Title: Your Name. Another Side: Earthbound Vol. 1
Author: Arata Kanoh (Story), Jyunya Nakamura (Art), Makoto Shinkai (Original Story)
Publisher: Yen Press
Genre: Sci-Fi, Romance
Publication Date: December 11, 2018
Just when you thought Your Name was gone and finished, along comes a nice little side story manga series called Your Name. Another Side: Earthbound! While Makoto Shinkai is the original creator for the overall series, this story is done by Arata Kanoh and drawn by Jyunya Nakamura. The story focuses on Mitsuha short after she started switching bodies with Taki. While there are some scenes in here that are familiar with those who read/watched the original source material, this series serves to fill in some of the blanks left by that source material.
For instance, it takes us through Taki as Mitsuha and some of the interactions he had with some of Mitsuha’s classmates. It shows him forgetting some of her classmate’s names along with excelling at sports, namely basketball. It also was a nice depiction of how guys would act if trapped in a girl’s body by doing things such as wearing the wrong skit, forgetting to wear a bra, or even tying their hair incorrectly. Also, Taki Mitsuha tends to talk with a Kansai dialect which draws suspicion. It’s kind of funny how people like Tessie and Sayaka notice the difference in her personality from time to time but don’t really think to question it. They just assume she’s going through a phase which is the perfect scenario for Taki.
Once we witness life as a girl for Taki, Tessie wants to do something to help change the town and make it less mundane. They feel that there is a lack of a café in the town so Tessie gets the idea to build one themselves on an abandoned piece of land. Taki, as Mitsuha, hilariously lends a hand, with no shame about exposing some of her more female aspects to the world as he’s not used to behaving in a bit more protective manner. Still, he/she ends up being the real workhorse between the three of them but despite their best efforts, they weren’t able to finish the café by the time the evening came. It is a shame because this brought us to the point where Taki and Mitsuha stopped swapping bodies with each other.
Our first volume comes to a close at that point.
I really liked this expansion as I can see why something like this didn’t make it to the film. All of these scenarios weren’t really all that important and wouldn’t have added much to the movie with the exception of building the café. I think that if they included that, it could have brought some more emotion between Mitsuha, Tessie, and Sayaka. Realizing Taki wouldn’t be swapping again means he would have never seen the completion of the café. Just think how much more of an impact it would have had on Taki had he visited the town after the comet crashed and saw the ruins of the café stand there? Talk about a moment of missed opportunity!
Mitusha and Taki were already covered extensively in my previous reviews. Tessie and Sayaka didn’t really get all that much in terms of development but we did get to see Tessie’s good nature on display here. The fact that he agreed with Mitsuha about wanting to get out of this town showed his rebellious side but at the same time, he realized that because of his family commitment, there really wasn’t a way for him to escape. That’s why he opts to try and change the town for the better so that he can make the best of a non-ideal situation for himself.
The fact that he came up with the idea of adding the café was just one small part to a much bigger picture. Of course, we all know that anything he does is futile until Taki goes to drink the mystical spit sake 😊
Still, it gave you a deeper look into Tessie as a character while Sayaka is still the same Sayaka. She serves as the person to keep Tessie in check. It’s no wonder these two ended up together in the end!
If you were a fan of Your Name and felt a bit empty after the movie and subsequent light novel and manga series, then this series looks to fill in those gaps and make the story feel a bit more complete. It had a nice balance of familiar scenes that we’ve seen before and new material that really helped bridge some of those times where it just felt a bit rushed. Your Name. Another Side: Earthbound, so far, is a great compliment to the main series and I believe if you want to complete your experience, this is a series you should pick up and check out!
After all, we do need us some more Shinkai to hold us over until Weather Girl comes out next summer!
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This item was provided for review by Yen Press