitsuha had stored there, he body swaps again with Mitsuha and shows unshakable resolve to save Mitsuha and the others of that town. Amid all of that he tries his best ultimately failing to convince Mitsuha’s father and heads off to the shrine where he realises Mistuha is ,in his body . He reunites with Mitsuha despite non-overlapping timelines, they both decide they should write each other’s names in case they forget however their reunion is cut short with both of them being unable to write their names. Taki struggles to remember Mitsuha but later sinks in to despair as he forgets, Mitsuha struggles as well but as she trips while running rapidly to convince her father for evacuation and she sees that Taki has written that he loves her instead of his name on her palm. They fail to evacuate and the meteor strikes.
Eight years later it is seen that the meteor had hit but the villagers had miraculously survived with a few of them injured, Taki has forgotten all about Mitsuha and goes around job hunting. He walks by Mitsuha unknowingly,though both of them turn around in an out of sync fashion and walk away.Later they see each other different trains and rush to see each other however with all memories of body swapping gone they are only left with a residual however strong feeling that they know each other and ask for each other’s name.
The movie has been critically acclaimed for its visuals as well as it’s strong story-telling despite being a non-series anime film. The film has been licensed by Funimation and it is set to be released in 85 countries.The film was number-one on its opening weekend at the Japanese box office, with ¥930 million in gross and 688,000 admissions. Including the opening day on Friday, it grossed a total of ¥1.28 billion. It was number-one again on its second weekend, with 867,345 admissions and ¥1.16 billion in gross. As of September 5, 2016, 10 days after the film’s premiere in Japan, it has grossed a total of ¥3.8 billion.It was again number-one on its third weekend, with ¥1.135 billion in gross and 852,000 admissions. By September 11, 2016, the film had grossed a total of ¥6.2 billion and had thus surpassed the distributor Toho’s ¥6 billion revenue projection for the film.By September 18, the film was #1 for the fourth week in a row and had grossed ¥9.1 billion (approximately US$89 million), and was projected to become the first non-Ghibli non-series based anime movie to earn over 10 billion yen.On September 23, it was reported that the film had indeed grossed over 10 billion yen (approximately US$98 million) and that it had achieved that in only 28 days.
My personal take is that this movie is a highly recommended watch which restores your faith in anime movies and seems to be a major comeback for standalone anime films which had been a letdown recently.It’s visuals are stunning and the characters are very likeable, all of these factors makes the one hour forty seven minutes long movie worth it!