Makoto Shinkai wrote, directed, edited, and handled the cinematography for this ambitious romantic drama that gathers up body-swapping, time-shifts, cosmic disasters, divine intervention, country v. city, tradition v. modernity, broken families, coming of age, and the seemingly endless handleability of breasts and weaves them into one brightly colored, highly emotive anime tapestry. The bit about bosoms is played for laughs; the romance is of the innocent longing variety, as opposed to carnal conquest. (It could hardly be otherwise, given that the school-age, comet-crossed lovers don’t so much meet cute as they begin inhabiting each other’s bodies.) Throughout, there is the nagging sense that the whole thing will unravel if any one thread gets tugged too hard, but when both the heart and the sky are on fire, why lean in and go squinting at flaws? Especially when it plays as such an earnest labor of love on love’s behalf.
Length: 1 hour, 46 minutes