Your Name Movie Review: Body Swapping, Teen Romance Played Out On Epic Stage

Your Name anime movie

Your Name Overview:

In Your Name Taki and Mitsuha are waking up in each other’s bodies and don’t know why. When Taki suddenly stops waking up inside of Mitsuha, he goes looking for answers.

Your Name Review:

There’s no denying that Your Name has done very well in its cinema release and continues to gain attention with the release of its DVD. The fact that it got an Australian cinema release was fairly news worthy in my mind (though we seem to have had a run of anime cinema releases recently and now I’m really starting to feel jealous of people who live near a cinema given the only film I managed to be in a city to see was Sword Art Online Ordinal Scale).

However, having missed this at the cinema, I thought I’d be waiting a year or two for a decent price on a DVD and then AnimeLab sent me an email letting me know that for 48 hours I could see this film on their site which I already pay a subscription for. I was pretty happy with that.

That said, I wasn’t going into this blind given how much hype this film has had. I knew what the story would be and I already know what a lot of people have said about it. But what I also knew going in was that this wouldn’t be my type of film. While I don’t mind romance stories, I prefer rom-com’s to dramatic romance and I’m really not a fan of teen romance. The handful of anime series I love that focus on teen romance are the exceptions. So, ultimately what was this movie like?

Your Name - Gorgeous

Well, if you love sweeping images of the sky or musical montages showing time passing with gorgeous visuals, you are most definitely in luck. This film has them in copious amounts. And while I appreciate just how beautiful this film is, I did have to wonder at times why they felt the need to add in that particular shot or view of the sky (and yes, I know watching the sky is important to the story but how many times do we need to see it to get the point give the movie isn’t that long). But, some people like anime for the visuals and the animation and Your Name delivers for the most part.


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Live a Live – RPG Game

Where I was less impressed where the two leads themselves. Taki and Mitsuha. Given the majority of the story exclusively focuses on these two characters and that they are in and out of each other’s lives, I left the film not really knowing anything of note about either character.


Yep, Taki has a sign that says ‘Architecture’ in his bedroom (which they show us nearly every time we are in his bedroom) and I guess that’s significant because he draws this wonderful sketch of the town Mitsuha lives in (because only someone interested in architecture can sketch) and that’s how he eventually tracks down the name of Mitsuha’s town (because you know he couldn’t have remembered the school name that he was going to while in her body, or just learned her address while living her life).

What else do we learn about him? He’s quick tempered (okay, he’s a teenage boy). He works part time and everyone seems to like him though we never find out why. He has trouble getting a job mostly because he is terrible at interviews. And… Nope, that’s it. That’s all I know about him. I forgot his name the day after I watched this which given how many times it was said in the film I take as a bad sign.

Basically, for me a romance will live or die by whether I care about the characters and Taki doesn’t even register. I don’t dislike him. I don’t know enough about him to dislike him. He’s just kind of a placeholder for the story to move someone through the motions of a romance.

But Mitsuha isn’t getting away freely either. She claims to hate her town and wants to leave and has daddy issues. We learn more about her family dynamic and situation and she fares a little better. But is that enough for me to care whether she gets a happily ever after with the guy? Not really.


So the romance part of this romance fell a little flat for me. That isn’t to say I didn’t appreciate how emotionally wrenching the scene at twilight was supposed to be and how happy I was supposed to be at the end, but knowing what they were doing with a scene and actually feeling a scene are two entirely different things and I was most definitely detached from this because of the characters.

Despite that, I’d still say this film was worth a watch. However…

Yeah, there’s another thing.

The memory loss plot device. See time travel, body swapping, destined connections don’t make me bat an eye in this movie as everyone of them makes contextual sense. Why the two characters lose their memories of one another does not. There’s no reason given for the phenomenon and it doesn’t seem like it is needed. More importantly, the phone erasing the messages and all the other little bits and pieces are never given even a poor explanation. It just kind of happens to add an additional complication to a story that had kind of already run its course.


Yet, I’m still going to recommend watching this film. While the teen romance element doesn’t really play out and their are some consistency issues with some of the plot elements, the story of the town Mitsuha lives in and the comet are actually well played out and certainly interesting enough in their own right. And did I mention how pretty this film is?

Basically, I don’t really intend to watch this again but I am glad I had the chance to see it and it was a fairly pleasant and inoffensive way to pass a lazy Boxing Day afternoon.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
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Karandi James

Natsume’s Book of Friends Volume 6 Review – The Stands We Take

Natsume's Book of Friends Volume 6 Cover

Volume 6 was a little bit different with three chapters dedicated to the story of Natsume and Taki befriending Kai, a troubled kid who seems to be being stalked by a yokai. The situation gets more complicated when Natsume realises Natori is in town and might also be after Kai. In addition to this story we also get two shorter stories, one featuring the very adorable Little Fox and one featuring Reiko and then just a random story about other characters (will admit I wasn’t as in to that).


Chapters 20 – 22

It was kind of refreshing to see that Natsume wasn’t actually the one being targeted in this story. Quite by chance he comes across Kai and releases him from a box but then he has the hard job of winning over Kai’s trust. If you want some warm and fluffy feels, watching Taki, Kai and Natsume enjoying nature together is sure to hit the spot.

However, as with most Natsume stories it isn’t all sunshine and light and Kai continues to be targeted. After a while, Natsume realises Natori is back and the is the one out to get Kai, and with that comes the realisation that Kai isn’t actually a human child. We’ve seen Natsume confuse humans and yokai before but this time, Natsme doesn’t reject Kai after the truth is known. Instead, he stands firm beside Kai even as Natori tells Natsume to stay out of it.

This ends up putting Natsume in a fairly dangerous place between Natori and Kai as Kai ceases to trust Natsume and the conclusion of this story is very satisfying.


We’ve seen these characters grow so much and the relationships between them grow, change, get tested, and reforged and this story really continues this beautifully. The odd relationship Natsume has with Natori that isn’t quite friendship because there’s still a layer of mistrust there continues to be a highlight of this story. Taki’s presence is wonderful as a human friend to Natsume and someone who can help him in small ways. And Kai is wonderful as a yokai who is also alone and isolated and feels the sting of betrayal.

It’s just a good story and it was given sufficient room in these three chapters to really spread its wings and be the story it needed to be.


Special Episode 5

This special episode reunites Natsume with the Little Fox. Seriously, the Little Fox could just sit still and smile at us on the page and I’d probably be delighted. He’s such a cute character. But his interactions with Natsume continue to be really fantastic.

There’s not much to this story and we did see this one in the anime where the Little Fox travels to see Natsume before Natsume takes him back home, but that doesn’t stop it being truly adorable.

Special Episode 6

The story of Reiko and Hinoe’s meeting is retold in this special story. Again, this one has been seen in the anime but it is a charming short story and gives us a bit more insight into Reiko and Hinoe and their relationship and it is just a bit of fun.

The Corner of the Schoolhouse

This one shot story is entirely focused on some different characters and a romance. I’m going to be honest, I didn’t really think much of it, but that’s probably because I was reading a Natsume book and was eager to get to the next chapter of Natsume so all and all the story works, it is cute, but I wasn’t that interested.

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If you’re interested in reading Natsume’s Book of Friends Volume 6 it is available on the Book Depository.

Natsume Yuujinchou Go Episode 5



Taki is back with her grandfather’s circle. This of course brings Natsume some angst because he was told in the last story it was a forbidden technique. Fortunately, Nyanko Sensei is about as tactless as a box of hammers and just comes out and tells Taki and that saves us spending the entire episode watching Natsume dither about how to tell her. Instead, we get to see a yokai dealing with their first encounter with a human and the ties that a chance encounter formed. This is interesting as normally we get this from Natsume’s perspective as he encounters the various yokai who end up moving on. This time, Natsume is the outside observer seeing how the yokai and Taki come to terms with their meeting. I love how this show continually finds news ways to explore similar themes. After four seasons it still manages to breathe life into the characters and this setting and there’s something just magical about it. That said, it has gotten to the point where if you don’t know the characters and their histories they aren’t really helping you drop into this story. Season 1 or 2 you could have picked up nearly any episode and made sense of it. Now, there’s so much history sitting behind every encounter prior knowledge is a must. Loving this return to Natsume.