Why Did Mitsuha and Taki Forget Each Other in “Your Name”?

by Hazel

“Your Name” (Kimi no Na wa), directed by Makoto Shinkai, is a visually stunning and emotionally compelling animated film that has captivated audiences worldwide since its release in 2016. The film tells the story of two high school students, Mitsuha Miyamizu and Taki Tachibana, who inexplicably begin to swap bodies intermittently. As they navigate the challenges and joys of living each other’s lives, they develop a deep connection that transcends time and space. However, despite the intensity of their bond, they eventually forget each other. This article explores the reasons why they forgot each other and the thematic significance it holds within the narrative.

The Premise of “Your Name”

Body Swapping and Initial Confusion

The film begins with Mitsuha and Taki discovering that they have been swapping bodies without any explanation. Initially, they are confused and frustrated, but they soon establish rules and communicate through notes and messages to make the transitions smoother. This unusual phenomenon forms the crux of their growing relationship, as they begin to understand and empathize with each other’s lives.


The Development of Their Bond

As they continue to swap bodies, Mitsuha and Taki’s bond deepens. They not only influence each other’s lives in significant ways but also start to develop romantic feelings for one another. The film beautifully portrays their journey from strangers to soulmates, bound by an inexplicable connection.


The Catastrophic Event

The narrative takes a dramatic turn when Taki, in Mitsuha’s body, discovers that Mitsuha’s town, Itomori, was destroyed by a comet three years ago, resulting in numerous casualties, including Mitsuha herself. This revelation propels Taki to try and save Mitsuha and the town from their tragic fate, leading to a series of events that blur the boundaries of time and space.


The Forgetfulness Phenomenon

The Supernatural Element

The forgetfulness experienced by Mitsuha and Taki is intricately tied to the supernatural elements of the story. The body-swapping itself is a mystical occurrence, and the film hints at traditional Japanese beliefs and folklore, such as the concept of “musubi,” which represents the interconnectedness of all things. The forgetfulness can be seen as a natural consequence of these supernatural events, serving as a reset to balance the disruption caused by their extraordinary connection.


The Comet and Temporal Distortion

The comet Tiamat plays a crucial role in the story, not only as a harbinger of destruction but also as a catalyst for the temporal distortion that allows Mitsuha and Taki to connect across time. The forgetfulness could be interpreted as a side effect of this temporal distortion. When they alter the timeline by preventing the disaster, the new timeline necessitates that they forget each other to maintain the integrity of their respective realities.

The Role of Memory and Identity

Memory and identity are central themes in “Your Name.” The body-swapping challenges Mitsuha and Taki’s sense of self, as they must adapt to living as someone else. Their memories of each other serve as anchors, preserving their sense of identity amid the confusion. However, once their connection is severed, their memories begin to fade, symbolizing the fragility of human memory and the difficulty of holding onto something intangible and extraordinary.

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Thematic Significance of Forgetfulness

The Ephemeral Nature of Human Connections

One of the film’s poignant messages is the ephemeral nature of human connections. Mitsuha and Taki’s relationship, while profound and transformative, is ultimately fleeting. Their forgetfulness underscores the transient nature of life and the idea that even the most intense connections can fade with time. This theme resonates with the universal human experience of losing touch with people who were once significant in our lives.

The Power of Fate and Destiny

Despite the forgetfulness, “Your Name” suggests that fate and destiny play a powerful role in bringing people together. The film emphasizes the concept of “kizuna” (bonds), which transcend time and space. Mitsuha and Taki’s eventual reunion, driven by an inexplicable urge to find each other, highlights the idea that certain connections are meant to be, regardless of the obstacles.

Letting Go and Moving Forward

The forgetfulness also serves as a metaphor for letting go and moving forward. Mitsuha and Taki must live their lives without the conscious memory of each other, symbolizing the necessity of moving on from past experiences. However, the residual emotions and the sense of something missing in their lives suggest that while they have let go, the impact of their connection remains.

The Climactic Reunion

The Search for Each Other

The climax of “Your Name” sees Mitsuha and Taki, years after the body-swapping events, feeling an unexplainable longing for something they can’t remember. This longing drives them to search for each other, despite not knowing exactly what they are looking for. Their search is filled with a sense of urgency and destiny, culminating in their chance encounter.

The Emotional Impact

When Mitsuha and Taki finally meet on the stairs, the emotional impact is profound. Despite having forgotten the specifics of their connection, they instinctively recognize each other. This moment encapsulates the film’s exploration of memory, identity, and the enduring power of human connection. Their tears and the shared sense of relief and joy speak to the deep bond that transcends conscious memory.

The Significance of Names

The title “Your Name” carries significant weight throughout the film. Names are a crucial part of identity, and the act of asking for each other’s names at the end signifies a desire to reclaim their lost connection. It also symbolizes the beginning of a new chapter, where they can start afresh with the knowledge that their bond is undeniable.

Artistic and Cultural Influences

Japanese Folklore and Shinto Beliefs

“Your Name” draws heavily from Japanese folklore and Shinto beliefs, which emphasize the interconnectedness of all things and the presence of spirits in nature. The concept of “musubi,” which is explained by Mitsuha’s grandmother, refers to the mystical ties that bind people and events together. This cultural backdrop enriches the narrative and provides a framework for understanding the supernatural elements of the story, including the forgetfulness.

Makoto Shinkai’s Storytelling Style

Makoto Shinkai is known for his distinctive storytelling style, which often includes themes of longing, distance, and the passage of time. In “Your Name,” these themes are evident in the way Mitsuha and Taki’s relationship unfolds and the challenges they face in remembering each other. Shinkai’s use of stunning visuals and meticulous attention to detail enhances the emotional depth of the story, making the forgetfulness a poignant aspect of the characters’ journey.

Visual and Auditory Symbolism

The film’s visual and auditory symbolism also plays a significant role in conveying the themes of memory and connection. The recurring imagery of the red thread, the comet, and the landscapes of Itomori and Tokyo all contribute to the narrative’s emotional resonance. The soundtrack, composed by Radwimps, underscores the emotional beats of the story, adding to the overall impact of Mitsuha and Taki’s forgetfulness and reunion.


The forgetfulness experienced by Mitsuha and Taki in “Your Name” is a multifaceted phenomenon that serves both narrative and thematic purposes. It underscores the ephemeral nature of human connections, the power of fate and destiny, and the necessity of letting go and moving forward. Rooted in Japanese folklore and enriched by Makoto Shinkai’s storytelling style, the film uses forgetfulness as a poignant symbol of the enduring power of love and the deep, often inexplicable bonds that connect us. Despite the forgetfulness, Mitsuha and Taki’s eventual reunion affirms the idea that some connections are meant to be, transcending time, space, and even memory. “Your Name” remains a timeless masterpiece, resonating with audiences worldwide through its exploration of love, loss, and the unbreakable ties that bind us.


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