Your Name.

Your Name. ★★★★½

I'll be damned... I didn't even know this film existed until just four days ago. Turns out this is one of the best I've seen this year.

Your Name has it all. The first act, which revolves around the two main characters Taki and Mitsuha switching bodies at random a few days a week, is just sheer fun and had me cracking up more often than not. But more than that, and this is gonna sound really pretentious, it's a beautiful exploration of many people's desire to live out someone else's life, a life that's undoubtedly more interesting than our own. We've all had dreams which we didn't want to wake up from, but we end up forgetting anyways...

Then the film makes a major shift in tone and that's when it becomes something truly special. I'd go as far as to saying it's mind-blowing, because the twist comes out of fuck-nowhere and hits really hard. By the end, this film had had me on the floor for nearly an hour already and it just kept kicking me constantly. I was dead, boom, "Goodbye Tom, I really hope you liked these characters, you naive fucking idiot."

And unlike in Shinkai's previous films, the story is presented as a continuous linear narrative, which makes it a lot easier to get on board, and our characters here are fleshed out well enough to make us actually care about them. Their relationship is a lot more than just a cardboard romance - Shinkai plays with the exact opposite of the idea that he messed around with in 5 Centimeters Per Second, in which a relationship faded out because of time and distance. What if two people fell in love and created an undeniable connection even though they never actually met? That's not actually something I believe in real life, but I totally bought it here, because (again, unlike Shinkai's other films) you get why these people are so fond of each other. They've never met, but each of them knows more about the other than anyone else.

I can't stress enough how brilliant this little gem of a film is. Emotionally crushing while also fully resonant, and despite all of its sci-fi elements, it rings true and feels incredibly realistic. A real human dream. Shinkai has finally created his masterpiece.

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