Skip to content
Home » Revisiting Your Name (2016) in 2023 (Review)

Revisiting Your Name (2016) in 2023 (Review)

This is a review and analysis of the 2016 movie “Your Name”. In the wake of Suzume, it seems right to visit Makoto Shinkai’s most popular movie. Still one of the highest grossing movies ever released, “Your Name” tells a beautiful, body-swapping love story.

What is Your Name about?

Your Name follows characters Mitsuha and Taki. Both young people, living in Japan, but with different lives. Taki lives in bustling Tokyo, where he balances a stressful job alongside his studies. Mitsuha, however, lives in a small town and dreams of something bigger. One morning, the two wake up in the other’s body. For a period, they continue to switch back-and-forth on a daily basis, building a connection with each other, despite never meeting.

Eventually, this connection starts to blossom into romance, just as the swapping stops. Taki goes on a search for Mitsuha, but things become more complicated than he could’ve anticipated. It’s a heart-breaking tale of two people falling in love, who can never be together.

Your Name (2016) Review

This movie is a beautiful spectacle, which is animated exceptionally well. It is an absolute treat to look at, which is a constant among all films from Makoto Shinkai. It’s a film that sparks a lot of emotion, without relying on a sad plot to do so. As good as movies like Grave of the Fireflies are, it’s a lot easier to make you cry when your movie is about children starving to death. It evokes this emotion through the atmosphere laid through the powerful aesthetics and music decisions.

Your Name is about chasing something that existed in the past, but that you can’t return to. It’s a movie about lusting for something that might’ve never been. Capturing this powerful feeling, amongst an entertaining body-swapping romp is impressive story-telling. The latter third of this movie is a stressful watch, with certain reveals hitting you like a ton of bricks.

How does Your Name compare with Suzume?

Watching this movie after Suzume is an interesting experience. The two share similar tones – both tell a story about a small-scale relationship, amongst a large-scale event. Suzume does feel bolder, and more epic, with a greater focus on the fantasy; while Your Name focuses far more on the human relationships. It’s these relationships and the small-scale interactions that Shinkai’s movies seem to do best, which leads to Your Name feeling like a much stronger film. It’s far easier to discuss the themes of longing displayed in Your Name, compared to the much more shrouded themes within Your Name.

Both of the movies feature a strange relationship – though, Suzume’s relationship is mostly one-sided. Suzume features a flourishing relationship between a young woman and a man who has been transformed into a chair. Your Name sees a relationship develop between two people living in each other’s bodies.

While both movies do look stunning, I do think that Suzume has superior cinematography. Both have some beautiful drawings, but Suzume has some very interesting shot compositions that make it a more dynamic movie to watch. That is not a knock to Your Name, but it is a sign of things developing and improving in the seven years between these movies.

You can read our full review of Suzume here.

Revisiting Your Name (2016) for a review in 2023

This movie has aged well in the past eight years. For a movie that centres around the body swapping of a male and female protagonist, that is surprising. There are some very cringe-inducing scenes of characters being sexualized against their will, which are played for laughs, though it wouldn’t really be an anime film without some display of misogyny.

I was keeping my eyes peeled for any hint of trans themes and can safely say, if there are any – they’re very subtle. There is a strong message here about men bringing out a more feminine side makes them a better person – with Taki getting the girl thanks, exclusively, to the help from Mitsuha. This could, definitely, be interpreted as a stance against toxic masculinity.

Also, don’t tell Taki – but Misuha is almost certainly not straight. Her moves with Taki’s love interest are not the moves conducted by a straight woman.

Who is this movie for?

If you haven’t seen this movie yet, I’d highly recommend it. Anime can feel really intimidating, mostly because a lot of anime lovers make it a very embarrassing thing to enjoy. However, this movie is mainstream to the point that Spirited Away is. You can watch this without feeling judged by society. Importantly, it’s also very, very good.

This was a review of the 2016 movie “Your Name”. Have you revisited this movie recently? Did you think it was great, or did it leave you longing for more? Let us know in the comments below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *