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I’ve changed the premise of this video so many times while writing it, because this
movie is so jarring, i’ll spend ages talking about the movie’s obvious flaws then think
back to a certain scene and for a second, the movie seems to excuse itself of it’s
own shortcomings.
I’ve seen Your Name a handful of times now and I can’t deny the movie has captured
me.
Now, whether that’s because of my fascination with the movie’s critical reception or if
Your Name is really doing something special.
To me, it’s not a movie that is clearly good or bad.
I have definite griped with certain parts of the film, but there are also scenes that
I really like.
And in writing this video i’ve kind of become fascinated with the spectacle of Your Name.
So I want to spend this video looking into the movie, I want to find out not only why
I was captured by it but also why the larger community has so universally praised it.
How has this Mokoto Shinkai movie captured the anime community.
I’m going to look firstly at the opening of the film to see how it initially grabs
our attention.
The first scene opens with our main character waking up in the morning before school.
What the movie does here is almost starts the movie slightly after the story starts.
The movie references events from a previous day that we havn’t seen.
This is to put us in the same situation as our main character Mitsuha, but also to create
that initial spark of mystery in the story.
We’re also told about an approaching commit.
The movie gives the commit supernatural connotations but does it in a very subtle way.
This and Mitsuha’s reaction to her memory loss of yesterday is normalising the fantasy
elements of the film.
Rather than mitsuha reacting with traditional shock or awe, she reacts confused and brushes
these moments off as normal.
This is important for later in the film.
This is continued in the next scene where Mitsuha goes to school.
Literally, the first thing we see here, the teacher’s board, is packed with information.
As the mystery of the day before continues, we get a shot of three phrases written on
the board.
The first is “Dusk”, then “The witching hour” and finally “Tasokare”.
These are massive clues to the story, and if you catch them, work as brilliant foreshadowing.
The movie revolves around the idea of dreaming and magical happenings during the night.
The phrase “Dusk” here sets the time, then “The witching hour” is another phrase
for the time Midnight, usually used in supernatural stories where the sun going down triggers
supernatural changes, like werewolves.
And finally Tasokare, which the teacher defines as “Who’s that in the gloom?”.
It’s an old japanese phrase that was used long ago at dusk, it was used to ask who someone
was when it was too dark to see them.
We then get a full shot of the board where an old Japanese poem is written out:
Please don’t ask me, “who’s that in the gloom?”
I’m waiting here for my love, in the september dew”
That’s the english translation by the way, but it’s a lovely poem and you can imagine
how it would sound in it’s native language.
You can see how this all beautifully foreshadows that upcoming narrative, it’s actually a
shame it wasn’t given more of a focus.
This isn’t delivered as a voice over by a old wise man or anything, it’s just background
noise from a lesson in school, once again normalising fantasy.
There’s a final nice bit of foreshadowing as the teacher calls on Mitsuha for not listening,
Mitsuha stands up and the teacher says “Oh, so do you remember your name today?”.
This is a reminder of what happened yesterday and a hint towards the importance of remembering
names in Your Name.
It’s a nice little moment.
We then have a conversation with the 3 friends outside, Tessie jokingly suggests that Mitsuha
is apart of a multiverse from the comic he’s reading, a complicated theory about endless
dimension that could be relevent to the story but it’s a bit far fetched for this video.
So far in the movie we’ve been subtly introduced to various mechanics of Your Name.
We know this is a supernatural show, there’s a strong level of mystery already established
in the story before it even gets started.
The next few scenes of the movie finish the first segment of the story, but they’re
one’s im not too fond of.
They forget the subtle story telling of previous scenes and opt for a voice over explanation,
spelling out plot points to us about Mitsuha’s father and their family tradition.
Plot points that become throw-away subplots later on in the film.
It’s a shame because the film really wasted valuable time here.
Take a note of the pacing too, this is 17 minutes into the movie, which is only roughly
100 minutes long, not including the credits, so this is almost a 5th of the movie’s runtime
spent achieving very little progression.
It’s given us hints and set the tone, but it’s taken a long time to do so.
It’s up to you whether this slow pacing helps the effectiveness of faster paced sections
or wastes valuable time that was sorely needed towards the end of the film.
So this next part of the film, for the next 10 minutes or so is where Your Name really
establishes its premise.
We begin with our main character Mitsuha seemingly waking up in a boy’s body, just after boldly
wishing she could leave her village.
This is all brushed off as a dream and Mitsuha doesn’t take it seriously at all, once again
normalising fantasy.
She then lives out a day as this boy in Tokyo.
What I like about this section is how huge and busy Tokyo feels, I can assure you it
wouldn’t have worked as well if we hadn’t spent so much time in the country first.
Mitsuha’s entrance to the bustling streets of Tokyo feel like, once again, a really nice
contrast.
This section is essential for fueling that initial sense of mystery, we now have something
to connect the dots with these supernatural undertones.
And then, almost 30 minutes into the movie, the premise is revealed.
Mitsuha is swapping bodies with a boy in Tokyo, Taki.
I think it could've come quicker, I don’t think 30 minutes of build-up to a twist that
is pretty obvious was necessary, but time isn’t something very wisely used in Your
Name.
Regardless, the story is flowing nicely now and there’s a lot of pay-off.
The slow start makes this section of the movie feel fast and vibrant.
This is the end of the first act, and the movie, once again feels the need to have a
voice over explanation of what’s happened.
I think these hurt the flow of the movie and don’t really respect the viewers ability
to follow a story.
We then have a huge tone shift for the next segment, a part of the movie that’s probably
one of my favourites.
While in Mitsuha’s body, Taki is taken to a shire to make an offering by Mitsuha’s
grandmother.
This is one of the first scenes were the movie’s supernatural side is put in the forefront.
There’s a lot of talk about intertwined timelines and different worlds.
Mystery shrouds the supernatural part of the movie, nothing is properly explained but we’re
given a rough idea.
I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether thats a good or bad thing.
There’s no logical mechanics behind anything in your name, it all seems to be powered by
spirits and gods so leaving it vague might be the best idea.
And would explaining some complex system even benefit the movie?
I’m not too sure.
Shinkai and his team change up the movies visual style completely for this location.
What was before, lots of highly detailed, tight compositions is now one massive, open
location with very few fine details.
This is echoed into the change in composition design, before each shot was very square with
lines creating most of the structure, now everything is round, we have a great round
crater with a circular stream in the middle, even the lakes in the background are circular
I think this nicely reflects the movie’s switch into a higher plane.
We’re considering gods and multiple worlds here, the idea of time be endless and complex,
I think the change of visual style is jaunting but effective in forcing us into a new mindset.
The scene following this is one of my favourite moments in the film.
As they’re returning to the village, Mitsuha’s little sister mentions the phrase “Half
Light”, which immediately sends us back to the classroom poem scene from the beginning.
With these few shots, the movie brings to life the poem from earlier.
Both characters are waiting for their love, in the september dew, and it’s one of the
movie’s most subtle but brilliant moments.
Followed by an equally effective one.
The scene is cut drastically as Taki switches back to his own body, with tears streaming
down his face.
I love this scene because, just as the movie builds itself up, we’re abruptly snatched
back to reality and we suddenly realise how far away they are from each other.
It creates such a great contrast in emotion, a brutally sharp but powerful moment.
This is where the movie starts to introduce conflict and steers away from the trajectory
of its happy ending.
The story is now out of the characters hands and Mitsuha and Taki are now helplessly moving
away from each other.
A number of really great shots echo this split.
And as the first plot twist still ripples through the world of Your Name, we’re hit
with the 2nd plot twist.
An even more devastating one that completely turns the story on its head.
A complete change in tone takes place because of this.
From light-hearted romantic sub stories to a now seemingly impossible situation.
This fast paced right hook is what I think creates so much of the movies emotion.
If this was stretched out and delivered equally throughout the story, I don’t think it would
of been as effective.
After this, Taki’s memories of Mitsuha then start to fade uncontrollably and he forgets
what he was looking for in the first place.
I don’t know why the idea of forgetting each other was so moving, in a way, them forgetting
each other is worse than them being in different timelines.
I think this echo’s the fleeting nature of time in life, that important things can
quickly fade away from you.
This aspect of the story really captured me and is definitely one of the main reasons
i found it so powerful.
So now I want to look at the final 3rd of the film, where Taki needs to go back in time
and save Itomori to save Mitsuha.
Obviously he needs to try and save the whole town aswell, for dramatic effect.
This scene is kind of odd, the pacing and narrative style feel different to the rest
of the film.
It kind of rushes through a quick scheme the kids make up to evacuate the town, with very
little reasoning behind anything.
It just seems to happen and before we’re even shown everyone evacuating, the commit
just hits and the scene ends.
The whole scene clocking in at just 10 minutes.
After this scene, Your Name decides to skip 8 years into the future were Taki is working
in Tokyo.
Again, the film opts to explain things to us with a dialogue voice over.
We’re told that the town evacuated with most people surviving unharmed.
And that’s it.
A movie’s worth of supernatural buildup concluded with a mere few minutes.
Narratives like Mitsuha’s father were completely forgotten and left unresolved.
It’s like the commit destroyed half of the plot too.
Both Taki and Mitsuha forget the body swapping ever happened and continue their lives with
only a vague sense that they’ve forgotten something.
Which gives this final section of the movie a melancholic undertone.
And finally, the massive pay-off point, the scene that every second of the movie is building
towards, Taki and Mitsuha finally meeting in real life.
Just, kind of happens.
The interaction is about 10 seconds long and the movie just ends.
Mokoto Shinkai has talked about the film since its release and has admitted that it was incomplete.
He blames bugdet and scheduling issues, saying that 2 years wasn’t enough time to fully
realise Your Name.
And I agree, the final 3rd of the movie feels… missing.
But would I say the lackluster ending completely ruined the movie?
No.
It didnt make the rest of the movie void, it just felt like I hadn’t watched an ending,
a feeling of emptiness towards the movie’s finale but the rest of my Your Name experience
felt somewhat intact.
And the ending didn’t seem to faze everyone, I think Shinkai managed to scrape together
enough of a conclusion to please most fans.
So if not a theatrical ending, what was it about Your Name that captured the community?
I think it boils down to the sheer scale of the movie.
Even the smallest details of the world were brought to life with such elegance.
Shinkai refined every inch of this movie to make it feel huge.
The breathtaking landscape shots of Tokyo for example gave an extra layer of importance
and weight to the story.
It’s hard to think what this film would be without the barrage of sublime imagery.
This idea of such a colossal production for what is at its core a simple love story is
a tremendous mixture.
It makes every moment of the story that little bit more important.
I think it’s important to remember as well that Your Name has been mainly a theatrical
release.
It wasn’t available to stream online or to buy on Blu Ray for months, going to the
theater was the only way to see it.
Adding to the spectacle.
And over here in the west, we’ve only really been having theatrical releases of anime films
outside of the giants like Ghibli for about a decade.
A decade or two ago, a movie like Your Name would get 1 or 2 showings at an indie cinema
but only if you were lucky.
Your Name’s release is one of the first of its kind in the west, and I think fans
want to be a part of that.
You haven't just watched Your Name online, you’ve been apart of the release, you’ve
contributed to the record books, you’re part of history.
I feel like on top of the movie’s story, Your Name is one of the first anime theatrical
releases that western audiences can truly connect with.
And I think that is how Your Name captured the anime community.
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為何《你的名字》可以抓住動畫市場 (How Your Name Captured The Anime Community)

185 分類 收藏
二百五 發佈於 2019 年 9 月 11 日
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