Your Name. ★★★★

Makoto Shinkai's Your Name has taken the Laemmle Music Hall by storm. I've never seen any screening sell out at that Los Angeles-based movie theater, but this Japanese animated film filled up almost every showing over the course of a week. Taki Tachibana (voiced by Ryunosuke Kamiki) and Mitsuha Miyamizu (voiced by Mone Kamishiraishi) are two teenagers living in different regions in Japan when one morning each wakes up to find their mind inhabiting the body of the other. The movie spends its first act just exploring that connection and how the two characters react to it (spoiler alert, being in a body of the opposite gender leads to a lot of touching). The vocal performances and animation production during the body-swap scenes are high points of a film that is equal parts funny, sweet, and sad. Understanding the difficult situation in which these two find themselves is only a small piece of Your Name, a tightly plotted movie that looks as beautiful as the emotions it evokes.

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