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your-nameHave you ever wished you lived a different life? Or had a feeling you were meant to be something else? Someone else? Woken up from a dream that feels so real you need to pinch yourself to figure out if you are awake or asleep?

Young Mitsuha is a seventeen year-old girl in Itomori, a small Japanese village in the country. She dreads her life as the estranged daughter of the local Mayor, being brought up by her grandmother with her younger sister. She wishes she could be a handsome Tokyo boy in her next life.

Later, Mitsuha wakes up and finds herself in the body of Taki, a teenage boy in Tokyo. After a period of initial shock and some hilarious incidents involving Taki’s friends discovering his “feminine side”, the two realise they are body-swapping several times a week, triggered by sleep. They begin to leave notes and messages for each other about their day on phones and school books to help them act less mad whenever they switch back to themselves.When Taki decides to meet Mitsuha in person one day, he uncovers a series of events that would change the course of her life.

You don’t have to be a fan of anime to enjoy and appreciate Your Name. I went into this film with no expectations and nothing more than that it is in Japanese (with English subtitles and there is also an English-dubbed version) and that it is anime. There are plenty of funny moments in the first half, especially as Mitsuha and Taki are still exploring their new selves but be prepared to be moved by the third act. After seeing this film, I described it to a friend as “Freaky Friday Meets Lake House“.

Written and directed by Makoto Shinkai, Your Name is now showing at selected cinemas across Australia. Go along and enjoy the ride.