A Story that Transcends Time and Space
Directed, written, and created by Makoto Shinkai. Japanese animated movie watchers must be familiar with Makoto Shinkai’s production. Shinkai always manages to insert heartfelt emotions, beautiful imagery and stunning visual into his films. Kimi no Na Wa not only embodies all of those points, but also exceed my expectation in many other way. Up to this date, this might be Shinkai’s best work.
Visually speaking, the artwork is off the charts. It literally takes my breath away from the very first scene. The beautiful artwork and amazing color composition spoils your eyes so much that it is enough to make you cry. It was composed in such way that you will managed to pay attention to the detail of the art without being distracted from what the story needs you to focus on. Every frame seems radiant even when it’s portraying a mundane daily activity scene. In a nutshell, it’s visually very stunning. 10/10
Seeing the big picture, Kimi No Na Wa tells a bittersweet love story that transcends time and space. It could also be said as a story of a pair of star-crossed lovers. In that level, this story seems simple and easily digested. However, it is also carries a philosophical complexity and depth that made this movie even more enchanting.
It begins with a light comedic tone that will at least make you chuckle. The first 20 minutes or so focuses on the swap of consciousness of Mitsuha, a girl from a rural area in Japan, and Taki, a boy who lives in Tokyo. As they get a grasp of their odd circumstances, they tried their best to protect each other’s life. As the relationship builds up between Taki and Mitsuha, so is the suspense in the story. As they try to reach each other, it is revealed that their relationship correlates to a bigger and darker circumstances that forces them to fight against the force of the universe and tickling time. Shinkai manages to emphasis the emotion of the character without forgetting what they are against, fate. Like Taki and Mitsuha’s story that transcends through time and space, their desperation and eagerness transcends through the screen and hook you deeply. Up to the point that you’ll feel exhausted and desperate, yet thrilled along with the protagonists.
With two protagonists, this movie offers a multilayered narrative that is, albeit confusing at first, rich and enjoyable. The visual imagery like split comet and symbolism like the use of train to emphasis different path people took also enrich your experience watching this movie. 9/10
There are some prominent development in the protagonist characters. However, some development felt rushed because the pace suddenly went fast forward at some point. It is understandable since it is a movie, not a series, and from the fact that this movie is already longer than most anime movie, it is clearly that Shinkai has tried his best to explain every subplot that is necessary to support the main plot in such limited time. 8/10
The sound design is simply amazing. Noting sounds out of place. The main soundtrack is performed by a Japanese rock band, Radwimps. At first I don’t know how music by a rock band could fits romance-drama anime. It turns out, it works, beautifully. The songs are put in perfect moment that it does not feel out of place nor distract you from the dramatic and mellow aspects of the movie. Also, by using this type of music, it seems like Shinkai wants us to remember that regardless the suspenseful cosmic quest of Mitsuha and Taki, they are just teenagers. Maybe this is one of Shinkai’s effort to make Mitsuha and Taki more relatable to the audience. 8.5/10
You can hear one of the soundtrack here.
Overall the score is 9.5/10
I recommend this movie very strongly. Trust me it will worth you time.