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Saturday, 26 November 2016

Kimi no Na wa. (Your Name)

Kimi no Na wa. (Your Name) in some sense touches on a Japanese concept called Mono no Aware, which can roughly mean to be in resignation of the flow of things, that things that have happened have changed lives in ways that are irreversible.

It is also why many 'drama' anime you have seen emphasise the tragedy, with a conclusion of either living with the tragedy (e.g Your Lie in April) or regrets (e.g 5cm/s ) . Reason why you hardly see 'good' endings nowadays. Instead, Your Name tells a story about clinging on to hope, and looking forward towards the uncertain future.

The anime features intermingling time-lines and body-swapping. Manipulating time as a form on its own has many issue, for one it break your suspension of disbelief (aka how 'into' the anime you are) due to loopholes. Like many anime that have the distortion of time, Your Name has times which time confuses the audience.

Unlike many anime however, where the usage of time is the center focus, Your Name is personal for it touched dissatisfaction with our lives, where we believe that 'The grass is greener on the other side'.

In fact, the idea of 'Change' plays the main role in this touching film, where our characters experience change, question change, overcome change and in the overarching sense, defy the expectation of resignation to fate.

My personal part of Your name was the meeting of our characters on the crater, when the scene where the timeline returns to normal and they are separated again, it creates the notion that the characters will never remember what happened in the mountain and the lingering feeling of loss that they cannot explain will perhaps never be explained. This is our expectation, and it did not turn out that way, for the better. After all, this anime is about change for the better.

Let me clear some confusions that people may have about this anime
1. Mizuha is 3 years older than Taki
2. The reason why they evacuated in the end, was because the father realised that Mizuha is experience what his wife (Mizuha's mother) has faced. And, the fact that Taki warned dad about the splitting of the comet.
3. Taki is not happy with his city life, it shows in his attitude as stated by his peers to be short-tempered and quick to anger, the typical presentation of frustration.

One weak point I found was that the ending was dragged rather long, and it became flat. However, in retrospect, it is the prolonging to the conclusion that we play into  Mono no Aware, and have an expectation about the end. And then break that expectation. Also, it might be difficult to buy into this 'time distortion' that is essential in the plot, but there's no going around that.

Kini no Na wa is an anime that one should not miss, regardless of being exposed to anime culture or not. It is a story many can relate to, and is refreshing in its own ways, defying a predetermined fate prevalent in many forms of medium and how we see our own lives.

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