Anime / Your Name

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I'm always searching for something, for someone.

Kimi no Na wa (or Your Name) is a 2016 anime film, the sixth directed by Makoto Shinkai. It is animated by CoMix Wave Films and distributed by Toho. It became the highest-grossing anime film of all time worldwide, and the second-highest in Japan (behind only Spirited Away).

Mitsuha Miyamizu is a schoolgirl living in the isolated country town of Itomori, where she works as a miko at her family's shrine. Entrapped and bored of rural life, she wishes she could be reincarnated as a handsome Tokyo boy.

As a mysterious comet passes close to Earth, Mitsuha awakens one day to discover that she has switched bodies with a Tokyo schoolboy named Taki Tachibana. The two children initially pass it off as a dream, but when the swaps start happening on a regular basis...

The film is licensed by Anime Limited in the UK, who got NYAV Post to produce the dub. Madman Entertainment and Funimation picked up the Australian and American rights respectively.

Warning: The very presence of certain trope listings might constitute spoilers, but as per Handling Spoilers, are not to be spoiler-marked. Read on at your own risk!

Your Name provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: Mitsuha's relationship with her mayor father never gets properly resolved despite it being a persistent source of conflict throughout the film; the last we see of them interacting is when she talks him into ordering Itomori's evacuation, and even that is offscreen, though it and his part of Another Side: Earthbound heavily imply that they had finally resolved their relationship.
  • Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder: Subverted. Despite Mitsuha and his memories of her disappearing from his life, Taki remains fixated with searching for and finding her once again. The same is implied with Mitsuha.
  • Adorably Precocious Child: Yotsuha has shades of this.
  • Adult Fear:
    • Mitsuha's mother died of illness and her father was helpless to do anything about it despite his efforts, clearly being consumed by guilt and grief. It doesn't justify his breakdown in the family relationship and jumping headlong into his work, but considering how a small town like Itomori that doesn't even have a local dentist almost certainly won't have a psychologist or psychiatrist, combined with traditional East Asian reluctance to seek therapy anyway, it's easy to see how things could have festered and him being unable to move on despite the years since.
    • Taki's fall in the mountain crater shrine could have fractured his skull or otherwise hurt him in such a way that he couldn't leave and ends up dying there. He doesn't actually get hurt much after all, but one can imagine how, considering the shrine has been undisturbed for 3 years, how long his body might have gone unfound for years if ever. And just imagine how Miki and Tsukasa would have felt if he had gone missing with the last they hear from him being a vague, useless note.
    • Taki's struggle to find employment hits a little too close to home for many in 2016 and 2017. And given that the Japanese academic year ends in March, we catch up with him in October 2021, and he finally reunites with Mitsuha sometime in Spring 2022, meaning the next March at the earliest, he's been unable to find a job for at least 1 year!
  • Adults Are Useless: Mitsuha/Taki has to save Itomori with only Tessie and Sayaka helping her, as all the adults brush off her and Taki's warnings. Then subverted, because when their plan fails, it ultimately requires Mitsuha to make a second appeal to her father to get Itomori evacuated.
  • All for Nothing: The side novel Another Side: Earthbound reveals that, after his wife Futaba's death, Toshiki had set out to become mayor of Itomori in order to modernize the town, spending 2 years preparing and then getting elected into a 4-year term. As he's standing for reelection at the start of the film proper, though, comet Tiamat crashes into it one month later, rendering all his efforts pointless.
  • All Just a Dream: How Taki and Mitsuha initially perceive the body swapping. Played for Drama later on, when Taki discovers that Mitsuha is dead and all traces of her in his life have disappeared, including from his phone, leaving him wondering if the entire experience was his own mental fantasy.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Taki while in Mitsuha's body can't resist rubbing his/her breasts when waking up. It becomes a Running Gag.
  • All There in the Manual: There is a novelization that fills in some gaps. There is also a side novel, Another Side: Earthbound, that provides more detail about Taki's time in Mitsuha's body and shows more things from Tessie, Yotsuha and Mitsuha's father's perspectives, including the history of how he first met the Miyamizu family. Some characters' (full) names are also only shown in the credits or supplementary materials.
  • Alliterative Name: Both protagonists' names, Mitsuha Miyamizu and Taki Tachibana.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: A markedly less comedic example than most iterations of this trope, Mitsuha's father interrupts his political rally to snap at her for her poor posture while she's walking past, upsetting her as he called her out in front of much of the town's population.
  • Anachronism Stew: Downplayed. During the centuries-old Shinto ritual Mitsuha and family perform, the camera lingers on the music being played by a machine. This comes as part of the theme of the modern intruding into the ancient, later repeated with the photo exhibition on nostalgia Taki and Miki view.
  • Arc Symbol: Sliding doors opening and closing. Also, the Red String of Fate.
  • Arc Words: "Your name is...", unsurprisingly.
  • The Art of Bra Removal: Inverted, Taki apparently doesn't know how to put on a bra when he was in Mitsuha's body.
  • Bald of Awesome: Tessie isn't exactly bald, but his hair is cropped very close, and he does know how to handle explosives and superimpose radio frequencies, in addition to his driving skills.
  • Bait and Switch:
    • In the last part, there's a moment where Taki and Mitsuha walk past each other, take turns to turn as if recognizing the other, but then ultimately walking off. It looks like it will happen a second time in the very last moments of the film, complete with the sad ending theme playing... And just when viewers familiar with Shinkai's work think he's going to pull his usual did not get together thing, they do eventually sort of recognize each other at the end.
    • The beginning of the movie seems to vaguely imply that Taki and Mitsuha switching bodies is, in part, an effect of the comet's arrival; but in Taki's original timeline, it ends up being what caused the switching to stop.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: In Tessie's part of Another Side: Earthbound, he fantasizes about blowing up Itomori, because with his family company's strong ties to the town, it's the only way he'll ever be allowed to leave the town and get out from under his father's thumb. So guess what Tiamat ends up helping him do.
  • Beta Couple: Katsuhiko and Sayaka, who are revealed to have gotten engaged during the Time Skip after evacuating Itomori and surviving the meteorite impact.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • The name of the Italian restaurant Taki works at translates as The Garden of Words. Curiously, this was not added by Shinkai himself but rather by the environment artist.
    • Certain parts, like the list of rules Taki and Mitsuha set each other regarding the body-swapping, are not translated in some official subs (like the one Singapore got), causing those illiterate in Japanese to lose out on the joke.
    • The name of the comet "Tiamat" sounds strikingly similar to the Italian phrase "ti amo", which means "I love you." Now consider the genre of the film... If you want to head straight into Latin, "Tiamat" also sounds quite similar to "te amat", which directly translates to "he/she loves you".
  • Bland-Name Product: Though there is real-world Product Placement in the film, KFC appears as KEO, and Prudential Financial becomes Pararudenta Financial.
  • Big Damn Reunion: Mitsuha and Taki meet by chance at the very end and ask each other if they've met before, and they both shed happy tears as they've finally found whom they'd unconsciously been searching for for many years.
  • Book Ends: The film starts and ends with the scene where Taki and Mitsuha will see each other in opposing train cars. However, the ending also shows them finally finding each other.
  • The Cameo: Yukari Yukino from The Garden of Words makes an appearance as Mitsuha's literature teacher.
  • Cassandra Truth: Mitsuha's grandmother tells her that no one will believe her about the imminent meteor strike. True enough, her father dismisses her as lying or sick.
  • Chekhov's Classroom: The aforementioned cameo literature teacher speaks of the Japanese word 'tasokare-doki/kataware-doki' meaning 'Who is that?' which can also mean 'Twilight'. She then describes twilight as the time 'when the world blurs and one might encounter something extraordinary'. Later in the film, Taki!Mitsuha meets Mitsuha!Taki on the mountain top during twilight, where the two time periods become one and enable Taki and Mitsuha to finally see each other, having switched back to their own bodies.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Taki's bracelet. The fact that it resembles Mitsuha's ribbon, as well as the fact that she cuts her hair after going to Tokyo, leads to the eventual realization that it's the same and that they have met in the past.
    • The kuchikamisake Mitsuha makes. Taki finds where it was placed while he was in her body and drinks it, which lets him do the final body swap.
    • A small one, but a ramen shop truck visible in one of the earlier Mitsuha scenes would later be used to give Taki a ride at Itomori.
    • The first time Mitsuha swaps into Taki's body, she writes her name on his hand using a black marker. Later on, that same black marker is used to try to write their names on each other's hands again at the mountain shrine crater.
  • Chekhov's Lecture: The lesson Mitsuha's grandmother gives Taki!Mitsuha and Yotsuha about "musubi" later inspires Taki to use the kuchikamisake that Mitsuha had made and he'd left in the shrine to reforge the bond between them, giving him one last chance to save her.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • Tessie, one of Mitsuha's best friends, works part-time as a construction worker, whose father (who's also his boss) tells him to learn how to handle explosives. This comes back in the climax when Tessie helps Mitsuha (actually Taki!Mitsuha) in evacuating the town by blowing up the local power station to convince the townspeople to evacuate.
    • Mitsuha's seaming skill is a short-term one, which is used to repair Miki's torn skirt.
    • Taki's drawing skill is first shown when he's in Mitsuha's body during the Still Life painting class, where he draws a view of Itomori. He would later draw a picture-perfect illustration of the town in an attempt to ask the locals for its location after he and Mitsuha stopped switching bodies.
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • The owner of the diner Taki and co. eat at just happens to be a former resident of Itomori. Though considering that the comet only killed 1/3 of the population of Itomori but the entire town had to be abandoned anyway, meaning the remaining residents would most likely find a new place to live nearby, the odds of this happening is better than you might think.
    • As Mitsuha waits to board a train to go back to Itomori after a day of fruitless searching for Taki in Tokyo, a train Taki was taking just happens to show up at the station she was at. This gives her the chance to pass him her ribbon, which becomes important chronologically later.
  • Crotch-Grab Sex Check: One of the first things Mitsuha did after waking up in Taki's body.
  • Cry Cute: Taki (in Mitsuha's body) adorably breaks down like a little kid upon finding that Mitsuha is still alive in his final "leap" into her body, and tried to give Yotsuha a big-tearful "big-sisterly" hug upon being glad to find out that she is also alive. Unfortunately, poor Yotsuha is understandably freaked out by this sudden reaction and shuts the door in time, mumbling "she's lost it, she's finally lost it."
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Another Side: Earthbound mentions that one of the difficulties Taki had in getting used to Mitsuha's body was that her smaller stature kept throwing him off.
  • Dark Reprise: The upbeat vocal opening theme, "Dream Lantern", gets remixed into the slow, melancholy instrumental "Kataware Doki" when Taki and Mitsuha finally meet in person at the lip of the mountain crater.
  • Darkest Hour: Sayaka and Tessie have been caught for their parts in the plan, with the former's capture being heard live over the broadcast system, meaning the evacuation is off, while Mitsuha has tripped, fallen and rolled several times to a painful halt after seeing the comet split, still a ways from being able to try talking her father into forcing the evacuation. Itomori looks doomed.
  • Dead All Along: Mitsuha and her entire town before Taki helps change the past.
  • The Dead Have Names: Taki, Tsukasa and Miki find a book in the local library that contain the list of the dead from comet Tiamat's impact that wiped out Itomori and killed more than 500 people. Finding Tessie, Sayaka and Mitsuha's names there hits characters and audience alike hard.
  • Death from Above: Pivotal to the plot is the near-Earth flyby of Comet Tiamat, which breaks in half above the town of Itomori. Half of the comet strikes the Earth as a meteorite, obliterating the town and killing 500 people.
  • Delayed Ripple Effect: Somehow, the diary entries Mitsuha left on Taki's phone don't disappear until it's revealed that she was Dead All Along, upon which they delete themselves before his eyes in real time. His memories of Mitsuha and the mountain crater shrine remain intact long enough for him to find the kuchikamisake and use it to meet her again, before they disappear shortly afterwards.
  • Distracted from Death: Toshiki Never Got to Say Goodbye to Futaba because he was out trying to find other doctors to try curing her.
  • Dramatic Drop: Downplayed; Mitsuha drops the tamago she was about to eat when she hears that Taki in her body had kicked over a table in class the previous day.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • One of the news commentators says that comet Tiamat splitting in two is unlikely to land anywhere that will cause injury, unaware that exactly that is about to happen.
    • Toshiki's section of Another Side: Earthbound discusses how many shrines pass on all their secrets to only one designated heir, including the disadvantages of this system should that heir die before passing those secrets on in turn. Anyone who's watched the film before reading the book will wince, knowing exactly what's going to happen to Futaba in future.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: It takes 8 years and a lot of personal angst, but Taki and Mitsuha finally find each other. Also, averting most of the disaster itself. In the original timeline, Itomori and more than 500 of its inhabitants died when the comet fell on the town. While the town was still destroyed, most of the people in the altered timeline escaped unharmed, including Mitsuha.
  • Environmental Symbolism: As one of the more subtle staples of Makoto Shinkai's style, environmental symbolism appears quite frequently in the movie.
    • One of the shots right after Taki's failed date with Miki is a shot of the moon cut into quarters by two intersecting power lines. Notably, a similar shot appeared in 5 Centimeters per Second with similar contexts, but that one involved only one power line cutting the moon into two halves. A similar shot of a single line cutting the moon into halves appears in the final part, post-Time Skip, also after Taki meets Miki again.
    • Comet Tiamat split into two halves on the night of the flyby, just like how the relationship between Taki and Mitsuha were split on that day.
  • Eureka Moment: When Toshiki sees the split comet Tiamat, he suddenly realizes how everything he was told earlier in Another Side: Earthbound about the Miyamizu beliefs falls into place.
  • Everyone Can See It: A non-romantic example. Taki and Mitsuha's friends and family can all see a change in personality during their body swaps. Played straight when Miki can see that Taki has fallen in love with Mitsuha, despite not knowing her.
  • Everyone Lives: Thanks to Taki, Mitsuha, and her friends' combined efforts, they were able to save the town from the meteor annihilating the town and alter the timeline in a positive manner, albeit at the cost of them losing their memories of one another. However, as implied by the ending, this might not be permanent.....
  • Extreme Doormat: In contrast to Taki, Mitsuha takes the belittlement of her character from her father and her classmates without so much as a whisper in retaliation. Then Taki ends up in her body, and delivers the verbal (and in some cases, physical) lashings they deserve. This rubs off on Mitsuha when they finally meet, and she gains the confidence to force her father to evacuate Itomori.
  • Family Theme Naming: Mitsuha's name means three leaves, her sister Yotsuha's name means four leaves. Their grandmother's and mother's names, Hitoha and Futaba, mean one and two leaves respectively.
  • Fate Drives Us Together: Taki and Mitsuha.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: When Taki asks the former resident of Itomori to take him there, the look the man shares with his wife and the words Tsukasa and Miki say immediately afterward give bad vibes that prove to ring true.
  • Foregone Conclusion: The very first scene Mitsuha appears in already spoils that she will survive to reach adulthood; the question once the reveal hits becomes "How?"
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The very first scene, even before Taki and Mitsuha first appear, is of something big falling to Earth. If that gives you an ominous feeling... it should.
    • Mitsuha's grandmother talks about how a great fire destroyed Itomori's records and thus the meanings behind their rituals were lost. More than just philosophical thought fuel about whether one should carry on doing things they no longer know the reason for, it sets up a double whammy. Firstly, an even greater disaster is coming for Itomori. Secondly, even if the people are saved, the town will be gone, and the traditions with it.
    • In the novelization, when Mitsuha sees photos of Miki in Taki's phone, she comments that it's obviously a one-sided crush because Miki is older than him. As it turns out, so is Mitsuha.
    • When both protagonists flip back to their previous day's journal entry, both are dated September 12, but Taki's falls on a Monday, whereas Mitsuha's falls on a Thursday; this suggests their timelines aren't in sync. It just so happens that 2016 and 2013 fall on those respective weekdays—three years apart.
    • During Taki's date with Miki, they visit a photo exhibition on nostalgia where some of the photos look suspiciously like Itomori. Not just about longing for bygone rural life, it's one of the early warnings that Itomori has already been destroyed.
    • Right after Taki's failed date with Miki, he looks up a text Mitsuha left in Taki's phone that mentions a comet Tiamat which will pass in that night. Her night. It had long come and gone by his time. He tries to dial her right afterwards but gets no response, because by then, the number doesn't exist anymore.
    • Also, there's one particular day when Mitsuha cuts her hair short and doesn't wear her red hair tie, this is because she had already given it to Taki when she went to Tokyo to see him (shown briefly in the beginning of the film in Mitsuha's dream), but since Taki doesn't start swapping bodies with her until three years later from his perspective, he didn't know who she is.
    • Still on the haircut, after Tessie sees it in the timeline where they all die, he speculates that it was due to guy problems. He's right.
    • Taki and co. survey the ruins of Itomori from Mitsuha's now-abandoned school, which was far enough from the meteor impact site to be spared. Later, he gets the town to evacuate to there.
    • Both Taki and Mitsuha could have directly communicated with each other on their phones when they switched bodies, but instead opted to leave each other diary messages on said phones. Texting or calling would have spoiled the fact that they are three years apart. Averted in the novel, however, where they did try and just couldn't get through.
    • The phones used by the protagonists: Mitsuha uses an older iPhone 5 while Taki uses an iPhone 6, which was introduced in Fall of 2014 after Itomori was destroyed.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: Taki, in his timeline, has forgotten about his initial meeting with Mitsuha 3 years before.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: Taki and Mitsuha inexplicably switching bodies when they wake up is what kick starts the plot.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • When Taki and Mitsuha are looking through their phones at one point, one of the dates shown is September 12. The day is different, however.
    • When Mitsuha meets Taki in Tokyo before Taki even knew Mitsuha, Taki was using studying notes to study English. The two phrases shown on his notes are: "Have you seen Tiamat's comet?" and "I'm looking for my counterpart", both of which are significant with context.
    • There are tons of details placed in remote corners of one-off scenes. The unused school room that Mitsuha, Tessie and Sayaka met in, for example, is filled with old game consoles like Nintendo GameCube, and the one shot of the room door shows that the room was formerly the club room of many clubs which were all shut down in 1995 note , but the room had post-1995 games like the 1998 Metal Gear Solid, indicating that the students had transformed the club room into a game room after the clubs were shut down.
    • In the scene where Mitsuha passes her ribbon to Taki in Tokyo, one can see that Mitsuha's ribbon is colored with white in the middle, surrounded by blue, then orange, then red at the ends. The color scheme is extremely evocative of a lake in twilight, a scenery that would appear when Mitsuha and Taki meet again after knowing each other.
  • Gainaxing: Taki in Mitsuha never wears a bra, causing their breasts to bounce quite heavily in a basketball match and triggering lots of Male Gaze from other students.
  • Gender Vocabulary Slip: When Mitsuha is controlling Taki's body for the first time, she accidentally uses the first-person pronoun "atashi" towards Taki's classmate, then tries to correct herself by switching to "watakushi", "boku", and finally "ore", much to his classmates' confusion.
  • Gilligan Cut: On the day of the visit to the mountain crater shrine, Taki says that, for Mitsuha's sake, he shouldn't play with her breasts. Cut to Yotsuha opening the bedroom's door, upon which he is doing just that.
  • Girl of My Dreams: Played with. Taki and Mitsuha both appear in each other's dreams, but are instead in each other's bodies and never actually meet.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: The one piece of meteorite that falls on Itomori glows red while the main body of the meteorite glows blue. This is within the boundaries of reality since meteorites burn up and glow red when entering the atmosphere.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Taki is stated to have one by Miki. He has a bandage on his face the first time Mitsuha wakes up in his body, which suggests that he was injured in a fight. He finally puts his excess of assertiveness to good use when it rubs off on Mitsuha and she gains the confidence to stand up to her father.
  • Hairstyle Inertia: Played straight with Taki and most of the characters, but averted with Mitsuha, who started out as a teen who wears folded twin braids, gets an Important Haircut halfway through to short, then is shown after the Time Skip as an adult wearing her hair down but with a French braid. Also averted with Sayaka who spends most of the film with twin braids but has her hair short at the end.
  • Have We Met?: Taki asks this question to Mitsuha at the end of the film, confirming each others' inkling that they have indeed met before and that they are the person each has been searching for this entire time.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: Both protagonists suffer this at the sight of the devastated Itomori note 
  • History Repeats: When Sayaka says that a meteorite splitting off from comet Tiamat and striking Itomori is just a what-if, Tessie points out that Lake Itomori is not only also a meteor crater, but was formed 1,200 years ago - the orbital period of comet Tiamat...
  • Homage: There are not one but two moments where the now-adult protagonists pass each other seemingly without recognizing, heartwrenchingly similar to what happens at the end of 5 Centimeters per Second. Which makes Taki calling out to Mitsuha and her responding positively so much more touching and awesome for not letting it play out the same way.
  • Hope Spot: Near the end of the film, Mitsuha takes a look at what Taki has written on her hand... Instead of his name, it's just "I love you", which gives her a Heroic Second Wind but, as she immediately points out, is useless for trying to find him, which was the very purpose of writing on her hand in the first place.
  • How We Got Here:
    • The film starts when Taki and Mitsuha are already adults, reflecting on the dream they cannot remember that nevertheless makes them wake up crying. Then, after they see each other in trains going opposite directions, they mention how everything started the day the stars fell, and the film proceeds to rewind to back when they were still high schoolers.
    • Toshiki's section of Another Side: Earthbound starts near the end of the film at the scene where Taki in Mitsuha confronts him to try and get Itomori evacuated, then rewinds time to much earlier.
  • Human Notepad: Initially used lightheartedly at the start of the film, as Taki and Mitsuha scrawl notes on each others' bodies while undergoing their "Freaky Friday" Flips, intended to spite and poke fun at the body's actual owner. It takes on a more dramatic purpose near the film's climax, as Taki proposes to Mitsuha that they each write their names on the other person's hand, so they don't forget each other.
  • Imagine Spot: Mitsuha has a couple of this in the beginning of the film. Once when her friends inform her about her erratic behaviors the day before, and another when her sister suggests that she makes and sells the shrine's traditional kuchikamisake as a product. Mitsuha is not amused both times.
  • I'm Crying, but I Don't Know Why: Mitsuha, when thinking about the date she set up for Taki. Also, after losing their memories of each other, both Taki and Mitsuha often wake up crying, but without any idea why outside of a feeling of longing.
  • Important Haircut: Mitsuha cuts her hair into a bob the night before comet Tiamat's fly-by. Tessie theorizes that she did it because of her feelings for a guy. This is proven to be an accurate guess when Taki in Mitsuha's body remembers what happened the day prior:Mitsuha visited Tokyo to see Taki and wish him well on the date she planned for him. Since their timelines weren't in sync, Taki had not yet experienced body-swapping with her, and thus, does not recognize her. She left him her hair tie for him to remember her by and opted to forgo tying her hair altogether upon her return to Itomori.
  • In the Blood: Mitsuha's grandmother mentions both her and Mitsuha's mother having dreams of living other lives, implying the body-swapping ability is due to their lineage.
  • Indirect Kiss: Taki drinks Mitsuha's kuchikamisake, which she made by mixing rice and wine in her own mouth.
  • Ironic Echo: At the start of the film, the protagonists say that a feeling of searching for something or someone has possessed them ever since a day when there were falling stars and that "It was almost as if a scene from a dream. Nothing more, nothing less than a beautiful view." Much later on, after The Reveal that the so-called falling star has very much dire consequences for one of them, the same line is repeated to now-chilling effect.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Mitsuha attempts to advance Taki's relationship with Miki, unaware that he has fallen in love with her by this point.
  • I Will Find You: What Taki says once Mitsuha disappears before his eyes. He does, although it takes him 8 years (5 from his perspective).
  • It's a Small World After All: Rather minor - The "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue shows that Takagi and one of Mitsuha's former tormentors ended up working in the same Lawson convenience store.
  • Karma Houdini: The troublemaker at the restaurant is never brought up again and presumably never gets any comeuppance for his wrongdoing.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Both Taki and Mitsuha lose only their memories about one another after altering the past.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Some articles on the film, like this one from Wall Street Journal, don't bother hiding spoilers on things like the protags being separated across time or the disaster that happens. Most of them at least don't go into details on the disaster, but the mere mention about there being a race to avert a disaster in what is initially made out to be a lighthearted romcom is enough to be a spoiler by itself.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: Tessie and Sayaka often act this way.
  • Likes Older Women: Taki, who has a crush on Miki, a college student. Also, when he finally meets Mitsuha outside of their body-swapping experiences, she is three years older than him, and it is implied that they fall in love.
  • Lonely Piano Piece: "Date", which plays during Taki's date with Miki, becomes this after it becomes apparent that the date's a failure. There is also the similar-sounding "Mitsuha's Theme" playing during the flashback to Mitsuha's trip to Tokyo where she initially fails to find Taki and, when she actually does so, it's a younger him who doesn't recognize her.
  • Love Before First Sight: Even though they have not met the other in person, the two protagonists eventually fall in love with each other.
  • Love Confession: Taki writes one on Mitsuha's hand instead of his name.
  • Love Epiphany: Mitsuha, when she thinks about Taki's date with Miki, and Taki when Mitsuha suddenly disappears from his life.
  • Love Transcends Spacetime: Taki and Mitsuha meet in person for the second time while separated by three years and an impending disaster, through a combination of The Power of Love and the magical influence of twilight at the Itomori shrine. They lose all specific memories of each other soon afterward, but when they finally make eye contact years later, they both experience something like Love at First Sight.
  • Magic Realism: The whole Body Swap through time phenomenon is not explained at all about how it happened, but otherwise the story is pretty mundane. Mitsuha's grandmother implies that it runs in her family, and Taki theorizes that it's to make him and Mitsuha meet each other so they can help save the town's residents from the falling meteorite.
  • Make a Wish: Mitsuha regularly complains about having to live in her backwater town, and at one point declares that she wishes to be born as 'a handsome Tokyo boy' in her next life. Guess what happens to her next.
  • Man, I Feel Like a Woman: The first thing Taki does in Mitsuha's body is look down and grab his/her breasts out of confusion. And then stand in front of the mirror in lingerie. Upon waking up in Taki's body, Mitsuha proceeds to grope her/his groin.
  • Maybe Ever After: With Taki and Mitsuha. The novelization, as well as the heavy amount of metaphors and symbols placed throughout the film, suggests that they end up together.
  • Meaningful Name: Itomori (jp: 糸守) means "thread-guard", running with the recurring motif of strings, lines, and connections in the movie.
  • Mental Time Travel: Taki and Mitsuha's body swapping is this. Mitsuha never realizes it at all, while Taki only discovers this when he sees the crater left by the meteorite impact and discovers that Mitsuha died three years ago.
  • Misplaced Accent: Takagi makes a comment about how Taki, who is really Mitsuha, is speaking in a dialect.
  • Missing Mom:
    • As Taki finds out during his kuchikamisake-induced trip through Mitsuha's memories, Mitsuha lost her mother to an illness when she was young, leaving her to unwillingly inherit the responsibility of running Miyamizu shrine. This, and her father's decision to abandon the family to pursue a career in politics contribute to her self-esteem issues.
    • Taki's mother herself is never shown or even mentioned in the few scenes of his home life.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • The first third of the film is comedic, focusing on the everyday problems that body swapping has on Taki and Mitsuha's lives. It becomes much more dramatic once the swapping abruptly stops and upon Taki's discovery that Mitsuha, along with the vast majority of Itomori's residents, died 3 years in the past, keeping the tone for the rest of the film.
    • There's a minor one late in the film. When Taki and Mitsuha meet on the lip of the mountain crater, it's very melancholic... and then Mitsuha blows up at Taki over drinking the kuchikamisake she made, calling him a pervert. The rest of the scene is light-hearted and heartwarming, until twilight ends and Mitsuha abruptly vanishes, unable to finish writing her name on Taki's hand.
  • Mushroom Samba: After Taki drinks Mitsuha's kuchikamisake, what follows starts with a very trippy sequence. The BGM that plays doesn't help, and is even outright called "Kuchikamizake Trip".
  • Naked First Impression: When Taki wakes up in Mitsuha's body for the first time, he initially thinks he's just dreaming, muzzily gets up and undresses in front of the mirror to get dressed. It's only when he finds himself staring at the reflection of Mitsuha's body, naked except for her panties, that he takes a reality check and freaks out.
  • Never Got to Say Goodbye:
    • Occurs initially between Taki and Mitsuha, leading to both to resolve to never forget each other and vow to meet again. While their memories eventually do disappear, they do manage to eventually find each other.
    • Another Side: Earthbound reveals that Toshiki wasn't able to be by Futaba's side when she took her last breath, which probably contributed to his issues.
  • Never Live It Down: In-Universe with Mayugoro, a sandal maker who was the apparent perpetrator and namesake of the Great Fire of Mayugoro that destroyed Itomori's records in the past, 200 years ago. Yotsuha comments on how sad it is that, whatever else he may have done in life, this is all he's remembered for now. In Toshiki's section of Another Side: Earthbound, he makes a similar comment.
  • Never Trust a Trailer:
    • The iconic promotional image of Taki and Mitsuha passing each other on the stairs is inaccurate. It doesn't happen while they are highschoolers, but rather when they are already adults.
    • Similarly, the Suntory commercials (see the Product Placement entry on this page) show a scene of Mitsuha and Taki chasing after each other through the streets of Shinjuku while wearing the winter uniforms of their respective schools. In the theatrical cut of the movie, the scene occurs when they are adults, and they are in business attire when it happens.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: The film premiered in July 2016, had its public Japanese release in August, and mainly takes place in September and October. Except it's not just in 2016. That said, this still applies to the few scenes set in 2021 and 2022, as they don't look obviously different from the 2013 and 2016 ones.
  • No Antagonist: Excluding a minor character that appears for just one scene and has no subsequent impact on the big picture, all characters have good intentions in one way or another, and nobody has any true ill intentions on others. The ultimate force that drives the conflict and the story is the physical distance (in four dimensions) between Mitsuha and Taki.
  • Noodle Incident: How did Mayugoro start the eponymous fire... In his bathroom? And was it even an actual fire at all, or a meteor strike or other disaster? Or could he have started it to try to force an evacuation like Mitsuha and co would centuries later? No one knows for sure.
  • No Name Given: Taki's father and Tessie's parents, who even the credits call as such.
  • Numerical Theme Naming: Out of the five members of Miyamizu family we see, four of them are women and all of them are named with numbers in them. Grandma Hitoha means one-leaf, mother Futaba means two-leaf, Mitsuha means three-leaf and Yotsuha means four-leaf. Toshiki, being an outsider who married in, is the exception.
  • Official Couple: Tessie and Sayaka and most likely Taki and Mitsuha.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Mitsuha finally manages to talk her father into evacuating the town... Somehow. Even the novelization doesn't bother elaborating.
    • To be fair, Taki (in Mitsuha's body) had already warned him the comet was going to split, and then strike the town. The second time, no only was it Mitsuha herself convincing her father, the comet had already split, lending credence to Taki!Mitsuha's earlier warning.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Tessie, whose full name is Katsuhiko Teshigawara. His first name is only used by his father.
  • Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions: A modern-day variant; according to Another Side: Earthbound, one of the key reasons for Toshiki running for mayor was to try and invoke this in Itomori and break the hold that the Miyamizu and their Shinto beliefs have traditionally held over the town after Futaba's death shattered his faith in the gods. He realizes almost too late that there is indeed truth in the legends he sneered at.
  • Painting the Medium: In the novelisation, different fonts and sizes are used to distinguish between Taki and Mitsuha's perspective.
  • "Pan Up to the Sky" Ending: The final scene pans up to a blue sky with bright clouds right after Taki and Mitsuha find each other again.
  • Parental Abandonment:
    • Mitsuha's mother Futaba died of illness in the backstory. Her grief-stricken father Toshiki derelicts his priestly duties, leading maternal grandmother Hitoha to tell him to get lost, something he does, and leaving Mitsuha and Yotsuha with their maternal grandmother. As a result, while they occasionally see each other outside, their relationship is strained. The novelization makes it clearer that it was not a unilateral decision of Toshiki's but the result of a mutual breakdown in the relationship between Toshiki and Hitoha after Futaba's death. Another Side: Earthbound adds a further twist by showing that he tried to get them to go with him, but they rejected him.
    • Taki's mother is never shown in the scenes when he's at home, only his father. She is never even mentioned, in fact, but the absence is suggestive. Even the novelisation only makes vague reference to him having to get used to living with only his father, but neglects to explain why.
  • Past-Life Memories: Early on, Tessie jokingly suggests this as the reason for Mitsuha's odd behavior. The lyrics of "Zen Zen Zense" also allude to the idea.
  • Phone Call from the Dead: Part of The Reveal is that Mitsuha has already been 3 years dead by the time Taki starts swapping bodies and leaving phone app diary entries with her.
  • Post-Modern Magik: Discussed in the novelization. When Mitsuha sees Tessie and Sayaka watching the ritual she's performing despite her entreaties for them not to show up, she briefly entertains the thought of sending curses via Line.
  • Product Placement:
    • Boss Coffee machines are seen in Mitsuha's town, and are considered "cafes" in lieu of an actual eatery. Shinkai also directed a series of commercials where Taki and Mitsuha promote Suntory drinks.
    • Line web service shows up whenever Taki or Mitsuha receive a text.
    • The various billboards in Tokyo show many real world brands, including Sony and Panasonic.
  • Race for Your Love: Played with. When they finally see each other in train carts going in opposite directions, Taki and Mitsuha get off at the next station and run to find each other, despite neither having any recollection of the other.
  • Real Place Background:
    • The town of Itomori is modeled after Hida in Gifu Prefecture, while the Itomori lake is modeled after Lake Suwa.
    • The surroundings of Taki's home is also based on a real block in Tokyo (link goes to a Chinese analysis on the location of Taki's home). A interesting fact is that one shot in the movie involves the camera flying from Taki's home, through the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, and ending in Itomori at Mitsuha's house. If one were to trace a line on the map, one can see that Taki's block, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, Lake Suwa and Hida are all located on the same line.
    • The stairs featured prominently in promotional materials are modeled after the stairs in front of the Suga shrine in Yotsuya, Shinjuku.
  • Reality Ensues: The teens' plan is to save the people of Itomori from the meteor strike. With their limited resources, outright trying to stop the meteor from hitting, like might happen in an even more fantastic story, is never on the table.
  • Recurring Riff: "Date", "Mitsuha's Theme" and "Date 2" share common sequences, as do "Aki Matsuri/Autumn Festival" and "The Night Inn", while parts of "Yume Tourou/Dream Lantern" come back as a Dark Reprise in "Kataware Doki".
  • Red String of Fate: Shown literally a few times in the film to indicate the bond between Taki and Mitsuha.
  • Ret Gone: After The Reveal, not only do Taki's memories of Mitsuha disappear, but also most of the physical and electronic evidence of the body swap, such as the diary entries she made.
  • The Reveal: Taki and Mitsuha's timelines aren't in sync, hers being 3 years behind his. And then there's the added fact that Mitsuha is already dead in Taki's original timeline.
  • Rewatch Bonus: On a rewatch, keen viewers will start to notice minor details that supplement the setting and the characters, many of which are mentioned under Foreshadowing above.
  • Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: Played with. After altering time to avert Mitsuha's death, both Taki and Mitsuha cease to remember each other, save for a faint sensation of longing. It takes a chance encounter on the trains eight years later for familiarity with each other to kick back in.
  • Running Gag: Taki immediately grabbing Mitsuha's breasts every time they switch bodies, and Yotsuha barging in while he's doing this. Sometimes double-subverted, e.g. melodramatically saying "I shouldn't, for her sake" but when Yotsuha opens the door he's at it again. Mitsuha does something analogous on some of the swaps, but this is only shown a couple of times.
  • Sarcastic Confession: In Another Side: Earthbound, when Sayaka says that Mitsuha as a girl should be more concerned about her appearance, Taki in her body remarks that maybe he's not a girl, to Sayaka's confusion.
  • Scare Chord: An abrupt and loud chime sounds at the end of the day when Taki and Miki's date takes place, after which the body swapping also stops. It also sounds every time the meteor is about to crash, except when the town is successfully evacuated.
  • Scenery Gorn: The ruins of Itomori are as disturbing as one might expect.
  • Scenery Porn: Not a surprise coming from a Makoto Shinkai film.
  • Senpai Kouhai: Taki calls Miki sempai. The first time the body swap happens, Mitsuha accidentally addresses her as san instead.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Taki miraculously finds himself back in time in Mitsuha's body before the meteorite falls and destroys the town after drinking Mitsuha's sake at the shrine. He enlists Tessie and Sayaka to help evacuate the town. When Mitsuha is back in her own body, she continues Taki's works and successfully convinces her father to order the town's evacuation, finally saving everyone.
  • Shameless Fanservice Girl: Mitsuha calls Taki out for being this in her body, although it's more due to being unable to adjust to being a girl.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: The film experiences a sharp, though not total, drop in comedic elements after The Reveal.
  • Shout-Out:
    • To a couple of Shinkai's previous works. Yukino from The Garden of Words is Mitsuha's literature teacher, while the Italian restaurant that Taki works at is called "Il Giardino Delle Parole", Italian for "The garden of words". Also, the train tracks from 5 Centimeters per Second appear when Taki and Mitsuha are running to find each other at the end.
    • Also subverted. The scene on the crater rim sets itself up similarly to The Place Promisedin Our Early Days, with passing dreamers touching and then seeing each other. And then it doesn't play out. Played straight soon after, when twilight hits.
    • In the novelisation, Mitsuha is so embarrassed by the thought of doing the miko dance that she thinks that she would rather be killed by Jason Voorhees.
    • In Taki's section of Another Side: Earthbound, he dances Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" while in Mitsuha's body.
  • Small Town Boredom: Mitsuha wishes she could move to Tokyo and get away from her tiny mountain town. She gets her wish, but has to deal with some Be Careful What You Wish For, both when she has to adjust to being male and putting up with Taki's hectic school life and part-time job.
  • Sorry That I'm Dying: Futaba apologized to her loved ones some time before her death, but the details vary; Another Side: Earthbound says it was to her daughters, but the film has Toshiki also present at the time.
  • Space Does Not Work That Way: The comet is supposedly on a 1200-year cycle. That's several times longer than any known periodic comet, but still possible. The really questionable part comes with the implication that the last time it came by, it passed close to Earth and dropped a chunk of itself, forming Itomori's original crater lake. Ignoring the extreme improbability of it striking almost the exact same spot on its next pass, there wouldn't even be a next pass because flying close to the Earth would significantly disrupt its orbit—putting it on a much shorter cycle, or launching it out of the solar system. We can only assume that magic was involved.
  • Spoiler Opening: It's blink and you'll miss it, but the opening sequence actually contains parts from late in the film.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: As with the most of Shinkai's works, however, unlike his other works, this time they more likely than not end up together.
  • Superpowerful Genetics: Being a clerical family based around a shrine, the Miyamizu family line has quite a few interesting properties. Aside from the descendants always being female, it is heavily implied that all of them will experience body switch "dreams" that gets them to meet with their significant other. Grandma Hitoha implies that she also had such experiences before, while Mitsuha's father, Toshiki, was not from Itomori but ended up in Itomori, where Hitoha's daughter Futaba remarked shortly after they first met that she thought he would be the one she would marry, implying some connection.
  • Surprisingly Good English: The four songs on the soundtrack were rerecorded with English lyrics for the English dub and, with a few exceptions - like a gratuitous untranslated "zenzenzense" in "Zenzenzense" - RADWIMPS guitarist and vocalist Yojiro Noda's delivery is fluent and grammatical. It probably helped that he spent a few childhood years in the US.
    • The english lyrics themselves were also largely derived from the english fandubs of all the movie songs done by native English speaker and singer-lyricist, Rebecca Watanabe. Still, props to Noda's fairly fluent pronunciation delivery, and his own fluent additions to the lyrics.
  • Tears of Joy: Taki, when he wakes up in Mitsuha's body for a final time. Also, both Taki and Mitsuha after having finally found one another, after 8 years of searching.
  • Tempting Fate: Taki and Mitsuha declare that they won't forget each other after being separated following their meeting at the mountain crater shrine. Guess what happens shortly after.
  • Thanks for the Mammary: What Taki does whenever he wakes up in Mitsuha's body, much to Mitsuha's sister Yotsuha's chagrin.
  • This Is Reality: In the novelization, the greeting Miki gives Taki at the train station at the start of his journey to find Mitsuha makes him internally wonder if she thinks she's the lead of a moe anime.
  • Those Two Guys: A pair of girls and a guy, never-named classmates of Mitsuha, give her grief several times but are quickly forgotten after The Reveal, barring a quick glimpse in the Where Are They Now epilogue.
  • Time-Compression Montage: Almost all of the body swapping occurs in a couple minutes' worth of scenes.
  • Time Skip: The last part of the film, after Itomori is successfully evacuated, jumps forward 5 years from Taki's perspective, but 8 from the Itomori residents'.
  • Time Travel Romance: It turns out that whenever Taki and Mitsuha switch bodies, they travel 3 years from their respective timeline.
  • Title Drop: Occurs a few times in the movie, as Taki and Mitsuha asking each other for their names is a way to ensure they don't forget each other amid the temporal alterations. It is also their final line in the movie, after they reunite.
  • Tomboyish Ponytail: Taki in Mitsuha's body tends to wear her hair like this. Fitting as from an outside perspective Taki!Mitsuha does come off as a tomboy.
  • Too Long; Didn't Dub: The scene when Mitsuha as Taki accidentally refers to herself using a female first-person pronoun was completely excised in the English dub, as there was no way to have that make sense spoken since the only first person English pronoun, "I" is gender-neutral. Instead, a completely different set of dialogue was used over it. In the sub, however, the original joke is preserved as they wrote in a shorthand explanation.
  • True Sight: Subverted. It seems at first that Mitsuha's grandmother can see that Taki is inhabiting her body when she asks if she's dreaming, but it's later revealed that she merely guessed right and has had strange, possibly body swap-related dreams before.
  • Two Girls and a Guy: Mitsuha, along with her two friends, Tessie and Sayaka.
  • Vehicle Vanish: Inverted; when Taki is waiting for Miki to show up for their date, the latter appears seemingly out of nowhere behind him where some people were passing.
  • Welcome to the Big City: Mitsuha is awestruck by her first view of Tokyo, and when doing Taki's shift at the restaurant later that day she gets him into trouble with a thuggish customer.
  • Wham Shot: When Taki finds out that Itomori is destroyed by a meteor impact 3 years ago, and that Mitsuha is one of the casualties.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Mitsuha's grandmother doesn't get mentioned or shown at all after Itomori is successfully evacuated. A photograph of Mitsuha's father is shown in an article, but he never appears onscreen in the flesh again afterwards either.
  • What If?: The official MV for Sparkle suggests a different ending to the film, one in which Taki and Mitsuha reunite just 3 years into her future and thus present day for Taki, rather than the 8 that happens in the film.
  • What Is This Feeling?: Taki and Mitsuha, after they lose their memories of each other, feel this.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: A short one is shown for some minor characters, including both Itomori residents and Taki's friends, towards the end of the film.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Itomori is a fictional town in Gifu Prefecture, Japan that is based on the real-world Hida City, but is also next to a lake based on Lake Suwa in not that near Nagano Prefecture.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Yotsuha comes off as more levelheaded than her older sister.

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