Your Name. ★★★★½

One of the first films by Shinkai, my favorite anime director, that expresses a whole new look than we are used to seeing from him. Thus, it makes a small departure from his previous line of work. The signature impressionistic style that made him a name within the medium has been moved away from here. The strong emphasis on monologue is exchanged out for more dialogue based interactions. Something that'd we see in any other film of this nature. Although the originality that made him who he is hasn't returned to this project, it hasn't hurt my levels of enjoyability at all.

A comet's passing over Japan which has an effect on two young, would be lovers, as they occasionally change bodies, Freaky Friday style, until the comet has completely passed over. Add a strange time paradox and huge twist into the mix and we've got a great example of the narratives he's known for. This is a wonderful story not afraid to deepen its meaning throughout the duration. What begins as a fun idea quickly becomes a harrowing tale of hope, loss and overcoming impossibility. Although I missed Shinkai's signature execution this time around, his heart is still in the right. Anyone who knows his work well knows that this is the only ingredient he's ever required.

- The Spork Guy

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