Your Name (Kimi No Na Wa) - Colossus, 5 Best Anime Movies Like Your Name

Makoto Shinkai’s 2016 film “Your Name” is the greatest anime film of all time. For 1 Hour and 52 Minutes, viewers are sucked in to a story that is pure magic.


Released in 2016, Your Name has now been out for over three years. It has broken box-office records for domestic Japanese films, and also anime films abroad. Many consider it to be one of the best anime movies of all time, and Makoto Shinkai’s greatest body of work.

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Your Name taps on an emotion that films nowadays don’t. It crafts an extremely beautiful story about longing and loss; and that’s not even bringing the artwork into account. Many movies are about emotions that have already manifested themselves, but Your Name centers in on the emotions that you don’t have. This is told through the two main characters: Taki Tachibana and Mitsuha Miyamizu.

Shinkai is an expert in the genre of “star-crossed lovers.” “5 Centimeter Per Second” (2007) and “The Garden Of Words” (2013) are other works of art that he has crafted to much prominence. With these two films, the feeling of loss is even more enhanced due to the fact that these stories don’t end “happy” as many romance films do.


The Garden Of Words (2013)

In many ways Your Name is a spiritual successor to Shinkai’s previous work. Now. What makes this film so legendary within, and outside the anime community?

Looking at the plot from a macro point of view, Your Name is essentially a body-switching movie between a boy and a girl. This is the ground that Shinkai begins to craft his story from. Mitsuha is a country girl who hates where she lives. She’d give anything to experience a life in the city. Taki is just an average boy from Tokyo (the city).

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The rules of this story emphasize the notion that after the body switching takes place, the two begin to forget what happens when they switch back. This sets up where those feelings of loss and separation begin.

If this were any other film, the romance would start from the body switching alone. Your Name seeks to take this “idea” one step further, and explains why this phenomenon was taking place.

The twists and turns of Your Name tear apart our two leads for extremely dramatic reasons. Much of the film’s first act is reliant on the magic of body switching and the love cultivated during it. The rest of Your Name takes the audience a level above a typical love story.

In fact, one might argue that the love story is not even the main plot of Your Name. This is because the love story is so expertly weaved into the plot that when things come to a bubbling point, nothing feels forced. Towards the end of the film, you the viewer are left with a feeling of longing as you want to see the movie end on a more hopeful note.

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Your Name is simply a movie about that feeling people get when they are searching for something more. It provides the backstory to that time you met someone for the first time, but for some reason, it feels like you’ve already met. Shinkai brings these emotions to life by utilizing three things.

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The first is the plot of the film (as explained) . The second is the artwork, and the third is the music.

To say the least, Your Name features some of the greatest animation I have ever seen. The city is drawn as this hyper-realistic place, but when the story takes magical turns, the artwork does as well. There are visual cues that point to other Shinkai works, but more importantly, the art adds another dimension of beauty that the story embodies.

Having seen many anime films and TV shows, Your Name has a style that can only be associated with Shinkai. In many respects, I would compare this to the way that Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli have an aesthetic that is recognized internationally. When you see the art, you know exactly whose movie it is.

The same could be said about the soundtrack. With songs composed and written by RADWIMPS, Your Name is not the same movie without the music.

The RADWIMPS soundtrack provides a another dimension of magic to this unconventional love story. Songs on the soundtrack like “Zenzenzense” and “Nandemoniya” take the film from “great” to “special.” Even down to the way the soundtrack plays into the “magical romantic genre” turn that the film takes, Your Name fires on all cylinders.

Katawaredoki is a mere instrumental, yet listening to it adds more colors to what is already being shown on the screen. The characters are captivating enough, yet the soundtrack makes it feel that much more real.

My Personal View

Your Name sits as one of the greatest anime of all time on many peoples’ lists. It’s not that it is the perfect movie, or that everything about it is flawless, but Your Name is a film that is really hard to hate.

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You can’t help but fall in love with all the characters. While the circumstances they are faced with are without a doubt otherworldly, the way Taki and Mitsuha are written make them seem like normal kids. There is nothing special about them other than the special connection they have.

Shinkai was able to tell a story that is reminiscent of real love stories that already exist. Even beyond love stories, we are told the tale of two people meeting for the first time.

That feeling you get when you feel so attached to someone even after only knowing them for a short while. Why do we feel this way? We’ve all felt this way whether we know it or not. It doesn’t even need to be towards a person. Maybe it could be directed at a location, or place of happiness in your life.

This is where Your Name operates. The only way you can truly see what I mean is if you watch it. It tops all those “anime lists” for a reason. People are drawn to stories that have never been told before, and while Your Name pulls themes from other works, it’s a hard one to ignore.

This is a must watch for any anime fan, and this is a must-see for any film buff.

With the confirmation of an American-made live-action version of Your Name, it is my hope that people will see the original before seeing the remake.

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