HIFF is honored to close this year’s edition with the biggest moneymaking film in Japan (also still in theaters), YOUR NAME. by director Makoto Shinkai, based on his award winning novel. Universally acclaimed and already deemed a modern classic of animation, especially outside of Japan. The film will be in competition at the London Film Festival and the Busan Film Festival.
Mitsuha and Taki are total strangers living completely different lives. When Mitsuha makes a wish to leave her mountain town for the bustling city of Tokyo, they become mysteriously connected: she dreams she is a boy living in Tokyo, while Taki dreams he is a girl from a rural town. What is the meaning of this new connection, and how will it bring them together?
The story as a whole is wonderfully crafted. The spiritual element serves as a key component of the story, but doesn’t overshadow the human emotion that’s been caught up in it. In addition, the animation is breathtaking. Detailed landscapes, rich color palettes and scrupulous detail blend together to form a gorgeous iteration of two Japans – Rural and Urban. Shinkai succeeds in communicating the appeal of both landscapes: the quiet retreat of the mountains vs the active and dynamic cityscape with plenty of things to do.
There has not been so much excitement surrounding a Japanese anime feature since Studio Ghibli’s earlier releases. YOUR NAME. is a heartfelt, genre-bending coming-of-age romance that will be sure to enchant, delight and we expect not a dry eye in the house once the film concludes. If you are not familiar with Makoto Shinkai’s work, we are very sure you will be after seeing YOUR NAME.