Kiteman’s review published on Letterboxd:
Kimi no Na wa is Makoto Shinkai's latest work that has been well-received so far to the point of being over-hyped. While I don't see this as a masterpiece, it has a lot of strong points and at the same time has weak points as well. First off, the premise is not that original yet it still tries to grab the viewer's interest. I like how the body-switching gimmick is handled with a sense of realism in it. For example, an individual's natural curiosity towards the opposite sex and also how the voice actors of the protagonists handle the role of a person trapped inside a body of an opposite sex very well. As the story progress the two protagonists know that they must set ways to deal with the problematic situation such as leaving notes before they switch back to normal which I find quite creative. Accompanied with the Shinkai standard visuals and soundtrack, the overall atmosphere of the movie is lighthearted.
On the weaker side of things, the movie takes a blow by the introduction of time-travel elements in the second half of the story. The lighthearted atmosphere gradually grow intensely into an emotional rollercoaster. I like plots that tend to be intense and emotional but the way the movie transitions the atmosphere is kinda off-putting. As the movie absorbs you into its change of atmosphere, there is a noticeable inconsistency in pacing. It's probably because the time-travel makes it sort of convoluting. The flow of time and memory begins to distort. There are plot points that, while emotionally packed, are hard to take seriously. It takes a while for the suspension of disbelief to sink in at the idea of switching not only with bodies but also with timelines.
Now why the score of 8 out of 10 when I've been addressing quite the heavy complaint? While the second half starts to crumble the strong start the movie has, I still enjoy and love the movie overall. The ending is satisfactory that, despite having traces of forcefulness to it, is a good change of storytelling in comparison to his previous works such as 5 Centimeters Per Second where there is no definite resolution like a happy ending. I do think that the movie deserves credit for trying to do more with its story despite being partly a failure and a success. Unlike Shinkai's previous films that tend to be overwhelmingly melancholic and distant, Kimi no Na wa assimilates the feeling of a passionate youth which I really like and find beautiful. I like the contrast of the two settings albeit I hoped for a better world-building. I kind of blame myself for having a soft spot for these kinds of coming-of-age stories. The production is great from the gorgeous visuals to the heartwarming soundtrack. I believe that Shinkai can still put out better projects given that his story writing ability has more consistency and substance to it. Whatever the consensus is, this movie will definitely leave an impact to the curious viewer.