Makoto Shinkai and Subjectivism
While many people expected Your Name to be a film about transcendence of thread and love, which is the case, it is probably one of the biggest projects, to say the least. It is more like work when it combines Charlie Kaufman and David Lynch to collaborate to create an animation. However, it is not made by these two people. Rather, it is one of the most memorable projects for many by Makoto Shinkai, one of the most active modern Japanese directors in the industry. With works such as 5 Centimeters per Second, Children Who Chase Lost Voices, and The Garden of Words, Shinkai weaves a story about more than just a classic love story. However, it is the purest art and is a love letter to many people and includes Shinkai himself.
Dreams and Common Thread
From the third point of view, seeing the quote as an audience, sometimes, Taki and Mitsuha found themselves in tears. The dreams they must have had they could never remember. However, the sensation that they were missing something lingered for a long time after they woke up. They are always looking for something, for someone. The feeling had gotten to them, though, since the day the stars fell. It is almost like a scene from a dream—nothing more, nothing less than a beautiful sight.
In short, Your Name is a film that makes the audience train empathy through the transcendence of thread and love. However, the film conveys this love not only maturely through symbolism. It is not just a common thread, despite being the most explicit symbolism in the film. Taki and Mitsuha unite their love both physically and emotionally to connect two individuals. Mitsuha gives Taki a red thread, part of their identity, wears it every day, and is surprised when the identity disappears. Similarly, when Taki drinks Mitsuha’s ritual water, it is an identity and another illustration of how identity becomes his symbolism.
The Fragmented Love
Narratively, Your Name is a film that is easy to understand in the plot. However, overall, its complexity helps the narrative in building a strong story foundation. It allows the audience to focus on, not only on the details of each plot but on each outcome. Mitsuha and Taki’s realities could be fragmented. However, living apart from their dimensions and time for three years is not a long time. Like when they quote each of the initial dialogues when they lose their identity, lose something, and suddenly, the dream feels so real, but it is also not. In essence, they are trying to find a name, looking for half of what they have been looking for, namely love.
A common thread between Taki and Mitsuha, literally and not figuratively, can be strung together through a quote from Mitsuha’s grandmother. As the thread continues to twist, emotions eventually begin to flow between oneself and the thread. Indirectly, Mitsuha connects with Itomori, becoming one with her past and future and her hometown. The red thread is then wrapped around Taki so that both can maintain, especially Mitsuha, their relationship with their hometown even when comets repeatedly hit their village. She, in the end, handed the thread to Taki, figuring out offering half of her identity to someone whom the thread had entangled.
The story in Your Name can be further concluded that love is blind, crazy, and can make anyone brave. It is cheesy, but the character development of Taki and Mitsuha is the most prominent example of this premise. Mitsuha is shy, while Taki is grumpy in the first place. However, through their search for common threads as other people, they gain a new perspective.
In the end, Mitsuha and Taki have fully developed through how they understand and try to save the residents of Itomori city from the comet. For the first time, and the last time when they could no longer change bodies, they were no longer the same person in the first place. Taki and Mitsuha did things they had never done before. From this point of the arc, the actions of the two of them seemed rational. In the end, it is their obsession, and again, it is cheesy, fueled by love.
In addition of a story about transcendence of thread and love, Your Name is fantastic when it comes to palettes. Apart from Shinkai-style elements like in his works, the landscape replicates a realistic yet authentic character. The fantasy element is still grounded in reality, and this shows how Mitsuha and Taki’s driving force defies the laws of time with their common thread. Your Name is timeless in every aspect and point of view. Audiences can watch it again and again, reveal more about its true meaning, interpret it universally but from all points of view, or watch this film based on the mood or feelings of each audience. Who knows, Your Name is the most dilemmatic and melancholic viewing experience for an animated film.
An Otherworldly World
Your Name focuses on a theme that is noticeable, not just about love hundreds or even thousands of years apart, but also about comets hitting Earth. This allegory could mean, among other things, about the fragment that creates a trigger, namely the lake where Itomori formed a vessel, which refers to the Miyamizu Shrine’s reservoir. Regardless of divine connection, customs, metaphorical, even spiritual, the comet, at the end of the film, will destroy Itomori. The container eventually builds love between Mitsuha and Taki. The bonding of the two comment fragments creates an otherworldly connection between the lake and the shrine where they must use a connection using the vessels to save Itomori, and also join the two of them together, from the comet.
The outline is a major limitation of how Your Name compiles a paradox, not only narratively, through visuals. The contrast between beauty, trauma, and the magical hyper element of the second highlights the differences between the characters. Your Name is a binary of a crack, taking the context of the story and characters’ relationships. Makoto Shinkai achieves these lines by forming a traditional two-dimensional style. It is separating the inside from the outside as well as how the characters participate and adapt to the surrounding environment.
Your Name is strikingly a statement where anime is a medium that is most often underestimated, not just a film about transcendence of thread and love. However, Shinkai paid close attention to detail by vision as well as decisively. The setting feels alive yet, as it said, magical at the same time. The train system in Tokyo, skyscrapers, makes an animated film that can be recommended for anyone to the horizon. It is framed yet visually beautiful but never hinders the story. The two are intertwined with each other both metaphorically and allegorically.
In the last scene of Your Name, Mitsuha and Taki ask each other’s names. There is an imaginative glance to the audience about what they did to start their life together. It is an unrelated story about the defamation of looking for a common thread. In short, the film is about looking for a soulmate. On the other hand, the film balances a fantastic beauty full of reality. Shinkai lives in a world where great visual experiences become a big screen with lots of ideas.
- Morris, L. (2020). The Brilliance of ‘Your Name’. ILLUMINATION | Medium.
- Schreiber, K. I. (2018). Sacred Time in the Work of Makoto Shinkai.
- Swale, A. (2018). „Shinkai Makoto: The „New Miyazaki” or a New Voice in Cinematic Anime?.”. Japanese Studies Down Under: History, Politics, Literature and Art, 263-271.