Run time: 106 mins

Director: Makoto Shinkai

Cast: Mitsuha Miyamizu, Taki Tachibana, Sayaka Natori

Synopsis: Mitsuha and Taki are total strangers living completely different lives. But when Mitsuha makes a wish to leave her mountain town for the bustling city of Tokyo, they become connected in a bizarre way. She dreams she is a boy living in Tokyo while Taki dreams he is a girl from a rural town he’s never visited.


This is a deeply emotional, moving visually beautiful and inventive animated film from director, Makoto Shinkai who is hailed by many as the successor to the legendary Hayao Miyazaki.

Blending comedy, drama, heartbreak and wonder, the film offers a fresh new twist on a boy meets girl story.

Mitsuha, a teenage girl student, lives in a small Japanese mountain town, where she performs religious duties at her family’s Shinto shrine.  However, she’s restless and longs for the bright lights of Tokyo far away. She even wishes to be reborn as a handsome city boy. Then she’s astonished to wake one morning in the body of Taki, a teenage schoolboy in Tokyo – 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 and chaotic shared situation.  At first they’re outraged and mortified by what’s happening, but eventually they start enjoying their double lives.  They never meet directly, communicating through messages left in their notebooks, mobiles or on their hands. As they learn about each other, and themselves, eventually, one of the youngsters discovers the devastating truth behind what’s happening…

This is a spellbinding cinematic experience, voiced by two top actors – Mone Kamishiraishi as Mitsuha Miyamizu and Ryunosuke Kamiki as Taki Tachibana. In 2014, Kamishiraishi was acclaimed for her lead role in the live-action film Lady Maiko, a musical comedy directed by Masayuki Suyo (Shall We Dance? 1996). At the age of seven, Kamiki voiced the giant baby Boh in Spirited Away (2001). Kamiki also featured in Studio Ghibli’s Howl’s Moving Castle (2004) and Arrietty (2010) and he voiced the hero in Mamoru Hosoda’s animated film Summer Wars (2009).

Everything comes together to make this a unique and must-see masterpiece of Japanese animation.


Images courtesy of NATIONAL AMUSEMENTS