The wait to know how long anime fans in North America will have to wait is finally over.
If you enjoy anime or Asian cinema, odds are you’ve been hearing a lot about Your Name, director Makoto Shinkai’s latest completed project. After all, it’s been shattering all sorts of box office records since it opened in Japan at the end of last summer.
However, if you’re a North America-based anime fan, the many times you’ve heard about Your Name is probably in stark contrast to the precious few opportunities you’ve had to actually see it. While the film had its world premiere at Los Angeles’ Anime Expo in July, and also showed briefly at a single theater in the City of Angels to qualify it for consideration for an Oscar nomination, those are the only two screenings that have been held for Your Name thus far in North America, even as theatergoers in the U.K., China, and South Korea have already been able to watch it on the big screen.
So it’s to great rejoicing that U.S. anime distributor Funimation has finally announced the North American theatrical run for Your Name, which is scheduled to get underway on April 7, with a total of 200 screens currently committed to show the film.
Makoto Shinkai's "Your Name" is coming to North American theaters this April 7th! See details here:… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…—
Funimation (@FUNimation) January 17, 2017
While the advent of multi-audio track DVDs and Blu-rays has taken much of the fire out of the great “subbed vs. dubbed” debate that once raged so hotly among English-speaking anime fans, Funimation recognizes that certain individuals still have very strong preferences in the matter, and so Your Name will be shown in both subtitled and dubbed formats in the U.S. and Canada. What’s more the dubbed version will feature new English vocals for the film’s four songs from Japanese rock band Radwimps, with the lyrics written and sung by Yojiro Noda, who filled those same roles for the original Japanese versions.
While the North American theatrical run is still three months off, the new songs seem to be essentially finished. For two weeks starting from January 28, theaters in Japan will start screening a special version of Your Name that keeps the Japanese dialogue, but drops in the English songs.
The reworked music even has Shinkai’s blessing, as the director commented:
“In Your Name, there’s a connection between the theme songs, the character’s dialogue, and the story itself…With the English songs, I hope that North American audiences will be able to enjoy Your Name on an even deeper level.”
Really, though, we’re sure North American audiences are just happy that their excruciating months of waiting are almost over.