An exciting anime feature, which we got to see on a big screen thanks to the Alamo (in a dubbed version which was refreshingly free of slumming Hollywood celebs). Jumps between protagonists, between bodies, between time and space, then throws in a town-destroying meteor. Incident and action piles up, more and louder, until the body-swapping boy appears to have saved hundreds of lives and we fast-forward to the couple’s first real-life (chance) meeting.
The filmâ€™s body-swapping setup foregrounds questions of identity, beginning with the way that both teens react to their new, temporary genders; Taki-as-Mitsuha spends so much time feeling up his own breasts, for example, that it becomes a running gag. Meanwhile, Mitsuha-as-Taki starts flirting heavily with a slightly older female co-worker at the restaurant where Taki works, and it really looks as if Mitsuha herself is smitten, rather than merely doing Taki a favor while sheâ€™s in control of his actions.
Like all of Shinkaiâ€™s films, the richness of the light coats everything it touches with such an evocative hue of nostalgia that the plot only puts a damper on things (and thereâ€™s a lot of plot here). Watching these colors bleed between Taki and Mitsuhaâ€™s divergent lives is all you need to appreciate the beauty of being in this world together, and the tragedy of how that same beauty always seems to slip through our fingers.