After the global success of Hayao Miyazakia true pioneer in the field of cartoons Japanese, thanks to masterpieces such as The Enchanted City (which earned him an Oscar), the new generation of Japanese directors seems not to disappoint expectations. Growing up in the shadow of the “master”, artists like Makoto Shinkai have been able to combine what we learned from the past with new styles of drawing and writing. “Your Name”, Shinkai’s own film, is the proving result of this combination of factors, with elements inspired by the films of the famous master and combined with modern drawing techniques. In short, today we will give you five good reasons to recover, if you haven’t seen it yet, “Your Name”, the film written and directed in 2016 by Makoto Shinkai.
The intricate texture
How would you feel if you woke up in another body? In another sex? And in another city? The narration of this film focuses on Mitsuhaa girl fed up with her daily life – and who aspires to live in Tokyo – and Taki a boy who, instead, lives right in the Japanese capital. One day, on the occasion of the fall of a comet, expected for 50 years, the two exchange bodies and begin to live each other’s life for short periods of time, and without even knowing each other. The strange phenomenon (which we will not spoil you) tells how the intertwining of souls is a human mystification and how sometimes destiny can play its cards in an absurd way.
High-end graphics and art style
Your Name is a graphically flawless product. This is where you can see the influences that Miyazaki had on Shinkai. If we were to judge it exclusively from a visual point of viewthen Your Name is by right the best film of 2016. The animation is of the highest quality, lor art style is beautifulthe backdrops are spectacular: Shinkai expresses its story through images and dialogues with a strong mimetic sense, characterized by an exceptional poetic power. There is no frame that does not reach perfection in the creation of natural and metropolitan settings, offering the opportunity to the director to show his high representative skills. Technologies, such as the use of CGI, then contribute to making the film truly enjoyable from a visual point of view.
The meaning behind the plot
Your Name “conveys messages on different levels and, leaving out for a moment the more explicit, that is the one relating to the sentimental sphere, as the plot continues others of a completely different nature emerge. There are many elements that they offer food for thought on existential issues, such as the search for oneself, the importance of giving voice to one’s beliefs even in the face of those who do not want to listen to us and the praise of nature, wonderful when it creates, but cynical when it destroys. But most of all, it is truly fascinating the way in which the director uses fantasy to explain unexplained factual events linked to fate and time.
The contrast of extremes: the thin red thread of destiny
However, we are not just talking about a film with strong existential implications. The plot is developed in such a way as to be lighter in the first part, to then increase the climax as the finale approaches. And it is in the first part that many of you could relate to. The two protagonists of the story, Mitsuha and Taki, are nothing more than a dichotomy with which the director intends to explain how opposing elements, sooner or later, they are destined to cross each other.
On the one hand, the countrysideand the rural landscape, where Mitsuha lives, originally from a small village still tied to centuries-old traditions and customs. On the other, the city of Tokyo, where Taki lives. Hence the contrast not only of gender, but also between the city and the countryside, between the ancient and the modern. All the elements are held together as if by a thin red thread, commonly approached to an already established destiny.
Your Name: the box office record
In the year of release (2016), the Shinkai film has registered a liking comparable only to the works of the master Miyazaki. Over the course of a few months, the film grossed over 10 billion yen, approaching to unseat the throne of films with higher grosses just The enchanted city. Japanese audiences enjoyed the film so much that it got out of control. An example? The library featured in the film had to exhibit special regulations to cope with the sudden surge in visitors. The Japanese are perhaps a little exaggerated, but at the same time it is not so absurd to understand the reasons for this euphoria. In fact, if for us Miyazaki is an internationally renowned director, in Japan he is considered like a God.
It is therefore not surprising that a film that has come close to stealing the title of box office record has got so much hype. And it is not even the first time that the Japanese go crazy for an anime: just think that, given in hand, in 1995 sales related to the manga “Evangelion” they even affected the national GDP. In short, Shinkai may not contribute to enriching the Japanese state, but with his works he manages to touch a sensitive chord of our emotional imagination, giving us works of the highest level.