In unison: Kimi no na wa?
If I need an instant goosebump (for whatever reason) all I need to do is to think of that scene.
Kimi No Na Wa is an 2016 animated film by Makoto Shinkai who made a name for himself with previous animated movies like 5 centimeters apart and The Garden of Words.
I have not seen an anime film since my childhood times of Totoro, Spirited Away and was always surprised at how they can squeeze a full story in less than 2 hours – that’s only about 4 anime episodes!
Kimi no na wa has a deceptively simple premises: Two teens, one male and one female switches bodies every other day leading to huge comedic effects. The movie can be split into two main halves, the first half where they are still understanding this phenomenon happenening to them and the later half where Takkun attempts to change Misaki’s past.
I enjoyed the slice of life setting with a tinge of supernatural/fantasy elements, it opened up a whole world of comedic effects and I enjoyed the little exchanges between them, how they had lovers quarrel over text notes. It was a romantic comedy without the usual cliches of “guy walking into the girl changing” or “guy falling and lands on girls chest”.
The movie switches from one perspective to the other, illustrating the difference between the girl living in the countryside wanting to live a city life, to the guy trying to juggle between all his responsibilities in his city life, a classic case of The grass is always greener. It shows the landscape and culture of more traditional japanese beautifully and is something I always appreciate when watching these films.
As the movie shifts into its main plot point, Takkun realised that Misaki and him are not in the same timeline, this is the main plot twist as he realised that the girl he has fallen in love with has died years before, thereafter he tries his best to change the past.
So the main gripe I have with this twist is that I find it really hard to believe none of them ever had to write the date or find out the year while their bodies are switched. I can suspend my beliefs for explaining they switched their bodies through the connection of souls interwoven in threads, but not when a main plot point involves suspension of daily activities that just coincidentally happen (or in this case, did not happen).
As he journeys back to attempt to change the past, the movie also changes in tone, the scene and emotion are much darker and serious, a stark contrast with the light hearted tone in the start. This is the part of the movie I didn’t particularly liked, mainly because of the other main plot point to happen (saving the village and hence Misaki), I needed to trust the writers that Misaki has some way to convince her dad, when Taki couldn’t get through the furious Father at all. But on well.
For the “epilogue” part of the movie, we get to see what the movie was leading to the whole time. The reunion of our main characters as chance and fate unexpectedly let then chance upon each other years later, and they rush to find this person who was so familiar but had no memories of each other.
Ki…Kimi No Na Wa?