Friday, January 13, 2017

Review: Kimi no Na wa (2016)

Taki Tachibana - Ryûnosuke Kamiki
Mitsuha Miyamizu - Mone Kamishiraishi

Plot: A mystery of switching bodies happened between two high school students, Mitsuha who’s a girl living in the countryside called Itomori; and a city boy named Taki who is living in Tokyo. After realizing that they are swapping their bodies while they are asleep, they start to communicate with each other by leaving notes in their mobile phones. However, their personalities are different that the people around them has noticed their changes. As time passes, the body swap became common until they stopped switching on the day that a comet was expected to pass close to Earth.

Watch the Preview:

Watching this film constitutes the moments where I have dreamed of watching an anime movie in the big screen. This year, I’ve seen plenty of anime movies at home such as The girl who leapt through time, 5 centimeters per second and Only Yesterday to name a few. So I went to the cinema to watch this movie even though it was my first time watching alone. Of course, there were pleasant reviews that made me decide that it would be my me-time moment watching. As expected, I had a lot of fun even though the usual thing I do when I watch at home is that I pause halfway for a break which you can’t do in the cinema so I had to hold my bladder for 2 hours that never happened before. Indeed, a very memorable film to me.

If you are an avid fan of Japanese anime or series, you would know that it’s called a box office hit because it sold many tickets but it does not speak of its quality which is left to the beholder. Personally, this movie is not my favorite yet it is very special for the experience I had. 

Watch and listen the OST by RADWIMPS:

The story was entertaining with regards to the relationship of the characters, the cinematography is excellent, music is superb and the voice-actors were equally amazing. 

So what was new and what was the hype about? I think the movie, aside from its success domestically, reached more viewers than a other well-made Japanese movies had in the international scene especially in Asia. I have heard that in China, this is the most-watched Japanese film ever. Furthermore, I’m very hopeful that it will open more opportunities for Japanese films to be marketed outside Japan and that they may consider promoting here in the Philippines as well like what Rurouni Kenshin did in the past. 

Personally, the story did pretty well but it’s cliché and predictable in some ways. For instance, the romance between Mitsuha and Taki was foreseen and I have seen some similarities of it with The girl who leapt through time and 5 centimeters per second which all had different stories and ending but the emotion brought was just the same. So being a casual viewer make me think that there were movies made before this that gave me the same feeling. I remember the director of this film saying that he doesn’t want his movie to be recognized because he’s intimidated by Hayao Miyazaki’s works which were phenomenal and award-winning. To me, that was a very humble gesture and if I were to put myself in his shoes, I would feel the same as well because the expectation is huge and you need to lift the pressure off of your shoulder.

It was a great movie but is also paired with marketing strategy and great momentum. If you go through the deeper aspects of movies in Japan especially the award-winning ones, there are greater movies out there which were not box office hits. But then, Japan never ran out of ideas which they turn into a manga, anime and live-action series and films. So they just go beyond the ordinary every time they make one. So this film alone went beyond the very expectation of myself as a casual viewer. As for me, it was extraordinary for the great experience it has brought and for once, I felt like I really did belong in the cinema with a group of 20-30 people watching.

Would I recommend the film?
Yes, because it is a great introduction to Japanese movies if you’re not into it. Since it is relatable and the element of love is there which is a language of our emotions, everyone could enjoy it and it is also funny and interesting to know how the story will unfold since there is mystery to it. Personally, I felt more than satisfied with what I’ve seen.

If you have seen the movie, I would like to hear your opinion on the movie. If you haven’t, you won’t be disappointed. 

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