Your Name (2016 film) is a Japanese animated romantic story, directed by Makoto Shinkai delivering amazing artworks and enchanting visuals. This movie involves a body-switching concept between the protagonists. Mitsuha is a country girl living in Itomori and is unhappy there. She dreams to live in the big city of Tokyo. Taki on the other hand is just an average, charming boy from Tokyo. The story is based on the fact that after the body swap happens, the two begin to forget about their activities when they switch back. This is when the story depicts the painful emotions of separation and uncertainty.
Kimi No Na Wa
Let us understand what Kimi No Na Wa stands for. The phrase is traditional, used by native Japanese speakers to know one’s name. The representation is ‘Your name is? ” in literal terms. So this is a relative translation of the movie title itself.
The ‘Body Switching’ in Your Name
The body-swapping between Mitsuha and Taki is a fascinating projection that includes time travel. Initially, Taki and Mitsuha find the experience delusional and conclude it as mere dreams. Because they keep forgetting the memories the next day after the switching. After several switches, the two realize that the experience is real. To overcome complications they decide to put the details of their activities on their smartphones for each other to stay alert and updated. The process continues for some time and they begin to get close and understand each other. Mitsuha falls for Taki. She reaches Tokyo and finds him inside a train. But this Taki is 3 years before he experiences body-switching with Mitsuha. He doesn’t recognize Mitsuha. Unaware of the different timelines, Mitsuha gets disheartened. When Taki asks her name, she gives the string and leaves. Taki keeps it for 3 years in the future as a lucky charm.
Red Yarn Thread in Your Name
The grandmother explains to Mitsuha and Yotsuha about the Red String of Fate. The thread binds two souls, no matter how unpredictable life gets. She also mentions the connection between the flow of time and the thread. From this point of view, the audience understands that Mitsuha will always remain connected to her other half – Taki. Taki keeps the thread for 3 years after his first encounter with Mitsuha. He visits Itomori to find Mitsuha because the thread protects his memories for a longer period. The thread makes the connection between Mitsuha and Taki stronger.
Taki’s Visit to Itomori
When the switching stopped, Taki urges to know the reason. He uses his thoughts and sketches of Itomori to visit Mitsuha. Tsukasa and Okudera accompany him. Various attempts went in vain and finally, people from a restaurant identify the sketch of Itomori. They said that the town is destroyed 3 years ago by a comet fragment. Taki finds it unbelievable. The three of them look for more clues. They locate a book containing names of the dead people and see the names of Teshi, Sayaka, and Mitsuha. Taki’s mind is debating on whether all of this is just a dream or reality. Taki alone goes to the Shrine and sips the kuchikamizake (Mitsuha’s sake). He slips and falls to the ground and witnesses a slip in the timeline too. He visualizes the whole journey of Mitsuha including her birth, her trip to Tokyo, the comet disaster, and her death.
The plan to save Itomori
Teshi and Mitsuha (as Taki) plan to save Itomori from the comet disaster. They planted a homemade bomb at the electric sub-station and hacked the town’s PA system. Sayaka is seen to make a false announcement about a massive forest fire. They wanted to move the people to the high school. The false announcement was made because it was difficult to make people believe about the splitting comet which would destroy the town. Mitsuha (as Taki) fails to convince her dad. Taki and Mitsuha meet each other during Tasogare-Doki – (twilight) and realize the gap of the switching is 3 years apart. Taki confesses to Mitsuha and returns the thread. This moment lasted briefly because the timelines are contradictory. Mitsuha’s dad finally gives the evacuation orders when he notices the splitting comet. Later we discover that though the town is destroyed, the lives of the people are unharmed.
The ending shows the final encounter of Mitsuha and Taki after the comet strike. This means 8 years have passed for Mitsuha while 5 years have passed for Taki since the last meet. Mitsuha is working in Tokyo now, while Taki is job-hunting. Throughout these years, Taki and Mitsuha feel an unusual void. They don’t remember the switching memories but somehow feel a connection towards each other. Mitsuha wears the thread which Taki returned during the comet strike. Taki and Mitsuha see each other from their respective trains. They look for each other and finally, their eyes met on the stairs. Taki finally breaks the silence by asking Mitsuha if they’ve met before. She replies that she feels the same too. Tears rolled from their eyes and they ask each other’s names – “Kimi no Na (namae) wa?”. This ending scene blooms the hope of their reunion.