Focuses on two characters and their intimate, although not sexual, relationship they have with one another. Taki, a teenage boy from Tokyo, and Mitsuha, a teenage girl from rural Japan, wake up one day to discover they have switched bodies. Unlike other films that use the same premise, Taki and Mitsuha go back and forth, alternating between waking up in their own bodies or waking up in the other. It’s because of these circumstances that the two develop a friendship, which then blossoms into romantic feelings. Everything seems like it might work out for these lovestruck teens stuck in a weird, fantastical predicament.
Except they never “meet.” They never get to really hold each other. They’re bound to this faint memory of an intense emotion they shared with each other, but they can’t remember the other person’s name as time goes on. They can’t remember what the other person looks like. As much as they want to, they can’t be together.
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: the experience of longing. It’s a challenging emotion to contend with. It’s a subtle ache, like a dull headache on a rainy, gloomy day. It doesn’t take over your life, but it’s noticeable. Some days, it’s more noticeable than others. You want to chase the longing, but you also know you have to move on with your life. You create this stalemate for yourself and deal with the emotional throbbing that comes with longing.
Anyone who has ever had a crush, been in love or, in my experience, has lost a great love, knows what longing is. It’s that moment when you hear a song that reminds you of that person and you feel that small tightness in your chest. It’s that moment a friend casually mentions they ran into said person and your heart flutters with the memories of when it was good. You long for those moments. You romanticize them. Even though it can never be, or it feels like it can never be, you cling to it.
Longing, in many ways, is more addictive than any other part of a relationship because it exists partly due to fantasy. You long for the fantasy of what could be, not the actuality of what the relationship was.
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, five years after Mitsuha and Taki have their intense moment, they’ve each gone their own separate ways. Both are living in Tokyo, but they have their own friends, new careers and are going about their day-to-day lives. Still, there are scenes when Taki and Mitsuha are on the train and they see something that, for a quick second, reminds them of the memory they shared with that persona. A red band that Mitsuha used to tie her hair, for example.
In that exact moment, they’re frozen, gripped by this overpowering sense of longing they have for the future that could have been. Sitting in the theater, watching it play out before me, I could feel myself getting emotional. I blinked hurriedly to stop any tears from escaping, not wanting to be that person, but it was the most effective use of longing I’ve ever seen in a movie. The look on Taki’s face when he believes he’s found the person he’s been longing after for five years is ubiquitous.
We all long for something. It can be a person, or an experience or a milestone, but it’s a shared human experience. That ache in our chests is a feeling that doesn’t need to be described because we can pinpoint to the exact moment in time we’ve felt it. For some, that could be a few months or weeks ago. For others, it could have just happened.
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. Taki and Mitsuha don’t spend their five years planning in the back of their minds a way to get back together with the one person they long for the most. This isn’t a Hollywood-style romantic film. They accept they’ll spend their lives yearning for this part of their life that they’ll never get back and deal with the ennui that can often times elicit.
At the end of the movie, however, Taki and Mitsuha do end up finding each other. Their memories are returned and, as they embrace, they cry. It’s not from finally finding each other or realizing they can be with the person they love, it’s an emotional release. This longing, this constant ache they’ve carried with them like a haze that never went away, finally cleared. It’s the most intense, emotional experience in the world.
The reason the scene works as well as it does is because of how universal that experience is. I want you to recall a moment you saw a crush or an ex for the first time after ending things or moving on with your life. Perhaps you see them across the street and wave, wanting to make amends and be at peace with one another. Or maybe you decide to grab lunch and try to settle the awkwardness that has settled around you. Regardless of what it is, when you do meet them, there’s a very good chance you’ll do exactly what Mitsuha and Taki did: you’ll hug.
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You’ll wrap your arms around them and they’ll do the same, and the longing that comes with seeing them or fixing things or any other sentiment encompassed in this ache, will suddenly melt away. The floodgates will open and the emotions will overtake you. If you’re like Mitsuha or Taki, you’ll cry. I know I did when I saw my ex for the first time after our breakup.
It’s a beautiful feeling and despite the sadness that accompanies the overload of emotions, it’s one that I wouldn’t trade for the world. And it’s one that I’ve waited for cinema or television to get right, but each time it looks like it might, the unrealistic expectation that longing will inevitably result in getting what we want takes away from the beauty of the emotion’s sadness.
Is a sad movie. It has a happy ending and there are funny moments, but it’s sad. It’s heartbreaking. It’s absolutely devastating. It manages to achieve all of this because of how honest its characters are about not expecting anything. They’re content with the idea of living with a dull ache, just like many of us are. We move on. We try to forget. We continue living.
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Ends on a happy note, but its the Taki and Mitsuha’s decision to persevere where the movie finds its real heart. It’s the emotional catharsis I wasn’t aware that I needed and it was a movie that made me appreciate the little twangs I get in my chest when I do hear that song or, like Taki and Mitsuha, the name of someone I once loved.Kimi no Na wa. (君の名は。 , Your name.) is a 2016 Japanese anime romantic fantasy drama film directed, written, and edited by Makoto Shinkai, based on his own novel of the same name.
Your Name was animated by CoMix Wave Films and distributed by Toho . The film premiered at the Anime Expo 2016 convention in Los Angeles, California on July 3, 2016, and premiered in Japan on August 26, 2016.
The film has received critical acclaim, being praised for its animation and emotional impact, and was also a commercial success, becoming the fourth highest-grossing film of all time in Japan and the highest-grossing anime film worldwide, with, as of January 15, 2017, a gross of over $330 million USD (United States Dollars).
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A comet appears and mysteriously affects and connects the lives of two teenagers of the same age, a boy in the big, bustling city of Tokyo and a girl in a country village where life is slow but idyllic. They find for unknown reasons, they wake up in each other’s bodies for weeks at a time. At first, they both think these experiences are just vivid dreams, but when the reality of their situations sinks in, they learn to adjust and even enjoy it. Soon they start to communicate and try to leave notes about who they are and what they are doing. But as they discover more about each other and the other’s life, they uncover some disturbing hints that their distance is more than just physical and tragedy haunts them.
In the opening, a comet fragment is seen falling through the layers of clouds in the sky. It appears to fall on the town below it but that is left ambiguous as it cuts to the two main characters, Taki and Mitsuha, talking about how they feel as if they are missing something (Yume Tōrō), and that the feeling had lingered since the day that The stars came falling… It was nothing more, nothing less than a beautiful view.
Mitsuha Miyamizu, a high school girl living in the fictional town of
Your Name (kimi No Na Wa)