Your Name

LetterboxD review link

Puberty is a fraught time for teenage boys and girls. We get stories about boys dealing with sexual impulse, or learning to deal with newly discovered, seemingly untamable libidos. Stories about girls are usually about menstruation, embarrassment, and some sort of acquisition of female wisdom.

Your Name approaches puberty through another vantage point. It levels the distance between boys and girls but doesn’t flatten their experience. Both these characters feel alienation from their own body, budding romantic interests (sometimes for the opposite sex, sometimes for the same, a fluidity that was refreshingly presented as not-a-big-deal), a sense of distance from their families, friendships that, in some ways, become their new family.

These themes were interesting to think about. Some of the explication of plot was hard to follow, I felt lost a few times, and it felt like there were about 12 endings in the last 45 minutes. But the characters were so lovable that I didn’t mind these flaws much.

And I was completely lost in the gorgeous frames of this film. Every frame, as they say, was a painting. Both rural Japan and Tokyo, interiors, exteriors, natural elements, buildings, pencils, erasers, everything was so brilliantly depicted. I would watch this film all over again just to see the colors again. A masterful feat, to be canonized along with the best from Studio Ghibli.