2 January 2018



This is a beautifully-shot animé film about a couple of Japanese high school students who become somewhat unusually close to each other over the course of the movie's duration. No, they don't have sex or anything so trite as that, lol.

Rather, they find that they have the use, as it were, of each others' bodies for certain periods of time. If I tell you that the film is described as a 'body swap' romance, it might just cut out the need for long-winded explanations on my part, haha. And I'm all for that...

Yes, it's a 'body swap' movie, like FREAKY FRIDAY or Tom Hanks's BIG. There's also an episode of THE SIMPSONS where Milhouse Van Houten gets to inhabit his own father's body for a bit and he and Bart get to have great fun with the whole thing.

Anyway, the high school girl in question is Mitsuha and the guy is Taki. Mitsuha lives in a picturesque little country village called Itomori but she's not happy there and longs for the bright lights of the city.

Taki lives in Tokyo and is perfectly happy there. Moral of the story? Countryside bad, city good, lol. Do what I do and live in the city. See everything that life has to affair from the dizzying top of a luxury block of city council flats...!

When they end up swapping bodies, Mitsuha unwittingly helps Taki to get a date with his gorgeous co-worker Miki Okudera, who's attracted to the sudden blossoming of his new 'feminine' side.

This doesn't really serve Mitsuha too well in any shape or form as she's madly in love with Taki herself. In any case, all of Taki's male co-workers in the restaurant where he works part-time after school are dead jealous of Taki's unexplained success with Miki.

There are some very funny scenes where Taki wakes up in Mitsuha's body and he can't resist having a feel of his lovely new boobies. Likewise, Mitsuha is horrified when she wakes up and finds that, as Homer Simpson would put it, 'the shuttle's in the hangar...!' In other words, she has a penis and she's completely grossed-out by it, as I absolutely would be myself.

I mean, I'm happy to be a female. In the female, those all-important lady parts are all tucked away neatly inside the owner's body. I'd be horrified at the thought of having weird, ill-mannered bits that dangle down un-safely outside the body.

Bits, I might add, that can also start getting hard at ridiculously inopportune moments, like at your Aunty June's trial (she only hit that man the once, what's all the fuss about, seriously?) or the very minute they pull the plug on your cousin, the one who had the game leg.

It would also freak me out to have to rely on a sex organ that's notoriously unreliable and known for letting you down when you really need it to work. And so many variables can affect its performance, like booze and drugs and tiredness and stress and being terrified that she might laugh at you for having a small one. I've always been thankful to be a woman, and never more so than when contemplating the highly unpredictable nature of the penis, lol.

The film isn't all fun and games about two teenagers of opposing genders freaking out at finding themselves inhabiting each others' bodies, however. They're actually happy enough with the whole 'body swap' thing and they even learn how to communicate with each other by leaving messages in notebooks and on Smartphones for each other.

No, the real meaning of the film lies in Mitsuha's secret, a secret she doesn't even know herself when we meet her first. There's something strange and sad, very sad indeed, with respect to Mitsuha's pretty little country village and its inhabitants.

I don't want to give anything away but you might even say that there's something almost ghostly about the whole set-up. And there's a comet in the mix too, an astronomical event that only happens once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing but which might have far-reaching effects for the inhabitants of the beautiful little hillside village of Itomori...

Mitsuha's family back story is so sad too. It's not clear if it was the death of the mother that turned the father- the town's Mayor now- into the overbearing dictator that he is today but let's just assume that it probably didn't help.

The little sister is adorable and the wise old Granny, with her intensive knowledge of the old gods and their offerings, sure is a game old gal. But the black bird of impending tragedy is the shadow that cloaks them all in a terrifying shroud of darkness. Can tragedy be averted second time round, or is history doomed, literally doomed, to repeat itself...?

The good news is that this multi-award-winning film (it's a tad confusing at times with all the body-switching so you've gotta keep up!) is out now on Blu-Ray Steelbook, Blu-Ray and DVD from ALLTHEANIME/ANIME LIMITED in conjunction with FETCH PUBLICITY.

It's also available on Deluxe Edition exclusive to ZAVVI and ALLTHE ANIME, and it'd make the perfect gift for the animé fan in your life. Remember, folks: 'One thing is certain. If we see each other, we'll know.' This must be what it sounds like when doves cry...


Based out of Glasgow in Scotland, ANIME LIMITED brings a fresh approach to delivering the best of animé direct from Japan. As an independent company, their emphasis is on breathing new life into beloved classics and introducing new theatrical favourites like YOUR NAME, A SILENT VOICE and LU OVER THE WALL. With a focus on bringing more animé to the big screen, beautifully packaged home video collectors' editions and new ways to reach fans digitally, ANIME LIMITED is committed to offering a wide range of experiences for UK audiences.


Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:


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