HomeNews & Views Foreign Flick Friday: #1 Japanese Anime Arrives on the U.S. Big Screen

Foreign Flick Friday: #1 Japanese Anime Arrives on the U.S. Big Screen


Being a teenager is difficult enough without having to worry about randomly waking up in the body of a boy or girl you’ve never met, in another city miles away, and not knowing when it might happen again!

This is the premise of writer and director Makoto Shinkai’s latest hit anime, Your Name. The #1 film in Japan for 2016, Your Name was an enormous commercial success, overtaking former box office champ, Spirited Away, in January 2017, to become the highest grossing anime ever.1 In addition to its growing worldwide audience, one in seven Japanese have watched this story unfold!2

{{ For tips on using foreign films to improve your language skills, see our inaugural Foreign Flick Friday post. }}

Both deeply moving and humorous, Your Name will have you crying one moment and laughing the next. This is not just a film for body-swapping sci-fi enthusiasts or for high school students who easily relate to the daily pressures of being a teen—although it is each of those things. This is a film about tradition and ritual, the intricacies of belonging to a family, the elusiveness of memory, the ties that bind us, and the things that make everything else worthwhile.

The film has just opened in limited release in the United States—allowing U.S. fans to see the beautiful and sweeping Japanese landscapes on the big screen for the first time. And we may have gone for the catchy plot line, but we definitely stayed in part for the upbeat and touching soundtrack by Japanese J-rock band Radwimps.

Our advice? Catch a screening if you can! While an English-dubbed version is available, both Japanese learners and those who are intrigued by the musicality of the language will widely prefer the Japanese language version—we sure did!

In the meanwhile, check out the Japanese trailer here and tweet us @LeadWLanguages to let us know what you think!

What’s your favorite foreign flick?

foreign flick friday banner