Question: What would you do if you woke up in the body of someone of the opposite sex? Your Name. (Kimi no Na wa.) is a manga that explores this tantalizing concept. Written by Makoto Shinakai, with art by Ranmaru Kotone, this is by far one of the most exciting manga being published at the moment. When I saw the cover for the first time, I knew that I just had to read it, and “damn is this stuff goooood, I mean, wow this is so good!”
As I began reading the first volume of this manga, I was introduced to the character, Mitsuha Miyamizu, a cute kindhearted highschooler from the countryside. After being introduced to Mitsuha and her small circle of friends and family, we learn that she is not happy with her life in the countryside. Mitsuha wishes she was a boy living in Tokyo, because she idealizes the city life, and assumes that boys there have way more freedom and opportunities than she has. After making her wish she has a dream that she is a boy. The story then progresses quickly as we are introduced to Taki Tachibana, a high school lad from Tokyo, the exact city Mitsuha wishes she could live in. Taki is a pretty cool bloke, who happens to have a very active life involving school, and part-time work. When we are introduced to him, we learn about his temperament via the visual representation of a bandage on his face. It’s then that we understand that Taki is quick to anger, though he is not really a violent character. His short fuse gets him into to scuffles, but usually it’s related to someone trying to take advantage of him or others. Taki also starts having dreams that he is a girl, but he dismiss them as just dreams.
These two characters soon start noticing that they’re missing days from their memory, but their acquaintances all seem to remember everything. Everything involving them acting strange for a day. Like Mitsuha’s sister walking in on her groping her breast or Taki calling his dad, “daddy”. These strange losses of days are soon understood to be related to the two main characters swapping bodies with each other; however, it happens randomly almost every other day, and they have no recollection of what happen during the day once they’re back in their own bodies. When the characters eventually realise the situation they’re in, they start keeping diaries as a means keep track of what they’ve done, and also to communicate with each other.
Now I will admit that when I was about a couple of pages into the first chapter, I was a bit confused as to what was going on in the story, but after the first chapter I was hooked. Makoto-san’s writing is so compelling that I found myself completely immersed in the book without an inclination of time. This was a book that I read in just one sitting, and I love/hate that. I love that I was able to complete the first volume in a short period of time, so that I’m able to continue working on other things, but I also hate that it’s over, because I greatly desire to know more about Mitsuha and Taki’s relationship.
So many questions need to be answered….
Will they ever meet?
Is this a figment of Mitsuha’s imagination?
When is the second volume being released?
Oh, and I have lots of other questions, but listing them here would delve too deeply into spoiler territory, and we don’t want that, do we?
What I hope to accomplish with this review, is to inform you on how good this manga is, and it’s gooooood. Not just in the story department, but also with regards to its art. When I held the book for the first time, I was instantly captivated by the stunning cover and the full coloured first two pages. They’re like cherry on top of a very visually delicious cake. Ranmaru-san’s art is… how do I say, exceptional. The characters are well illustrated, and every other aspect of the style is particularly appealing to me. The cells are not cluttered with too much information, but it also doesn’t have too little. It’s a pleasant mix that manages to portray the story perfectly. This is my first time seeing art from this particular manga artist, and I must say I am now a huge fan. Here’s hoping I read more manga in the future with art from Ranmaru-san.
There’s not much more that I can say about Your Name. that would not result in huge spoilers, so I must end our review here. If you wish to find out more about the story then I highly recommend getting the first volume. The version I read for this review was the paperback, but there is also a digital version that will be available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Walker, Comixology, Google Play, iBooks, and Kobo. This manga consists of 3 volumes, the first of which will be released on June the 20th at a retail price of $13 US/ $17 CAN. The digital version retails at $6.99 US / $8.99 CAN.
The copy of Your Name. used for this review was supplied to us by it’s publisher Yen Press.