Here in Down Under, we were pretty lucky to get a theatrical release of Kimi no Na Wa (or Your Name) before the year ended. I’m not the biggest Makoto Shinkai fan there ever was, but after seeing all the buzz around this film, I simply had to watch it. So I did, and I loved it. I watched it again two days later, the second time with an English dub. The dub wasn’t bad either!
I won’t say anything more about the film because the majority of you reading this post probably haven’t seen it yet. I also don’t particularly feel like sharing my critical reaction to it because that would also be spoilerific in a way. But I do want to talk a bit about what the film meant to me – not the plot, but the circumstances in which I watched it.
Now, this should be obvious to anyone who has looked at the posters, but Kimi no Na Wa is a love story with a heavy emphasis on fate and red strings and yada yada. The main characters live in different parts of the country, and though they have an emotional connection, it’s difficult for them to physically meet. When the guy gets on a train to meet up with the girl, his friends ask him if he’s trying to meet someone he met online, because that’s what it looks like to them.
Having an emotional connection to someone you’ve never physically met… yes, that is an awful lot like an online friendship, isn’t it? It sounds almost spiritual when you put it that way, even though it’s actually mundane. But that feeling was what made the film relatable for me even when the most melodramatic stuff was happening.
I mention this because I first watched Kimi no Na Wa with people I had met online through Twitter. We’d met in person multiple times by then, so we don’t really think of each other as “online friends” anymore. But I can still remember the first time we met, how it was like meeting an old friend for the first time.
Actually, two of my friends fell in love with each other through their online interactions, and now they’re dating. So I’m sure they must have seen a bit of themselves in Taki and Mitsuha.
As for me, watching the film for the first time made me experience all kinds of emotions, but most of all I found myself feeling happy for my friends after the movie was over. Although I myself have never fallen in love with someone I’ve never met, I could recognise it happening around me, and I felt humbled by the strength of those emotions. Even if it’s not “love” in the romantic sense, the relationships I have with people online are definitely real, aren’t they? Watching Kimi no Na Wa made me want to meet all the internet people I have a relationship with, however fleeting. Because I know that these feelings are real, I don’t want them to be swept away by the flow of time.
“Even if you never recognised me, even if you never remembered my name, somehow we made a connection.”
I think that’s what Kimi no Na Wa was about.
Speaking of connections, here’s the short list of things I’ve been doing for my friends around the internet this month:
- On English Light Novels, I contributed some titles for the Light Novels for Beginners feature.
- On Paste Magazine, I helped facilitate Adam Nizam’s interview with kouri, the creator of the RM2K horror game Ib.
- On Wave Motion Cannon, I translated a discussion between Yoshiyuki Tomino and Yoshikazu Yasuhiko. I also checked karice’s translation of an interview with Hiroshi Kamiya.
- On ATMA & Funomena, I once again checked karice’s translation of an interview with the sound director of Yuri!!! on ICE.
- On Anime Feminist, I participated in a roundtable discussion about “trash” characters in anime and manga.
- On The Canipa Effect, I translated part of an interview with Eiji Inomoto, the CEO of Studio Orange.
And, of course, I started a new feature on Crunchyroll yesterday. As you can see, I’ve been a busy frog. I’ll be even busier next month with Christmas and all, but hopefully I can still scrounge together some time to blog. I’m not sure what I’ll be doing about the 12 Days of Anime Christmas, though…
Oh well, I’ll think of something. I’ve been taking life as it comes, and it’s been suiting me just fine!
Aaaaand that’s all I have to say for this update. Take care, everybody!