After a while, they start to develop a system of communicating, leaving notes on each other's smartphones. Mitsuha learns about the bustle of the city, following Taki's school schedule and his shifts as a waiter in an Italian restaurant. Taki learns about rural life, as Mitsuha's grandmother explains how braiding cords a tradition in their village of Itomoru represents musubi, the traditional Japanese concept of the flow of time.
Mitsuha even breaks the ice with Okudera, the pretty hostess at Taki's restaurant, on whom he has a crush. But, on their first date, Okudera senses that Taki is thinking of another girl Mitsuha.
Then, at the movie's midpoint, writer-director Makoto Shinkai (who adapted his own novel) drops a bombshell that redefines the idea of "star-crossed lovers." It upends the narrative like a bolt from the blue, and the rest of the movie spins madly and energetically from that revelation.
Shinkai creates a gorgeous, richly detailed look at two sides of Japan: the ultra-modern Tokyo, where Taki lives, and the traditional rural life against which Mitsuha rebels. Shinkai's gift for melding these two Japans into a single, luminous story is what gives "Your Name" its exquisite tension.
A rural girl and a city boy switch bodies and lives in this gorgeous anime tale from Japan.
Where • Area theaters
When • Opens Friday, April 7.
Rating • PG for thematic elements, suggestive content, brief language and smoking.
Running time • 106 minutes in the Japanese version with subtitles; 111 minutes for the English-language dubbed version.