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  • Daniel Rae

Your Name review

Updated: Aug 25, 2020


"Your Name", CoMix Wave Films, 2016


"Your Name" presents audiences with a refreshingly comforting angle to the visual form of storytelling anime is known for, exercising greater topical control in the way in which the story blends together both familiar and wholly original narrative beats to explore the magic of human connection - acting as a logical progression past what animes like "Spirited Away" paved in terms of style and storytelling. I am in awe of how this film manifests its charm into the dynamic and wholly individual intricacies that shapes the universality of its themes.

Everything in this world feels lovingly handcrafted and incredibly pure, from the way in which light deepens the richness of the colour palettes to the sense of honesty that the story never trials away from, despite what the incredibly thorough and detailed approach to time as the tool for conflict may suggest. This underlying sense of vulnerability and loss of control beckons the audience to become absorbed in this fantasy, a fantasy which constantly feels grounded and lived in through the way in which the themes slowly envelop and overlaps as the story progresses through the 3 acts. This is a testament to how well-paced the flow of the story is, with the twists and turns the diegesis presents never taking away from the intimate feeling throughout, owed due to the methodically designed construction of the "shots". This is balanced by a screenplay that fights back at the protagonists, often breaking past the boundaries of logic in order to bring the appropriate emotional weight to the idea of recognising oneself through someone else, a sentiment that never falls into the nihilism of melodrama. This is helped through the uncontained stylishness to the storytelling, perfectly encapsulating the wonder of adolescence whilst managing to underline the fragility of identity that comes with coming-of-age dramas. The free-flowing energy this enables, whilst similar to the whimsical aesthetics of other animes, provides a self-reflective angle to the narrative that highlights the true hallowing emptiness that life has in store, acting as an entity in itself that personifies the shadowy inevitability of time. This energy is also channeled into the romance of the genre in a very moving and touching way that understands both the idealised, fanciful aspects and the grittily human aspects to true human connection through an innocently humorous script. The delicate intricacies that breaths air into the character archetypes also feel more than a tool - the unconventionally driven plotpoints mixed in with the binaries of old and new they are constructed from helps meld utterly endearing character development, which, falling between the gaps that tear down the idealistic nature of the world that they live in, feels gratifying and earned. "Your Name", whilst remaining grounded and accessible to all audiences through its , presents an interesting examination into the "Star-Crossed-Lovers" trope that hangs the originality of its premise - the youthful flexibility to its presentation harnesses the power of destiny in a very compelling way that both warns and reassures the audience of its live-in-the-moment attitude.

Overall, I found the stylistic and structural change of pace this film presents not only emotionally enthralling in how its unfastened aesthetic acts as an entity in itself (much like the presence of time), but also very fun to watch as for what it stands for - Your Name is a celebration of the genre's groundworks as well as a confident lens forward into more modern and (western-inspired) technically-complex forms of storytelling that tests the boundaries of narrative structure, underlining the infinite amount of directions that a "Teen-Romance/Coming-of-Age-Drama" can go.


5/5 Stars

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