I was lucky enough to win free tickets to see 'Kimi No Na Wa' or 'Your Name' at the cinema on the weekend. I love Shinkai's works so far, especially 'The Garden of Words' so I guess my expectations were fairly high. Now when I have high expectations, they are almost never met. But on Saturday, they were EXCEEDED!
The first thing I noticed was just how beautiful the animation was. But this came as no surprise. I often describe 'The Garden of Words' as the prettiest piece of animation I've ever seen, and 'Your Name' followed suit. The characters and plot were introduced in a lively and fun way, and the first half of the film was full of energy and some very well executed humour.
Then in the 2nd half, shit got real. And this is where I was most surprised. It was suspenseful, and I was on the edge of my seat. I won't spoil anything, but the way the story unravelled was unexpected and brilliant. There were some downright tragic moments. But I kept together because it always felt like there was still hope, and I had an urge to grab some pom-poms and cheer the characters on with all my might - "Ganbatte!".
The ending was satisfying. It felt finished and complete and I sat there with a feeling of gratitude that I got to see this incredible work of art. One thing I do want to address is that Makoto Shinkai as being called "the next Miyazaki". I don't like this term. As far as quality and entertainment value, I believe they are on par. But that's where the similarities end. Each is an artist in their own right, and their films have completely different feels, different themes, and different styles. There will never be another Hayao Miyazaki, or another Makoto Shinkai. What's exciting is that the anime film industry seems to be gaining popularity and recognition, and I can't wait to see what Shinkai does next!