Your Name, written and directed by Makoto Shinkai and released in 2016, has garnered the attention of many. The picture not only wowed critics worldwide and took home multiple accolades at film festivals but also became one of Japan’s highest-grossing movies. Mitsuha Miyamizu (Mone Kamishiraishi), a young girl living in the remote village of Itomori who is bored with her daily life and wishes she could reincarnate as a boy from Tokyo, is the protagonist of the film Your Name.
Your Name’s original tale of love and friendship struck a chord with many, and it is now widely considered one of the best-animated features (or features, period) of all time, or at least the 21st century. That’s subjective, for sure, but if you’re reading this, you presumably agree. To that end, I’ve compiled a list of seven excellent anime films similar to Your Name in terms of visual style and emotional impact.
7 Movies Like ‘Your Name’ for More Gorgeous Animated Fantasies
1. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
Both Your Name and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, a film that came out in 2006, share some similarities but are also fantastic on their own. In The Girl Who Leapt Across Time, played by Riisa Naka, a 17-year-old named Makoto Konno has a bizarre encounter at school that grants her the capacity to “time-leap” or travel through time. Makoto starts using her power frequently and recklessly despite her lack of understanding. She uses it to avoid little inconveniences like being late and making mistakes in the kitchen.
But as time goes on, she learns that her time leaps negatively affect those around her and that she can only make so many of them. Next, Makoto tries to utilize her time-leaping power to undo her mistakes and restore the status quo, but she may be too late. Satoko Okudera wrote The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, and Mamoru Hosoda, who directed the 2018 film Mirai and was nominated for an Academy Award, helmed both films. Much like Your Name, the Girl Who Leapt Through Time is a stunning coming-of-age tale with a fantastical/scientific twist, and it is a wonderfully magical picture that I recommend to anyone and everyone I can.
2. A Silent Voice
In A Silent Voice, played by Miyu Irino, a young man named Shoya Ishida comes to terms with his past actions as a bully and his subsequent victimization and resolves to make amends. He goes up to Shoko Nishimiya (Saori Hayami), a girl he had previously harassed because of her deafness. Shoya asks Shoko if they may be friends, and she unexpectedly agrees, giving him a second chance to redeem himself. Naoko Yamada helms the film adaptation of Yoshitoki’s manga a’s A Silent Voice, with a script by Reiko Yoshida. Even though A Silent Voice lacks the fantastic components of Your Name and The Girl Who Leaped Through Time, audiences who like both movies will be deeply moved by them.
3. When Marnie Was There
When Marnie Was There, the lone Studio Ghibli entry, was released in 2014 and was adapted to the Joan G. Robinson novel of the same name. Anna Sasaki (Sara Takatsuki) is a 12-year-old girl who is having a hard time adjusting to life with her foster parents in this drama film written and directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi. Doctors advised that Anna get some fresh air, so she spent the summer in a town near the Kushiro marshes in Hokkaido with her foster mother’s family.
Marnie (Kasumi Arimura) is a young girl who lives in a rundown mansion that she stumbles across. They become fast friends and spend a lot of time together, but Marnie wants Anna to keep their relationship a secret. Anna and Marnie get closer as the summer progresses, but everything changes when Anna learns there is more to the story than meets the eye.
4. 5 Centimeters per Second
Because of the writer and director’s ability to craft artistically and emotionally stunning animated stories about universally relatable human situations, this list includes two more of Makoto Shinkai’s films. Shinkai’s second feature-length film, 5 Centimeters per Second, was released in 2007 and is structured as an anthology, following the same character, a young child named Takaki Tno, voiced by Kenji Mizuhashi, through three distinct but interconnected stages of his life.
In the first part, “Cherry Blossom,” Takaki (Yoshimi Kond/Ayaka Onouei) is in elementary school from 1991 to 1994 when he meets and falls in love with Akari Shinohara. Segment two, “Cosmonaut,” takes place in 1999, when Takaki is a high school student somewhere but still can’t seem to move on from Akari; segment three, “5 Centimeters per Second,” occurs in 2008 and depicts one final encounter between Takaki and Akari and what happens following. The narrative of 5 Centimeters per Second is realistic and grounded, following Takaki as he matures and moves on in life.
5. Liz and the Blue Bird
Both Liz and the Blue Bird and A Silent Voice were directed by Naoko Yamada. The 2018 film is an emotionally complex and lyrically told tale of friendship between two high school musicians, Mizore Yoroizuka (Atsumi Tanezaki) and Nozomi Kasaki (Nao Tyama). More and Nozomi are at a crossroads in their lives when they must make significant decisions about their futures and where they will go next, but neither fully appreciates their love for the other.
A duet piece called “Liz and the Blue Bird” about a girl named Liz and a blue bird turned human who becomes best friends but then unexpectedly grow apart is performed by the girls as a metaphor for their tale. The film’s score, composed by Kensuke Ushio and Akito Matsuda, is crucial in depicting the ladies’ journey together. Fans of the movie Your Name will appreciate Liz and the Blue Bird.
6. Weathering with You
The 2018 animated feature Weathering with You, directed by Makoto Shinkai (who also ran Your Name and 5 Centimeters per Second), has received widespread acclaim. Hodaka Morishima (Kotaro Daigo), the film’s protagonist, abruptly leaves his home and travels to rainy Tokyo. There, he has a tough time making ends meet until he hears rumors of a “sunshine girl” with the power to influence the climate.
Hodaka learns rather quickly that she is a genuine person named Hina Amano (Nana Mori) who has the power to create sunshine via prayer. They create a business renting out Hina’s skills for special events to make ends meet. Still, things quickly get out of hand when it is discovered that Hina’s ability is more nuanced than they had imagined, and Hodaka runs afoul of the law. Many people feel that Weathering with You is the best film ever made and that it’s the next best thing to watch Your Name.
7. Patema Inverted
Patema Inverted, written and produced by Yasuhiro Yoshiura, is the most science fiction-heavy of the bunch; it’s a dramatic adventure set in a future in which an experiment that went awry in 2067 has caused gravity on Earth to be reversed. Years later, the survivors do their best to survive in an underground society. A young woman named Patema (Yukiyo Fujii) makes the courageous decision to leave her home after learning that another civilization with normal gravity exists in the area.
A young man named Eiji (Nobuhiko Okamoto) befriends Patema and accepts her for who she is, but his tribe and its leader threaten her and her home. While the friendship between Patema and Eiji serves as the film’s emotional core, the film’s science fiction elements are equally as engaging and exciting. Just as Mitsuha and Taki’s romance and the comet plot of Your Name work so well together to make a fantastic picture, so do Patema and Eiji’s friendship and the inverted gravity conflict of this film.