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Watch the Trailer for YOUR NAME, Japan’s Insanely Popular Body Swap Anime

The body swap genre is one of Hollywood’s most cherished traditions, dating back to the original Freaky Friday in 1976, and carrying forward through the decades with the likes of All of MeLike Father Like SonVice VersaDating the EnemyThe Hot Chick, and The Change-Up, among others. Lots of others, in fact. Over the years, we’ve seen parents swap with children, boyfriends swap with girlfriends, and businessmen swap with strippers–sometimes at the behest of simple wishes, sometimes thanks to fortune cookies or meteor showers or episodes of public urination. In short, it’s been done. American cinema has attempted every twist and contortion of the body swap premise at one point or another over the past 40 years. And yet, Japan seems to have just now managed an entirely new spin on the theme.

In 2016, Japanese audiences welcomed Your Name, an anime film about two teenage strangers, a boy and a girl, hopping back and forth into one another’s bodies. And when I say “Japanese audiences,” I mean all of them. Astoundingly, Your Name has topped the Miyazaki masterpiece Spirited Away as the highest grossing Japanese movie of all time, thus far raking in a $327 million worldwide gross across eight countries. That said, Spirited Away maintains its superlative title at the Japanese-only box office, though Your Name is an impressive fourth place (including non-Japanese movies to release in Japan, namely Avatar and Frozen).

So what is it about this simple body swap movie that made it such a tremendous hit in Japan? Well, probably the fact that it’s not just a “simple body swap movie.” Although the first trailer for the film, which you can watch above, caters heavily to the premise, a resounding (and primarily spoiler-free) review on a recent episode of the film podcast Fighting in the War Room suggests there’s a lot more to the film than its central gambit–this on top of it looking pretty darn gorgeous.

We here in the U.S. will be able to see for ourselves when Your Name hits theaters on April 7. Let us know if you’ll be checking out the movie!

Image: Funimation Films


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