Your Name 2 is high on the list of demands for anime fans worldwide, especially now that the English-speaking world had a chance to watch Makoto Shinkai’s masterpiece. The good news is that the director/writer did provide a Your Name sequel called Kimi no Na wa: Another Side – Earthbound, and the release date for the English translation is coming soon. The bad news is that it’s not the direct Your Name sequel fans might be hoping for, and it’s uncertain whether the light novel will ever be adapted into an anime.
The Your Name anime movie was essentially a romance story that dipped its toes into the deep waters of science fiction and fantasy. The film does a great job of making audiences fall in love with the characters, but for those wanting to understand what’s going on, there is a need for something more. Unfortunately, Shinkai is not known for producing movie sequels, so the chances of Your Name 2 happening seem slim (just be glad it was a happy ending!). Audiences can’t look to the manga for more source material since the Your Name manga was completed in January of 2017 but did not add much to the movie story.
The same can’t be said for the light novels. Writer Arata Kanou, who provided screenplay assistance for the Your Name movie, teamed up with Shinkai to partially fill in the need for Your Name 2. The result, Your Name: Another Side – Earthbound, is a light novel that provides short stories from the four different perspectives of Taki, Teshigawara, Yotsuha, and Mitsuha’s dad. However, the book is not a direct Your Name sequel since it shows how these characters experienced the parallel events of the movie and the original light novel.
Reviews of the book on MyAnimeList are good, but Anime News Network believes the story is “inferior enough to its original that it can’t help but disappoint.”
“While I wouldn’t go so far as to say that this reads like a cash-grab, it certainly isn’t as good as the first book, which was aided by the idea of connection and seemingly impossible things. This story is, as the title implies, very much bound to the realities of Earth, and that just doesn’t have the same impact that made the original Your Name so striking. If you really want to read about Taki struggling with bras or know how Mitsuha’s parents met and eventually separated, it may be worth reading.”
While the short stories are not quite good enough to take the title of Kimi no Na wa 2, they would certainly make for good Your Name OVA episodes. The global success of the film has already spawned a live-action Hollywood remake courtesy of J.J. Abrams. While no one has announced any Kimi no Na wa OVA episodes based on Your Name: Another Side – Earthbound, it would certainly make sense to produce more anime as promotional materials that could be bundled with the live-action movie’s Blu-ray release or a reprint of the light novel for English audiences.
If that does happen, it seems likely that the anime director may not be too interested in being involved. According to Oricon News, Shinkai has already expressed detached interest in the Hollywood remake.
“People often compare their creation to their child, but I’m not much interested in how my child would be treated. There was an announcement that a Hollywood version will be made. While I’m looking forward to how it will go, I also think how it will grow is up to himself (the Hollywood version itself) because it has already left my hand,” Shinkai said. “I’ve seen this exhibition keeping such a distance. Rather than whose arts they are, I felt it was very fresh as an art exhibition.”
Thankfully, anime fans don’t have to wait too long for the English translation of Your Name: Another Side – Earthbound. The hardcover release date by publisher Yen On is scheduled for November 21, 2017. Let’s just hope fans won’t have to wait forever to watch the real Your Name 2.
[Featured Image by CoMix Wave Films]