Makoto Shinkai’s Your Name is a sci-fi romance movie that charmed fans worldwide. While the film doesn’t necessarily need a sequel or any additional special OVA, it hasn't stopped people from talking about potential spin-offs to the original movie due to its success and popularity. The argument against continuations, on the other hand, is that Your Name concludes rather perfectly.
Your Name follows Mitsuha Miyamizu and Taki Tachibana in a unique, romantic body swap story. At the conclusion of the film, the two reunite five years later at the stairs of the Suga Shrine. The story comes full circle: the two simultaneously ask, “Kimi no na wa?” which roughly translates to “Your name is…?” Throughout the story, Mitsuha and Taki struggled to remember each other’s names, only to be reunited at the end to ask it finally. Now, the question is, does Your Name need further spin-offs?
With Mitsuha and Taki asking each other's names at the end, it signifies the beginning of their relationship, implying a happy ending. However, some viewers felt that the ending was a bit anticlimactic, believing that there is still some “unchartered” territory worth exploring in the franchise. This has led to discussions of a possible spinoff or side-story OVA. For example, some fans are interested in exploring the lore behind Mitsuha’s family shrine that protects Itomori. A potential adventure can happen for Mitsuha’s sister, Yotsuha Miyamizu, since she also partakes in the shrine traditions. Naturally, there is a desire to see a side-story where Mitsuha and Taki are a happy couple. Yet despite these grand speculations, many fans are adamant that Your Name is already a complete story, and any spin-off or sequel would tarnish its name.
Even though it's doubtful that a spin-off or special OVA will happen, there have already been light novels released along with the announcement of an upcoming Hollywood live-action adaptation. When the original anime film was released, Makoto Shinkai published a light novel for the movie, telling the entire story of Your Name in writing. However, there are a few subtle differences between the film and the book -- so completionist fans may want to check it out.
The first difference is that the novel is told strictly in first-person, either in Mitsuha’s or Taki’s perspective. In the book, specific movie scenes were told from their perspectives or taken out, such as the bridge scene where Taki and Mitsuha pass each other. In addition, the light novel provides us with more internal dialogues about the “body-swapping” experiences and presents a more dynamic role for Ms. Okudera. Although these are just small changes, it is still worth reading for fans interested in seeing how the beautiful visuals of Your Name can be adapted into the written word.
Beyond the initial book, there is another light novel for the franchise, Your Name. Another Side: Earthbound, by Makoto Shinkai and Arata Kanoh. It tells the story of Your Name from various perspectives of the other characters, specifically Mitsuha’s friends and family. You gain a better understanding of the comet's impact and understand how strong the communal bond is for the people who live in Itomori.
For those who have already read the existing light novels or aren't interested in them, there is still the aforementioned Hollywood adaptation of Your Name on the horizon. The live-action adaptation will be produced by J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot, Paramount Pictures and Toho, and is set to be directed by Lee Isaac Chung. As of right now, the live-action script is still being written with this reimagined synopsis, “two teenagers discover they are magically and intermittently swapping bodies. When a disaster threatens to upend their lives, they must journey to meet and save their worlds.” The film will also take place in the US.
Despite Your Name being a successful, self-contained story, it continues to garner discussions of expanding its world -- which speaks volumes about the film's impact and reception. With the light novels and the live-action movie, Your Name fans have enough material to be satisfied for a while. Not to mention, you can always check out Makoto Shinkai’s Weathering With You, which has cameos of adult Taki and Mitsuha living their lives in the city of Tokyo being submerged into the ocean. For those looking for the pair's happy ending, you can find some pleasure in their lasting relationship.