If you have not read or watched Your Name yet, please do so before reading this book. Not only is the story itself amazing, but everything will make so much more sense if you do.
As soon as I saw that this book was coming out, I knew that I had to read it. I have fallen in love with the story of Your Name and to get to see this little side story involving those in Mitsuha’s life, and how her experiences with Taki have affected them as well. This book is broken into four different stories, each focusing on one person in Mitsuha’s life.
The first story is focused on her friend Saya. I honestly felt that this was perhaps the weakest story of them all. I don’t know if it’s because Saya’s reaction to everything wasn’t as shocked and concerned as everyone else, or if it was something else, but Saya herself even had a fairly small presence in this story. Still, it was fun to see how she did react to a couple of things that happened, things that you don’t get to see in the movie.
Then there was Teshi’s story. He had already been a big presence in Saya’s story, but he was even more so here. I definitely had a couple of good laughs during this one. I also felt that this really allowed us to see more depth in Teshi as a whole. The Teshi we see in the movie is very serious, and he certain maintains that throughout a vast majority of this story, but there is this whole other side to Teshi that really shines here. I love how he is both confused by this new Mitsuha, but also embraces many of the changes he sees – often accounting it to stress in Mitsuha’s life, so doesn’t really see all that bothered by things.
Next up revolved around Mitsuha’s younger sister, Yotsuha. I was pretty interested in seein gmore of her thoughts on Mitsuha’s changes. We get to see a pretty good amount of it during the movie, but there was bound to be more. The best part is, as a younger child, Yotsuha’s understanding of many things in life is obviously lacking, so watching her try to figure things out herself. Her line of thought could be quite deep at times, and it really added a whole new level to her character, and gave a glimpse of the person she would become as she grew older.
Finally there was the story about Mitsuha’s father, Toshiki. I’ll admit, I didn’t particularly like Mitsuha’s father in the movie, but we also know so little about it, that it was hard to know why he was the way that he was. Unlike the previous stories, this one doesn’t focus so much on his opinions of what is happening to Mitsuha, but is a reflection on the past, how he met his wife, more about the Miyamizu temple and it’s traditions, as well as those of other temples, and also the start of their family. All this leads up to why he abandoned his family, the temple and his why he pursued the role of mayor. I felt like this story helped me to understand him so much better, and it also helped him understand his daughter as well. I definitely have a bit more respect for him, even if he is still a total jerk in the end.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I am now hoping that they come out with another novel like this, but where it’s the people in Taki’s life showing how him switching affects them.