Your Name.

Your Name.

Makato Shinkai can't claim ignorance on the issue of consent: Your Name points out on multiple occassions that Taki shouldn't be taking advantage of Mitsuha's body when they body swap.  Yet the film plays his boundary crossing as a joke or has him lie about it with no consequences. Heading off the boring counter argument at the pass, my complaint isn't that Taki does these things. A teenage boy raised in this society who didn't feel up the woman whose body he controlled would sadly be the exception rather than the rule. My complaint is that the filmmakers completely downplay this problem. No one forced them to include it, and they do nothing to comment on it. So it hangs there, like a fart in a crowded elevator.

This is a consistent problem with Shinkai's films: he sees romance as a sort of trump card for real life. But pretending that love wipes away the problems of real life leads to abusive relationships and imperialist fantasies. In Garden of Words, he posits a non sexual relationship between a mid to late 20s woman (who is also a teacher) and a 15 year old student because it doesn't explicitly involve sex is ok, but it isn't. It involves the idea of sex and romantic love being constricted by dumb ole society, but those rules (unlike many) are actually there for a reason. They protect people.

For me, real romance doesn't have to hide reality to be love. In fact the foundation of real love is an acceptance of the flaws and strengths in the reality of said person.

 Given a slight shift in the writing, Shinkai's naive sincerity might appeal to me in a similar way to the Wachowski sisters*. They both have an ability to achieve transcendent imagery because of that heart, for lack of a better term. The scene where Taki slips in the cave will easily make my best scenes of the year for instance. But the Wachowski's sincerity is always about imagining a better world in spite of the pitfalls of this one. Shinkai's sincerity is invested in only his perspective and a better world only for the type of person he is, a young male straight** romantic.

Though that leads them to problem areas as well


** This movie should be way more LGBT, emphasis on the T, than it is


2/15

Rembrandt Q liked this review