Your Name, a 2016 anime, is taking the nation of Japan by storm. Since its launch late August, it has accumulated a total topping $100 million USD making it the first non-Miyazaki animated film to achieve the goal.
According to an article written by Japan Today, Your Name, which is an animated science fiction-fantasy film written and directed by Makoto Shinkai with animation by CoMix Wave Films and distributed by Toho, surpassed box office revenues of 10 billion yen (about $99 million USD) just 28 days after its release on August 26.
For those who are unfamiliar with Your Name(officially known as Kimi no Na wa), it is about a high-school couple one month after a comet has fallen for the first time in a thousand years in Japan. Mitsuha, a high school girl living in the countryside, wants to live in the city because she is tired of life in the country. Taki, a high school student in Tokyo, lives with his friends while working as a part-timer at an Italian restaurant. He also has a strong interest in fine arts involving architecture. One day, Mitsuha dreams of herself as a young man. On the other hand, Taki also has a dream where he is a female student attending high school in the countryside. This happenstance causes something fantastic to happen.
For seasoned movie watchers, it is evident from the synopsis Your Name utilizes the body-swap concept often used in many stories featuring young adults. However, what causes its huge draw to Japanese audiences is its beautiful cinematography focusing on the use of light. The story which the movie is inspired from is popular in its own right selling over one million copies. It also helps that the novel and movie utilizes many real-life locations in Japan including Makoto Shinkai’s hometown in Nagano Prefecture in central Japan, neighboring the Gifu Prefecture and Tokyo. This detail has proven to be very popular as people were seen late last month visiting the stairs beside a Shinto shrine in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward, taking photos during weekday daytime hours.
Nevertheless, the anime film receiving such critical acclaim and popularity among domestic audiences are causing many to believe Makoto Shinkai to be the “true successor” to Hayao Miyazaki, the genius behind Studio Ghibli and many of its anime films including My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, and Ponyo. And just so it is known, Shinkai is a popular anime director in his own right directing popular subsequent films The Place Promised in Our Early Days and 5 Centimeters per Second.
Since last Thursday, August 29, Your Name, as mentioned earlier, surpassed $100 million USD at the Japanese box office, as written in an article by Cartoon Brew. Technically though, the numbers-to-date were $111 million USD, but the fact it surpassed $100 million USD is worth noting because only Studio Ghibli films, specifically those directed by Hayao Miyazaki, have achieved such a goal.
Along with that accomplishment, Your Name is currently the number one film in Japan for five consecutive weeks, currently the top-grossing film of 2016 and the highest-grossing film in Japan since the 2014 release of Disney’s Frozen, and currently the seventh-highest-grossing Japanese film of all time. It is also the 19th-highest-grossing film among all films released in Japan.
[Featured Image by CoMix Wave Films/Toho Animation]