Should Makoto Shinkai’s anime have been about Top Gun Taki and Maverick Mitsuha?
While I like to think of myself of a fairly sophisticated media consumer, I can’t claim to be a definitive authority on each and every cinematic technique. And so, kind readers, I have a question I was hoping you could help me answer.
What makes a movie Top Gun?
Many would say that the litmus test that determines a movie’s Top Gun-ness is whether or not it happens to be a 1986 Tony Scott film about naval aviators. This protocol would suggest that Your Name, the 2016 science fiction romance anime from director Makoto Shinkai, has a very low Top Gun quotient, so low in fact that we could say with complete certainty that Your Name is not Top Gun. Or at least as much certainty as scientists can ever assert when disproving something.
But what if we instead applied the competing criteria, and evaluated whether or not a movie is Top Gun by seeing how well its visuals can work with Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone?” In that case, we’d come to the opposite conclusion, as Your Name actually has the components for a pretty awesome “Danger Zone” video, like the one put together by Japanese Twitter user @Yukke69.
▼ The music starts at the 0:09 mark.
どんな映画の予告だろうと「Danger Zone」を被せるとトップガンの新作になる気がする https://t.co/FADPAayfID—
ゆっけ (@Yukke69) July 29, 2017
The new background music lends a sense determined urgency to the movements of Your Name’s Taki and Mitsuha, making them seem more like a two-person F-14 flight crew than a pair of body-swapping high schoolers. For extra effect, @Yukke69 has also added in a mid-video caption that insist Your Name’s central Japan lake is actually the Indian Ocean, added subtitled dialogue of Taki psyching himself up in the mirror by saying “Show me what you’ve got,” and slapped Top Gun’s Japanese commercial title card on the end of the whole thing.
Even though he’s played with the animation timing and cuts to make them match the song’s rhythm, @Yukke69’s handiwork has been amping up fans of modern anime and ‘80s action movies, who’ve left comments such as:
“The sounds and visuals totally go together.”
“So are they gonna scramble the Tomcats to shoot down the meteorite?”
“Can you please do this for Shin Godzilla too?”
Here’s hoping that Loggins isn’t upset about his creation being borrowed for the mash-up, and also that @Yukke69 examines the other face of the coin by inserting Your Name’s iconic anthem “Zenzenzense” into a trailer for Top Gun.
Follow Casey on Twitter, where he realizes that other anime that might actually be Top Gun include Macross Plus and Kimagure Orange Road episode 40.