Rated: PG for thematic elements, suggestive content, brief language, and smoking. Reviewed by: Jim Release date: April 7, 2017 Released by: FUNimation
Another animated release opening this week is a Japanese import (though suited for English-speaking audiences) that is a wonderful example of the genre even if it wasn't a finalist for the recent Oscar ceremony in which Zootopia came out on top.
Makato Shinkai is making a name for himself if Your Name is any indication which has flourished at the box-office in The Land of the Rising Sun.
It might be considered a body-swapping fable by some, but the dystopian (of a cosmic force) and romantic elements coupled with the notion of identity makes for thoughtful fare, if the demographic of the main characters are taken into account.
Shinkai captures the beauty of his forebears of the handmade with shimmering Tokyo edifices and gem-like glimmering in nature around two teens who don't know each other.
They are Tokyo schoolboy Taki and girl Mitsuha who lives with her family in a quiet, rustic hamlet; both have a similar experience of living for a day in each other's body. This inhabiting turns out not to be of the subconscious with smartphone message, though not even knowing the other's name. Like Freaky Friday or Big some amusement is milked from the gender-bending awkwardness notably when Taki does some checking upon arising in the morning.
Hardly the adventure of a Spirited Away, a captivating fantasy elicits emotional impact from the notion of first (puppy) love that has many calling the sentient director "the next Miyazaki." An impending disaster for Mitsuha's setting moves Your Name into more solemn, dramatic territory with two hearts seemingly beating as one without having ever met.