The Place Promised in Our Early Days / Voices of a Distant Star Twin Pack Review

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Makoto Shinkai is currently known as the director of 2016’s biggest Japanese animated film, Your Name. But many years prior he was a beloved director of shorter, more unconventional pieces, originally starting out as a one-man production powerhouse – doing everything from the storyboards and animation to even voice acting – with only a few movies to his name. Back in 2013 Anime Limited announced they had licensed his earliest work, Voices of a Distant Star and The Place Promised in Our Early Days, as a Blu-ray and DVD combo, however it was subjected to numerous delays. It probably wasn’t planned at first, but its eventual release conveniently falls just after Your Name comes to UK cinemas, ready to satisfy newly-made Makoto Shinkai fans eager to see where his anime filmmaking skills started. This is the first time that both of these films are available in the UK in Blu-ray format.

Voices of a Distant Star is his earliest commercially available work; an OVA written, directed and produced by Makoto Shinkai telling the story of two teenagers whose relationship is torn apart when school girl Mikako is recruited into the UN Space Army to pilot a mecha against an alien race called the Tarsians, whereas Noboru stays on Earth and continues his education. The pair attempt to keep in contact via cell phones, with Mikako sending her friend texts from the battlefield, but as she travels deeper into space, the time it takes for her messages to reach him become impossibly further away.

The OVA is 25 minutes long so does not go into great detail about when the war come about, how Mikako learnt to pilot the mecha or why the aliens are as they are, but in this instance it does not matter. The OVA focuses on the main characters’ relationship with the themes of long distance communication and the loneliness it creates. Like the war backdrop, we do not see the full journey of Mikako and Noboru’s relationship but their simple interactions and emotions resonate clearly. The pair have a few intimate moments and clearly defined character motivations so it’s heart breaking to see the pair yearn for each other from a vast distance. Even if you haven’t experienced a long distance relationship you can empathise with Mikako as she chokes up realising that her simple message will take years to reach Noboru. It’s also refreshing to have a female as the mecha pilot fighting in the war and the male waiting for her to come home whilst staring at his phone, praying for it to ring – it proves that such emotions are universal, regardless of gender.

A premise such as that of Voices of a Distant Star could have easily drifted into Evangelion territory with a traumatised pilot, or even contained She the Ultimate Weapon melodramatic vibes but it avoids them both beautifully. Mostly because of the restricted running time but also at the end of the day, although they miss each other, they have to keep going. Mikako doesn’t stop fighting in the war because of her lost love, nor does Noboru grow old without moving on with his life; it’s a tragic but relatable tale.

Originally released back in 2002; visually it hasn’t aged well, and not because it’s in 4:3. The backgrounds are gorgeous, especially when we’re shot into space with Mikako, and the planet designs are unique too, but the characters themselves, especially in the facial department, are uneven and bland. The 3D is especially bad in places with the mecha units themselves most guilty of it. Harsh criticism considering Makoto Shinkai did it all by himself, but I will say that the little action we do see is choreographed well, and there are far worse looking anime out there with longer time frames and bigger budgets.

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The second movie of the combo pack, which is more prominent on the packaging, is The Place Promised In Our Early Days, which takes place in an alternative timeline where Japan has been divided after the second world war, with Hokkaido taken by ‘the Union’ to conduct experiments inside a mysterious tower built so high into the sky that it captures the interest of three teenagers: two boys Hiroki and Takuya, and a girl named Sayuri. The two boys are planning on building a plane and flying to the tower themselves to see what’s beyond it, but their plans are halted for three years when Sayuri suddenly disappears. Where she went holds the key to what’s going on in the mysterious tower.

This is Makoto’s first feature-length film that actually has many elements from Voices of a Distant Star all the way to his latest work Your Name, and its fascinating to see how his ideas have developed over time and been refined in latter works. Place Promised is clearly his very first attempt at a feature-length however as there are a lot of pacing issues and ideas that feel like separate mini-films tacked on into one. The opening act focuses on the relationship between the three teenagers; first the two boys who have been friends for ages, then the girl tagging along for the summer of 1996 where their relationship blossoms. Understandably it’s important to develop the relationship considering how central it is to the plot, however this act does drag and it doesn’t help that the characters themselves are all quite similar in looks (all sporting young faces and the same shade of brown hair) and more importantly, similar in personalities – idealistic, hardworking and rather bland overall. There are no big emotional outbursts or variety in character traits to help divide the group up; it’s easy to confuse the boys especially with each having their own intimate scene with Sayuri in the past. Even in the latter scenes when the stakes are higher, the three characters fail to really express much emotionally to drum their turmoil and character into the audience’s hearts.

Like Voices of a Distant Star, Place Promised has a rich history and an impending war threatening the relationship between the three characters that the film either glosses over, rushes out via technobabble, or leaves for the audience to look it up with Google. However, in Place Promised the lack of information actually hurts the film, especially in the second half when it starts to take over the main conflict of the film and directly affects the three teenagers. You could get away with this if the backdrop and main science fiction elements were simplified but sadly this film takes place in an alternative timeline, where parts of Japan have been split and owned by different parts of the world that’s not explained in the film itself, then there’s a terrorism conspiracy plot going on in the back ground and the scientists in the tower have their own plan of exploring the concept of parallel worlds. The parallel worlds idea is a fascinating one which is hinted in the easy-breezy opening act mostly via Sayuri, but doesn’t feel fully realised within Place Promised itself; they hint at multiple different ‘dreams’ existing at one time, and yet we’re restricted to just the two we’re shown in film. It feels like a wasted opportunity. Elements of people existing and being connected in different realities is thankfully explored again in Makoto’s Your Name, with far better results, but in Place Promised a lot of the film ends up being either a drag or half baked.

The animation for Place Promised shares Voices of a Distant Star’s stunning backgrounds but thankfully steps up the animation budget; everything is visually more fluid and brighter in colour, and despite the characters all suffering from very similar faces and hair colours/styles, they’re better drawn and animated compared to his previous short.

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Although it’s not advertised in the Blu-ray’s packaging there’s actually another Makoto Shinkai short in here; She and Her Cat, a five-minute short that he developed completely by himself aside from the score and the female voiceovers. Originally released back in 1999 it tells the simple story of a year in the life of a male cat and the relationship with his female owner. It’s a simple yet sweet tale and really worth a watch; even in five minutes you can see how much work Makoto put into it and his writing talent shines through. I wish, however, that there was an English dub for it; some of the subtitles go by fast but pausing breaks the poetic nature of the piece.

The short can be found in the extras menu; alongside alternative Japanese audio for Voices of a Distant Star with Makoto voicing the main male character, plus storyboards and a trailer collection. For Place Promised there’s a trailer collection alongside interviews with the Japanese cast of the three main protagonists. There are also two interviews with Makoto talking about the production of the films separately.

The Voices of a Distant Star and The Place Promised in Our Early Days Blu-ray combo is an important collection whether you’re a long-term fan or new to Makoto Shinkai’s work. It’s fascinating to see how Makoto’s vision, unfiltered by bigger budgets and studios, unfolds on screen, and know that all the hard work he put into them brought him into the limelight we see him in now. The films are not perfect by any means but they are clearly the result of one man’s hard work and joy for the medium regardless of the obstacles he had to overcome to create them. This a collection to pick up if you’re a film buff, Makoto fan, have a curiosity for anime production or all of the above.

Title: The Place Promised in Our Early Days / Voices of a Distant Star
Publisher: Anime Limited
Genre: Sci-fi, Mecha, Drama,
Studio: CoMix Wave Studios
Type: Movie
Original vintage: 2002
Format: Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack (Blu-Ray version reviewed)
Language options: Japanese audio with English subtitles and English dub audio
Age rating: 12
Running time: 116 minutes

Score: 7/10

Your Name English Dub Revealed, New UK Theatrical Screenings & More!

The train never stops and keeps going with Makoto Shinkai’s latest film dominating both the UK screenings and the Japanese box office. Your Name has already received very positive feedback from critics and achieved a slot for a potential nomination at the Academy Awards. Here’s what’s currently going on for the film!

Continue reading “Your Name English Dub Revealed, New UK Theatrical Screenings & More!”

An Interview with Makoto Shinkai

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Makoto Shinkai has had an interesting year, to put it lightly:  Your Name (two years in the making) was released in Japan, first as a novel in June, then as a full anime feature film the following month, to massive fanfares. Within 28 days of release it became the first non-Ghibli and non-series anime movie to earn over 10 billion yen at the box office. At the time of writing it’s now not only the 4th highest grossest anime film and 7th highest-grossing film of all time in Japan, it’s also been #1 at the Japanese box office for nine consecutive weeks. A huge achievement, to say the least, considering Mr Shinkai started his career making short films and doing everything himself from the animation to the voice acting. No wonder he’s been hailed as the ‘next Miyazaki’ (a title he’s shied away from, as he is a massive fan of Hayao Miyazaki’s work) and his film became the very first anime film to be part of the Best Film Award competition at BFI’s London Film Festival, which took place between 5th – 16th October.

Before the UK premiere screening of his box office hit, Your Name (all three BFI screenings very quickly sold out), Makoto Shinkai took some time to answer some questions about his latest movie, its success and how it all came together.


We’ve been following your work since the beginning where you were mostly working on them by yourself and it seems all your work has been leading up to Your Name – did you ever expect to create a movie as successful as this?

I never expected this! It’s been 14 years since I started making animation films and what I always had in mind is that I wanted more people to see my movies every time, more people than the last one. I also wanted them to think that they had a really good time and enjoyed the movie. So, in a way Your Name is a dream come true for me, but the scale is so massive that I’m totally overwhelmed and I’m not really comfortable about it.

The film seems to be designed to appeal to a very wide audience; does that mean it is less ‘personal’ to you compared to your previous work?

This is something I really wanted to make. I collaborated with various other talented people: Masayohi Tanaka, the character designer, and Masashi Ando, the animator (who used to work with Studio Ghibli) was like [a]  really amazing combination; they just gave so much depth to my work.

Also, the music by Radwimps; they just gave loads of colours to the film I think, made it more catchy in a way. So being able to work with various talents was just amazing; it was my first time doing that scale of collaboration, and I owe that to them.

Having saying that, the film is still 100% mine and very personal. 

You mentioned working with Radwimps; can you tell us more about that?

It was 18 months of collaboration and they had never done a movie soundtrack before. [In the movie] we’ve got 4 vocal songs and 22 music tracks. I gave the first draft of my script and I told them to write anything. So they came back with the songs; when they played them I changed my script accordingly here and there. Then I carried on writing my script;  I would ask them; “I’ve got this scene; can you change this and that?” so I did that for about 18 months.  It was a long process but really worth it. When we started working on it, the band said to me “We won’t let you down!” And I thought, yeah, I really want to work with them.

It’s been reported that the producer, Genki Kamura had some influence in the creation of the story – what were the biggest changes that the story went through during development?

We had script meetings for 6 months with Genki and the team. I did the script myself but every month I would meet up with them and we’d talk about it. So we would discuss whether a scene was boring or too complicated. I’d then update everything and then meet up again in 4 weeks’ time.

Genki gave me some really good suggestions and a fresh perspective about the structure of the film. [For example] the film started in Itomori where Mitsuha (the female protagonist) lives and Genki suggested that we keep it within 15 minutes; any longer and it would be boring and I said that’s [a] good idea. Also we’ve got several climaxes in the movie: two main scenes are when the leads meet years previously and again [in present day]. Genki suggested they have to be in the same frame, to come one after another, whereas on my original script it was separate. So, he had really good suggestions for me.

The ‘body switching’ trope is mostly used for comedy and the lesson at the end is to understand each other better by ‘walking in each other’s shoes’. However, you created a film that not only avoided the old jokes but also created something fresh from it, made it feel more authentic and relatable. Was that something you originally strived for when writing it or did it just come out naturally during the process?

I wanted to describe those exciting emotions you have as a teenager. The main theme here is these two people have met, and then meet again at the end. But the ‘body swap’ isn’t the main element of the film, they could have met through social media, it was just a prop I used, it didn’t have to be via the body swap.

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In the movie, building into the last act of the movie there’s a scene where Taki (the male protagonist) drinks sake in a cave and then it enters an elaborate fantasy sequence. It’s a beautiful scene – can you talk about how that was created?

That scene was actually directed by Yoshitoshi Shinomiya, a classical Japanese painter. He’s got a different perspective of colours and I wanted that scene to be different from everything else [in the film]. I did the storyboard but the actual art direction was done by him. The sequence is only two minutes and I originally wanted to make it like a vague, fantasy scene because the film is kinda tense so I just wanted the audience to feel a bit relaxed. But Mr Shinomiya made it more powerful and tighter, I didn’t expect the end result but it’s really, really good.

You also wrote the novel that the film is based upon; is there any part of the book that you were unable to get across in the movie but wish you could?

The answer is no; I wrote the original script and while I was making the movie I got to write the book, so the book came after. I finished the book and it came out before I filmed, so no scenes [were left out]. I re-wrote the script via the first-person perspective so it gave me more depth about each character and that really helped me with directing the voice actors because I knew more about the characters than when I wrote the actual script.

Watching the movie, it’s very clear it’s a ‘Makoto Shinkai’ feature – it’s got all your elements – but one thing has clearly changed; you’ve turned down the melancholy in the film. Why is that?

When I started working on this movie, the one important thing I wanted was the audience to leave the cinema with a smile on their face and I also wanted to put some comedy elements into my script, that was the first time I did it. I wanted to put every emotion – happiness, sadness, melancholy – everything [into this movie] and two years ago when I started, I was confident that I could do it. I probably wouldn’t have before, but I knew that I could do different emotions with this one.

How do you balance what you want to achieve as a storyteller with the growing commercial pressures that have come with the success of Your Name?

I actually get asked that by various media and random people. I worked on a big budget and with Toho [for Your Name] but I get asked whether it was difficult or if I had my creative freedom restricted but actually, no, they don’t tell me what to do at all. Sometimes I didn’t know what to do, I’d say I want to do this, or that, and ask which is better? Toho would help and say,“actually this works better.” I think that’s pretty much all, they never told me to change things, there was no compromise, so I feel I was able to do more while working with Toho than I did before, because I had the budget and they gave me total freedom.

After the success of Your Name, you’ve probably been asked the same questions over and over again! Is there anything you haven’t been asked yet but wish they would?

Probably the comet scene; it’s a long sequence, the song used in it is called ‘Sparkle’ and the middle 8 is a minute. Normally one cut in animation is about 4 to 6 seconds but in the movie, we’ve got 3 cuts. I was worried about what people would think but actually no one’s commented on it so I assume it’s all okay!

Due to the broad appeal of this movie, you’re likely going to get many people including non-anime fans checking out your movie and wondering what to watch next; what would you recommend out of your films that they check out?

That’s a difficult question (laughs). I would imagine people, the general public, would be aware of Miyazaki’s work? [In regards to my films] Garden of Words, probably? I don’t like to talk about my old movies because I always feel that there are things that I could have done better or differently so I get embarrassed about them (laughs). But I know fans like my work and I don’t want to say anything negative. So, I think Garden of Words because it’s short, but easy to watch for non-anime fans to enjoy.

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Thanks to Fetch media for the interview opportunity.

Your Name comes to select UK cinemas on 18th November and nationwide from 24th November. To find out where it’s screening near you and to purchase tickets go here.

Your Name

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Mitsuha Miyamizu is a young girl living in the countryside, desperate to escape her mundane village life and experience the wonders of Tokyo. Her wildest dreams seem to come true when she suddenly wakes up in a Tokyo apartment inside a boy’s body – a boy who just happens to have the ideal busy life with school, friends, a love interest and waiter job. When she goes to school the next morning, she discovers from her friends’ reactions that it was not a dream at all, whilst she was off parading around Tokyo, a boy by the name of Taki Tachibana was inside her body back at her village, interacting with her friends and family. Shocked by the sudden turn of events with seemingly no way of stopping the random body-switching days, the pair establish a few ground rules to cope with the sudden change and as they begin to learn more about each other, a drastic event threatens to tear them apart forever.

Director and writer Makoto Shinkai has been hailed as the ‘new Miyazaki’ in many publications and reviews, especially of late since Your Name topped the Japanese box office just 28 days after release, becoming the highest grossing non-Studio Ghibli and non-series- related anime film to earn over 10 billion yen. With the Western world’s limited scope for comparison when it comes to Japanese animation directors and Makoto Shinkai being a Ghibli fan himself, it’s easy to put two and two together. But what has struck a chord with Japanese audiences in Your Name? And is the ‘new Miyakazki’ tag warranted? Mr Shinkai already has a variety of films under his belt, as well as novels and manga. From the fantasy- driven Journey to Agartha to the more down-to-earth stories such as Garden of Words, there’s no doubt that he’s a talented storyteller, with Your Name not only exhibiting many elements of his previous works but creating a whole new heart-warming tale in the process for a new generation of anime fans.

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At the core of this tale is the tried and tested ‘body switching’ trope which is a common device in fiction from literature to TV to films, the latter’s most famous example being Freaky Friday, where a mother and daughter swap bodies for a certain amount of time. It’s often played for comedic effect with the actors involved hamming up their physical and/or voice performance to convince the audience of the change, and by the end of the experience it’s the age-old lesson of ‘walking a mile in each other’s shoes’ to understand each other better. Your Name is ripe for such hilarious comedy as it’s a boy and girl swapping bodies but Makoto Shinkai avoids a lot of the trappings and recycled morals, instead creating something new and innovative. That’s not to say it avoids comical beats entirely, both protagonists are incredibly curious about their ‘new’ anatomy when they wake up in the opposite sex’s body, and whilst there is a recurring gag of Taki being very aware of his new cleavage, he doesn’t perve over it as other anime have done before. The comedy comes from a more natural and relatable place; for example, when Mitsuha is in the male body she’s completely comfortable talking with the older female Miki and oblivious to the change in dynamic between the pair, whilst Taki has to deal with the sudden new attention he’s getting from her and the brunt of the jealous male co-workers as a result. Another shake-up of the trope is the time the pair exchange bodies; a lot of body swapping stories have the infected pair stay in their respective forms until they learn their lessons, whereas in Your Name it happens at random intervals. Not only does this prevent the body swaps from becoming boring but allows for the characters to experience the aftermath of the previous day (with entertaining results) and appreciate the time they have in their own skins. Then when they suddenly wake up elsewhere, picking up pieces of someone else’s life for better or for worse serves as a perfect catalyst for some very emotional and tension filled scenes in the second half. Also, because the first switch happens whilst they’re sleeping, they naturally think it’s a dream and act spontaneously, believing that there will be no consequences for their actions. When the sequential swaps occur, they change how they handle their situation and work together as they go along. It’s a very humane approach to an overdone plot device.

Most body swapping stories avoid officially explaining how the actual process works; Your Name is no exception, starting the film with the very first time it happens and failing to  explain it later on, even when more fantasy elements come into play during the story. But among the likes of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, the lack of scientific explanation does not detract from the enjoyment of the film; it’s an emotional journey that brings the audience into the concept and keeps them there, especially a third of the way in, when the first twist occurs. To avoid as few spoilers as possible: emotionally it hits you, as if a piano has been dropped on you, very suddenly and unexpectedly (considering the light-hearted lead-up) and in a lesser movie it would be unwarranted or too abrupt to carry forward, but this comes hand-in-hand with the change in focus of protagonist. The first third of the movie is mostly from Mitsuha’s point of view; a scenario born from a wish she makes on a whim as part of an expressive outburst, so as a result we see her having the time of her life in Tokyo and not thinking about the long term plans. Then it switches to Taki, who didn’t ask for the change and takes longer to accept his new weird situation. However, he’s more mature and it’s his desire to learn about the body he inhabits that brings the movie to a grounded space when he discovers more than he bargained for. The last third switches between the two and blends the two moods together, resulting in a rollercoaster ride of many emotionally charged highs and sudden stops for quiet moments that will pull on the audience’s heart strings for a glorious finale. The continuous up-and-down emotional spikes in the final act may have been stretched too far once or twice (the film runs to 107 minutes) but it’s to help wrap up the last elements of the story, rather than force another flood of tears from the audience. Building that heart-pulling connection however comes naturally, due to the protagonists; the two teens are very relatable in different ways because of her enthusiasm and his curiosity. They react naturally to an unnatural situation, and you want them to succeed in finding themselves and each other, as well as laugh along when the moment calls for it.

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Animation is provided by CoMix wave Studios, who have produced most of Makoto’s work so Your Name looks very similar to his previous films. Although visually it’s not as striking as Garden of Words, the animation for the lead characters is where it excels; the body switches are revealed through body language and facial expressions before a single word is spoken. From the small hand gestures to big reactions; it’s the little details here and there that really bring the whole premise and emotional core of the story together.

Japanese rock band Radwimps provide the score with mixed results; although the actual score is delightful that ranges from low key, to playful, to heart-breaking when the movie switches gears, the vocal tracks are more of a distraction than an addition to the experience. The songs themselves aren’t bad but feel shoehorned into the film, as if the band were promoting an album rather than the movie. This is especially true of the opening track which plays over a mini-trailer edited opening that’s more like a music video than part of the film.

Your Name is a delightful movie, gorgeously animated, that takes a wacky, unbelievable concept and shapes it into a genuinely thoughtful story, filled with relatable characters and emotional highs. It’s one not to be missed when it arrives in cinemas.

Your Name will be screened as part of BFI’s London Film Festival 14th – 16th October. In cinemas across the UK from November 24th.

Title: Your Name
Publisher: Anime Limited
Genre: Coming of Age, Drama, Teen,
Studio: CoMix Wave Studios
Type: Movie
Original vintage: 2016
Format: Cinema screening
Language options: Japanese audio with English subtitles
Running time: 107 minutes

Score: 9/10

Makoto Shinkai’s Your Name. is the Highest Grossing Film for 2016 in Japan!

It’s official! Your Name (Kimi no Na wa.), the latest film from director Makoto Shinkai, has now become the highest grossing film for 2016 in Japan alone. The film has not only surpassed Kyoto Animation’s latest film A Silent Voice (Koe no Katachi) but also Hideaki Anno’s Shin Godzilla (Shin Gojira), the latest live-action film in the Godzilla franchise.

Continue reading “Makoto Shinkai’s Your Name. is the Highest Grossing Film for 2016 in Japan!”

BFI London Film Festival to screen Makoto Shinkai’s Your Name. in competition

Over the past few weeks it was discovered that the new film from director Makoto Shinkai will be screened at a number of theaters throughout the United Kingdom. No one knew who it was that was offering this but today some special news has appeared.

Makoto Shinkai’s newest film Your Name., also known as Kimi no Na wa., has been approved by the British Film Institute to take part in the film festival’s 60th competition in London. This will be the first Japanese animated film ever to take part in this competition.

In addition the distributor Anime Limited have acquired the theatrical rights to the film, and was responsible for providing the cinema screenings across the country. The film will be screened across numerous cinemas nationwide on 24th November, making the UK one of the first countries outside Japan to release the film in theaters. We’ll have the full list of cinemas screening the film below.

The BFI London Film Festival dates that the film will be screening at are:

Embankment Garden Cinema – 6pm on Friday 14th October
Embankment Garden Cinema – 12pm on Saturday 15th October
Ritzy Cinema, Screen 2 – 6:15pm on Sunday 16th October

The tickets for all three cinema screenings will be made available on 15th September at 10am via the BFI London’s official website.

The film’s plot synopsis:

Your Name is the story of a teenage boy and girl who have
never met, but who start to magically swap minds and live
each other’s lives. Mitsuha, a teenage girl student, lives in a
small mountain town, but longs for the bright lights of Tokyo far away. Then she is astonished to wake one morning in the body of Taki, a teenage Tokyo schoolboy – who in turn wakes up in Mitsuha’s body!

Switching back and forth between two lives, locations and
genders, Mitsuha and Taki must cope with their fantastic
shared situation. At first they are outraged and mortified by
what’s happening, but soon they start enjoying their double
lives, though they never meet directly. Eventually, though,
one of the youngsters will learn the devastating truth behind what’s happening…

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Your Name. was first screened at Anime Expo 2016 in North America back in July followed by Japan’s first theatrical release in August. Your Name. has also topped the Japanese box office charts, earning 1,277,960,000 Yen (about £932,000) in three days since opening plus selling over 688,000 tickets. The film’s original novel has also topped the sales as well as the original soundtrack from Japanese rock band RADWIMPS on the Oricon weekly album chart.

Staff and cast for the film also includes Animation Director Masashi Ando (Spirited Away, When Marnie Was There), Character Designer Masayoshi Tanaka (The Anthem of the Heart), Actor Ryonosuke Kamiki (Summer Wars) voicing the main male character Taki, and Actress Mone Kamishiraishi (live-action Chihayafuru films) voicing the main female character Mitsuha Miyamizu.

Makoto Shinkai is known for his directorial works on Voices of a Distant Star, The Place Promised in Our Early Days, 5 Centimeters per Second, Children Who Chase Lost Voices (released in the UK as Journey to Agartha) and The Garden of Words in addition to a number of short films including She and Her Cat and Cross Road. The director was also involved with the popular ef ~ A Fairy Tale of the Two franchise.

Anime Limited will soon be releasing the director’s first two films (Voices of a Distant Star and The Place Promised in Our Early Days) on Blu-ray later this year, and have already released his previous instalment The Garden of Words on Blu-ray also. Manga Entertainment have released 5 Centimeters per Second on DVD and Kaze UK have released Journey to Agartha on Blu-ray.

The cinemas that Your Name. will be made available on 24th November are as follows:

Showcase Cinemas
Bluewater Cinema de Lux
Bristol Avonmeads
Bristol Cinema de Lux
Cardiff Nantgarw
Coventry
Derby Cinema de Lux
Dudley
Glasgow
Leeds Cinema de Lux
Leicester Cinema de Lux
Liverpool
Manchester
Newham
Nottingham Cinema de Lux
Paisley
Peterborough
Reading Cinema de Lux
Teeside
Walsall

Vue Cinemas
Basingstoke Festival Place
Cambridge
Cheshire Oaks
Croydon Grant’s
Exeter
Finchley Road (O2 Centre)
Gateshead Trinity Square
Hull Princes Quay
Inverness
Islington
London – Finchley Road (O2 Centre)
London – Islington
London – Wood Green
Manchester Lowry
Northampton
Norwich
Plymouth
Portsmouth
Sheffield
Stirling
Swansea
Westfield Stratford City
Wood Green
York