Review and Synopsis by Anime Girl
Kimi no Na Wa. Review (EN. Your Name.)
Mitsuha Miyamizu is like any other high school girl living in a small town; she dreams of living in the big city. Itomori is near Hida, both far away from the life of a boy in Tokyo that she has been dreaming of. Perhaps it’s all the wanting and dreaming that allows her to begin to switch bodies with Taki Tachibana.
Taki Tachibana is a boy in high school in Tokyo. Each time they wake up in their switched bodies, they must go about the other’s daily activities and interactions. At first, they believe they are merely dreaming. They quickly come to realize, though, that they are able to communicate with each other. They begin to leave messages for the other on pieces of paper, on their phones, and sometimes even on their skin.
Mitsuha, as Taki sets Taki up on a date with Miki Okudera, his coworker. Taki, as Mitsuha makes her popular in school. The two work together to build each other up and improve the other’s lives. Sometimes it’s easier to be brave when you’re in someone else’s place.
Mitusha’s grandmother, Hitoha, and her sister, Yotsuha, make ritual alcohol called kuchikamizake. Taki, as Mitsuha accompanies the grandmother and her sister to the Shinto shrine to leave the offering at the mountain top shrine. A village sits beside the mountaintop. It’s believed that this represents the body of the guardian god of the town. This god is believed to rule over human connections and time.
During this switch, Taki finds and reads a note from Mitsuha about the comet Tiamet. Tiamet is expected to pass over Earth at its nearest point on the day of the autumn festival.
The next day, Taki awakes to go on his date with Miki that Mitsuha had initially set up. At the end of the date, Miki tells him she enjoyed the date but knew his mind was elsewhere. She even goes so far as to say that she knew he was thinking about someone else. Taki tries to call Mitsuha but is unable to reach her. That night and the next morning, he discovers that their body switching has also stopped entirely.
Fearful and concerned, Taki, Miki, and Tsukasa, a mutual friend, travel via train to Hida. Taki doesn’t know the name of the town that Mitsuha lives in. Luckily, he has memories of what the area looks like, though. He has drawn sketches of the landscape from memory to act as a map. While in Hida, he shows these sketches to a restaurant owner who recognizes it to be Itomori.
He takes Taki and his friends to the ruins of Itomori. He explains how the town was destroyed by the comet Tiamet which fragmented and made impact there three years prior. Five hundred residents were killed when this occurred, including Mitsuha.
While looking at the crater in complete disbelief, Taki pulls out his phone and watches Mitsuha’s messages inexplicably vanish. He begins to question if it was all just a dream.
Miki and Tsukasa return to Tokyo, unsure of what else they can do to help the situation or their friend. Taki travels alone to the shrine that he had visited as Mitsuha with her grandmother. He hopes that he’ll be able to warn Mitsuha about the comet, potentially saving her and her family from its destruction.
In the shrine, he drinks the kuchikamizake that Mitsuha’s grandmother and sister had made. He collapses into a vision of Mitsuha’s past. He sees how Mitusha went to Tokyo three years before to see him. Although, at that time, Taki was unable to recognize her because, in his timeline, they hadn’t started switching bodies yet. At that time, Mitusha had given him a hair ribbon that he has worn this whole time as a good-luck charm.
When he awakes from the vision, he finds himself in Mitsuha’s body. It’s the morning of the festival, and he’s in her house. While there, Hitoha, Mitsuha’s grandmother, explains that she thinks she knows what has been happening. She explains that the ability to switch bodies has been passed down through the people in their family since they are the shrine’s caretakers.
With the help of two of Mitsuha’s friends, Tessie and Sayaka, they can disable the electrical substation and broadcast an emergency alert so that the town can evacuate. Taki realizes that Mitsuha must be in the shrine in his body. He leaves to go there and arrives just as Mitsuha wakes up in Taki’s body.
The two are separated by time by they can feel each other’s presence despite not being able to see each other. The magic hour comes. We would call it twilight, but it’s affectionately referred to as kataware-doki in Kimi no Na wa. They return to their own bodies and are able to see each other in person. Taki returns Mitsuha’s ribbon, and they write their names on the other’s palms in the hope that they will remember each other. Before Mitsuha can write hers, twilight is over, and they are transported back to their respective timeframes.
Mitsuha returns to Itomori to discover that the evacuation plan has failed, and she tries to convince her father, Toshiki, the mayor, that everyone must be evacuated immediately. Before she is able to persuade him successfully, she feels Taki’s memory fading. When she looks down at her hand, she sees that Taki has written “I love you” instead of his own name. The comet’s fragments crash into Itomori, obliterating it.
Taki wakes up in his timeline, remembering nothing. He continues on through life, remembering nothing of his body-changing times with Mitsuha or of the comet’s destruction.
Five years later, Taki graduates from his university and begins to search for a job. During this time, he feels like he has lost something essential but is unable to recognize what it may have been. He’s unsure of why he is so drawn to the comet that crashed into the small town of Itomori eight years prior. While the comet’s fragments destroyed the town, most of the people were saved because of a successful evacuation.
Mitsuha had been able to convince her father to evacuate the town in time, and she has since moved to Tokyo. In a chance encounter, their trains pass each other, moving in opposite directions, a beautiful reminder of how their timelines were twisted together years prior. They instantly feel the connection they had forged but forgotten, and they race to meet each other.
They meet at the stairs of the Suga Shrine. Taki calls to her, saying he thinks he knows her, which she expresses her identical feelings. Having found what they had been searching for after all of the years that had passed, they cry happy tears and, at the same time, they ask each other for their name.
Kimi no Na wa or Your Name won the LAFCA Animation Award in 2016. In 2017, it was awarded the Best Animated Film in 2017 by Mainichi Film Awards. It was written by Makoto Shinkai shortly after the Great East Japan Earthquake.
In July of 2011, he visited Yuriage, Natori, Miyagi Prefecture. While there, he drew sketches of what he saw, which have been shown at exhibitions. Shinkai was struck by how it could’ve been his own town and was interested in how the positions of people close, yet far apart, could make a world of difference in their experiences and their lives.
While Itomori is a fictional town, it is based on real locations in Hida, including their library, providing a realistic backdrop for the story.
The Main Characters
Taki is a regular high school boy in Tokyo. In his timeline, he is 17 years old. He loves to sketch and is exceptionally talented at it, but he aspires to be an architect. While he can be short-tempered, he is kind and considerate. He lives alone with his father, and we never meet his mother.
Mitsuha is from the small town of Itomori, which lies near the mountains and its mysterious shrine. In her timeline, she is also 17 years old. Later it is revealed that while they are switching bodies, her life line is three years behind Taki, making her three years older than him. She usually has her hair tied up in handmade ribbons.
She and her sister are guardians of the shrine nearby. Her father left the shrine after their mother died and turned to a life of politics instead. He becomes the mayor of Itomori and stops communicating with his daughters.
Mitsuha lives with her grandmother and her little sister, but she dreams of a life in Tokyo and all the possibilities it would hold for her.
Miki is one of Taki’s friends and coworkers that develops feelings for Taki when Mitsuha is in his body. She is beautiful and pursuing a job in fashion. In a lot of ways, she is the woman that Mitsuha has always fantasized about being. She smokes, lives in Tokyo, and is popular among her male coworkers, living a life of adventure compared to one in a small town.
She leaves Taki at the mountain when they go to find Mitsuha, but the two are reunited later. She has an engagement ring and tells him how she is due to be married soon. She also now works in an apparel manufacturing branch. While Taki and Mitsuha have been left to wonder about what’s missing in their respective lives after spending so much time together, she has moved on with her life and is doing quite well for herself.
Hitoha is a loving example of a grandmother. She is the head of the Miyamizu shrine, where she, Mitsuha, and Yotsuha act as caretakers. She spends her time thread weaving and teaching the two girls about the shrine’s history and traditions, which later possibly save all of their lives.