Japanesse animation (or simply manga) is a genre I’m slowly being converted into liking. I have always been picky about them, Howl’s moving castle,  was so different to the children’s tales I had grown up with, but to my liking it was too magical, too out of this world that I was never able to find anything to care about. Another thing I find difficult is the cultural differnences, which can be a bit distracting and  ennervating. However there have been times I’ve been absolutly bowled over by them, especially by The Wind Also Rises in 2013 or From Up on Poppy Hill in 2011, more grounded and sentimental stories with a touch of magical realism. Your Name fits in exactly in the type that I prefere.

Your Name is about a city boy swapping bodies with a country girl. I’m not going to say anything more, because that’s all I knew when I went to see it last weekend and was suprised to find the real story to be something so much more beautiful. That is only a sub plot for what it actiually is: a tale about love, time, death and above all finding yourelf through others. The director was a litterature student and it shows, the themes he presents on screen are universal ones that all can understand and feel a deep connection too. That is probably at the heart it’s sucess , no matter what culture you come from, you perfectly understand the growth that both characters are going through and the tragedy that they endure. Something it also does perfectly  is mixing the genres, this is not just a weepy love story, it’s also very funny. Likewise, the film has a perfect combination of enough realism and enough magic, which is perfect for me, when it comes to animation.

Oh but above all, the animation is something to feast the eyes with. The detail of the city is mind-boggling, personally  I prefer Miyazaki’s style, it’s more  lush and poetic, you feel as though you were in a water colour painting, here you feel as though you were in reality. Despite the beuaty on screen, it doesn’t distract you from  the engaing  story .

Forget what ever is at your cinema (yes even Rogue One, but you’ve already seen it) and watch this. Put away all the Osacary movies and  take the time to see this.To convince you, the last thing I will say, without giving anything away is that this is above all an  animist spiritual quest, finding yourself through others and coping with death: people don’t dissapeare they’ll  always be  there within you. The ironic thing is that I wrote a review last week of Before Sunrise, questioning if love stories where  time is the vilain can still exist today. Well, this movie trenscends that in a mystical and spiritual way: love is stronger then time.

–  L.L. Wooden

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