Listen to this article
Despite the Japanese master animator Hayao Miyazaki having newly announced a return from retirement, fans of anime may still be wondering who his heir might be. The answer appears to be Makoto Shinkai, whose new film Your Name is a treat. At first, we think we’re dealing with a simple zippy bodyswap comedy, a teenage boy from Tokyo and a girl from the provinces randomly transforming into one another overnight, the enjoyment coming from their slow realisation of the dreadful truth.
But then the film too becomes something else entirely — a bittersweet ache of a tale about astronomy, memory and whatever love is. The narrative jags may disorientate, but Shinkai is a sophisticated storyteller. And the look of the film is beyond gorgeous — the hyper-real cityscapes will have you gasping. What starts with a brightly coloured pop leaves behind a powder trail of loveliness.