Writer-director Makoto Shinkai’s critically acclaimed animated blockbuster Your Name. will be coming to North American theaters on April 7, 2017 through Funimation Films. The pop-culture sensation will be released in both an English-language dub and in the original Japanese with English subtitles.
In the last few days, the film has been nominated for the Japan Academy Prize and with a box office total of $331.6 million USD has become the highest-grossing anime in the world (surpassing Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away) and the all-time top film in Japan. Your Name. is set to roll out in 90-some countries so far.
“It’s truly a joy to be part of a film like Your Name. that has surprised everyone’s expectations and quickly captivated the hearts and attention of audiences and films critics alike,” said Gen Fukunaga, Founder & CEO of Funimation Entertainment. “I have always believed that a touching and beautifully told story can mesmerize mainstream audiences regardless of a film’s genre. Your Name. is the perfect example of this and will be one that journalists will point to for years to come.”
The film relates the strange fate of high schoolers Mitsuha and Taki, complete strangers who one morning wake up to find they have switched bodies. These bizarre swaps occur randomly, and the two must learn to live around each other, forming a connection and leaving each other messages. Their unusual relationship seems tied to a falling star, a beacon calling them to meet face to face — but distance isn’t the only gulf that separates them.
Your Name. premiered at Anime Expo in Los Angeles last year ahead of its debut in Japan, and has been racking up critical nods ever since. In December, it was named the Best Animated Feature of 2016 by the LA Film Critics Association, and is currently under consideration for Oscar nomination (to be announced Jan. 24) following a qualifying run last month.
In addition to a new English dub, award-winning Japanese rock band RADWIMPS is creating localized versions of the soundtrack and score they composed for the original film, under the direction of lead singer Yojiro Noda, who spent part of his childhood in the US. The soundtrack has taken off along with the film, with original tracks “Dream Lantern” and “Zenzenzense” topping charts.
“Melody and lyrics must be something inseparable for RADWIMPS. For all that, I cannot respect and thank them enough for making these wonderful English versions to entertain international audience,” said Makoto Shinkai. “In Your Name., songs, lines and the story are in complete harmony. Lyrics represent characters’ cry of the heart. I hope these alternative versions will lead the audience to a better understanding of the world of Your Name.“
Read more about Your Name. in Tom McLean’s feature story for the Feb. ’17 issue of Animation Magazine.