‘Your Name’ already has a fanbase. Is it enough for an Oscar?

your name
Photo: Your Name

Your Name (Kimi no Na wa in Japanese) debuted at the Tokyo International Film Festival, a festival that ends this Thursday. The movie is written and directed by Makoto Shinkai, a 43-year old anime director that is considered to be the new Hayao Miyazaki (the Japanese Walt Disney). Just now as I looked up his name I found with true pleasure that he also directed 5 Centimeters Per Second, one of my favorite anime movies which I also recommend.

Returning to Your Name, the anime (a SF movie) was based on a novel written by the same Shinkai and is a modern, animated and Japanese version of the American movie “It’s a Boy Girl Thing.” The story, however is much more original.

your name
Anime Hub/Facebook

The focus of Your Name is a boy and a girl. The boy is Taki, a high-school student working as a waiter in an Italian restaurant from Tokyo, with a crush on his boss and a passion for drawing. In the opposite direction we have Mitsuha, a high-school student as well this time from the small town Itomori, where nothing happens and her estranged father is the mayor. When a comet passes Itomori, Mitsuha wishes she was a “a handsome boy from Tokyo in a future life.” Her wish comes true and for a few days her spirit switches with the one of Taki. After awhile the two stop switching their spirits and go back to their lives. However, during these exchanges both of them start falling in love with the other. The story becomes more complicated and at times weird when Taki goes looking for Mitsuha.

What is awesome at this anime isn’t the love story or the switching idea (this happened in many productions before) but the way in which we are able to observe a modern day Japan both welcoming of technology (Taki has an iPhone and uses a map app to look for Mitsuha) and firm to keep ancient traditions (especially in Itomori where time seems to have stood still). Also, the colors and the music are a delight for the eyes in the same way Miyazaki’s animes made us fall in love with Japanese animation.

your name
Anime Photo/Facebook

Your Name score 8.9/10 on IMDb and 98% on Rotten Tomatoes, and is believed to be a nominee for the Best Animated Feature at the Oscars.

The anime movie was released earlier in August in Japan and grossed over $150 million and has been viewed in small crowds at film festivals in Busan, San Sebastian,Tokyo and London. The movie will be in most European cinemas starting with November 24.