Your Name (Kim No Na Wa) 2016: Review


I am a huge anime fan, but I don't often get to see anime movies until they have been released for quite a while. This was definitely the case when it Comes to "Kim No Na Wa", or to give it's english speaking title "Your Name. I first heard about the movie through film critic Mark Kermode who had raved about the film for quite some time. I don't know about you, but hearing so much praise for a movie, even if it is only from a single source can put a dampener on your viewing of that movie - sometimes you are let down because either the person raving about it has an inflated view of the movie or they look for different things in a movie than you do, so your perception of the film will be different. Equally, though the movie might be as good as they said, because they have gone on, and on - and on - about it, you go into the viewing biased one way or the other. I must admit I did go into viewing this film worried this may happen. Thankfully it didn't

Following the well trodden body-swap trope used regularly in the teen movies of Hollywood (such movies as Freaky Friday, 13 Going On 30 come to mind) Your Name manages to bring something new to the table. Often with these films, the two people who swap bodies know each other somehow - such as being mother and daughter in both Freaky Friday movies. In this film the protagonists have no idea who or even where they are when they swap. This adds an intriguing dimension given that initially they have to find these things out before they can start discovering the main question of why it is happening. The other marked difference is that the swap only happens while they are asleep - therefore they also have an impact on the others life, with immediate impact on the other person. Meaning they have to work out how to live without making changes to many changes the others life while they are there. 

From the way the trailers play out, it can be easy to invisinge this movie to be romantic in nature, and while there are indeed elements of this in the film, I would say anyone seeing it for that reason maybe slightly disappointed as it is to my mind far more of a film about discovery than anything romance.

It would therefore be wrong of me to say much more than that. This is wonderfully directed movie by Makoto Shinkai, who manages to capture the same beauty as his previous masterpiece 5 Centimeters Per Second, all while bringing something unique to the table.

A movie is only as good as it's ending, and I can certainly say that this movie has one of the most satisfying open ended endings going. It really is a movie one should, and must see!

Anime TV Review: ReLife


I would suspect that for the majority of us the idea of returning to our teenage years would be our idea of a nightmare, and probably given the chance we would decline. But that is exactly what the protagonist of ReLife - a twenty-seven-year old NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training.) called Arata Kaizaki is offered. Effectively having dropped out of society Kaizaki instead jumps at the chance, and is soon re-entering school as a seventeen-year-old.

I am relatively new to anime TV, the other series I’ve seriously watched are Fairy Tail, both iterations of Fullmetal Alchemist and Death Note. The reason I am stating this is because it became obvious watching this series that there are a couple of cultural differences between western and Japanese cultures that are perhaps important to grasp when watching ReLife. For instance at one point I got a little confused when Kaizaki said that he’d been at school a month, but it was May 1st. (Japanese school years apparently start in April.) Then of course there’s the fact that doing well I’m class goes hand-in-hand with popularity - this, of course I had picked up watching early episodes of Death Note, but it is still something important to register when watching ReLife.


The first two thirds of ReLife simply play around with the conceit of the initial idea of a twenty-seven year returning to High School. Looking the part, but with the mind, knowledge and experience of an adult. Such as the awkwardness of interacting with High School girls and the like. But it is in the last third where is gets interesting. At this point the events occurring at the High School start to uncover things in Kaizaki’s past which empower him to not only deal with what went on, but how to support the teenagers around him that have now become his friends. 

The fact this change happens so late in the proceedings frustrates me, as it is at this point that I feel the series hits its stride, it’s got through the set up and is now running with it. It just ends too soon.

As many anime series it is based upon a Manga. In this case it is based on the first 100 chapters of a manga that I believe is still going on. I’m unsure how many chapters have now be published, but it is evident there is far more story to tell. We are going to have four more episodes in 2018, but I personally feel there is way more mileage here, so wonder not only why they are not carrying it on further, but also how on Earth they are going to wrap it up so quickly without shortchanging all of the characters. I will wait and see what they pull off before making my final judgement, but I must confess to being apprehensive.


Overall ReLife is a thoroughly enjoyable and thought provoking series, I just hope it gets the send off it deserves.