More than a few little birds have had it that the ending we know for Makoto Shinkai’s your name. wasn’t originally meant to be. Instead, rumour goes that Shinkai wanted Mitsuha and Taki’s bond to end in bitterness, with neither able to find and hold the other. Toho then supposedly argued against the unhappy climax and urged the director to close on an uplifting note, as all audiences repeatedly flocked to see. But this was just rumour, and there was always the question of whether these were ever Shinkai’s true intentions.
As it happens, your name. had its premiere screening on Japanese TV on January 3rd. After garnering rave viewer ratings of 17.4%, we can assume the sad end rumours got stirred up all over again. This time, however, Shinkai stepped into the fray to disprove the whispers once and for all. As he assured followers and fans on Twitter:
Kimi no Na wa. was finally aired on TV and I have received many impressions again. Thank you very much! An unexpectedly noticeable one is that the film was originally planned to end after Taki and Mitsuha passing each other and the company ordered me to change it to a happy ending. It is a misunderstanding (laugh). The ending was decided in the original plot even before the screenplay was written.
The tweet includes a photo of the mentioned original plot from 2014, in case there were any lingering disbelievers. But for us, the movie is all about hope and faith coming to fruition, even in the face of doubt and past loss, so we never would have thought the ending released was intended any other way. Don’t you agree? Or would you maybe have preferred the sharper heartstring tug of a sad ending?