• Your Name

Your Name (Photo : What’s Anime/YouTube)

Movie observers believe that the Japanese anime blockbuster movie “Your Name,” would also become a hit in China when it shows on Dec. 2. Experts estimate it would earn more than 1 billion yuan, or $145 million.

In Japan, the movie about two high school students whose souls switched places broke box office records. Since it was released on Aug. 26, “Your Name” had grossed 18.97 billion yen, or $171 million, and is poised to become the fifth-highest grossing movie in Japan.

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Makoto Shinkai, author of the novel where the movie was based and the film’s anime director, has been compared to Miyazaki Hayao, a famous Japanese director (“The Wind Rises”), because of the movie’s box-office success and after Makoto Shinkai became the second anime director to make a movie that grossed more than 10 billion yen, Chinaentertainmentnews reported.

However, in a press conference in Beijing on Tuesday, Makoto Shinkai downplayed the comparison with Miyazaki Hayao because the latter’s animated features are geared for viewers of all ages, while his anime movies target teenagers. “Your Name,” which he wrote in 2011 because of the Tohoku earthquake, was deliberately written as a happy story in response to demands at that time of Japanese society burdened by the loss of lives due to the tremor and tsunami.

“Your Name” features Mitsuha and Taki – high school students who are total strangers – but because of a bizarre event which led to the two teens switching identities, have to adjust their lives. The movie got good ratings from critics, such as Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, which said 95 percent of the film reviews are positive. The movie is also shortlisted for the Oscars for Best Animated Feature.

Mark Kermode, film critic, gave “Your Name” five stars. In his review, Kermode called the Japanese anime “a beautiful out-of-the-body experience.” He noted that the movie revised the filmmaker’s constant theme of longing and separation found in his 2007 movie “Centimeters Per Second” and 2013 film “The Garden of Words,” The Guardian reported.