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your name. (light novel) Hardcover – May 23, 2017
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About the Author
Makoto Shinkai is the author of your name., The Garden of Words, and 5 Centimeters Per Second.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book serves as a way to fill in the gaps of the film for things Taki did. For instance that fail "first date" that Mitsuha set up for him and Okudera-senpai - the books spells out what his thoughts are instead of having the viewer infer based on context. Sometimes it's unnecessary, but it does offer insight much of the time.
Strictly speaking I wouldn't recommend this without seeing the movie first, though you can read this along side the manga (due out this summer) as well. This isn't meant to be a substitute but a companion to the film after all.
As for the plot, the first third of the book was what I expected: a funny tale of two kids switching bodies, but the story soon took on a darker feel with lots of emotion, heartbreak, danger, and a struggle against nature and the cosmos. I was teary-eyed by the end, not knowing who lived and who died and if the two main characters would remember each other’s name. I know this may sound weird but the story of Taki and Mitsuha reminded be a lot of the 1985 movie "Ladyhawke". The way they were constantly torn apart and were unable to remember each other was so sad. But what really made me think “Ladyhawke” was the twilight scene where the star-crossed lovers can finally see and interact with each other.
So I really enjoyed the book, I can’t wait to see the movie.
I also found the “Afterword” that the author wrote was very enlightening. He talks about his reluctance to write the novel because he thought the story worked better as an animated file. He even says that the book is a novelization of the movie, and not a book that was turned into a movie. Interesting.
The story while science fiction for the most part also contains a bit of Japanese lore, like a theme about the red thread of fate that bonds two people, and takes it to the extreme to make it seem very realistic in fitting with the tale that is spun. Obviously by realism I don't make a claim that this can occur as in the story, but if you believe in spiritual powers or even that someone is looking out for you in a spiritual sense, this has a fit and logic to the story.
They take a few risks with the time leaping notions, and while that's been done before too, this does not indulge in science or machines, but rather in faith and the divine to set the world right. The book is heavy with dialog, they did include a lot of the script from the movie, but the additions of the thoughts of the characters made this an enhancement. It's an easy read, but if you hadn't seen the movie there may be parts that would take a while to explain. When this comes out in hardcover this month, I hope they include a few more illustrations from the movie or that fit the story at least.
Recommended, a great story told well by the author of a number on very interesting twists on life. Highly Recommended, If you've not seen the movie at least get the DVD/BluRay.