In talking to people and watching videos about Your Name (reminder: it’s amazing and you should see it if you haven’t), I noticed that there’s a lot of confusion on the specifics of the timeline. On repeated viewings I have noticed that events are generally closer together than I initially assumed, so I took it upon myself to use cues from the movie to construct a timeline of exactly when everything happens. Obviously there will be massive spoilers for the movie, and this isn’t a movie you want spoiled, so beware!
Due to the presence of smartphones in the movie, as well as the diary entries the characters leave for one another, there’s quite a bit of time information to be had if you stop to look for it. All of the plot-relevant bits listed below can be determined through dialogue or contextual cues, but a deep dive does make it clear that the timing of events was carefully thought out. There are a few basic premises I’m working under, which I’m confident of but aren’t necessarily spelled out explicitly by the movie:
- With the exception of the kuchikamisake-induced switch in the final act, all of the switches happen between the same calendar date for Taki and Mitsuha, albeit in 2016 and 2013, respectively. For example, September 4 for Taki is September 4 for Mitsuha as well. While the calendar dates are consistent, the days of the week differ between those years. Taki is always three weekdays earlier than Mitsuha (so her Tuesday is his Saturday).
- Whenever Taki is inhabiting Mitsuha’s body, the reverse is also true. After all, if it weren’t, no one would be inhabiting the other’s body, and the other wouldn’t be inhabiting anyone’s body.
With those rules in mind, let’s get started. I’ll go chronologically, and use the same color coding as the diary entries on Taki’s phone to indicate who is inhabiting a character: blue for Taki, and red for Mitsuha. With the exception of Taki’s brief appearance at the end of the 2013 timeline, 2013 covers Mitsuha and 2016 covers Taki. Both appear in 2021-22, but there is no switching going on at that point, so the colors simply indicate who the events are referring to.
For those keeping score, each character inabits the other’s body a total of nine times (covering 10 days, since one switch occurs for two consecutive days), not counting the final kuchikamisake-induced switch, over the course of one month.
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Taki inhabits Mitsuha’s body for the first time. We only see the opening moments of this day, and the only physical evidence he leaves is the note “Who are you?” in Mitsuha’s notebook. Mitsuha’s friends and family note that she is acting strangely at home and school.
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Mitsuha notes the first evidence of the switches that kicked off the day before. This is an eventful day, culminating in the kuchikamisake ritual at night.
Note: It is possible that the first switch actually happened earlier than 9/3, and that these scenes take place over the course of several days. The ritual certainly occurs on 9/4, but I do not believe anything in the movie necessarily ties all of Mitsuha’s scenes after the opening to a single day. Indeed, both the novelization and the manga state that the ritual happens days later. However, the film’s editing implies this is all a single day, albeit a busy one. The most compelling argument that this was all a single day is that, if it is, it means Mitsuha first became Taki on a Saturday. This scene is never showed in the film, but necessarily must have happened. If it happened on a weekday, you would expect Taki’s friends to be less surprised at Taki’s behavior in the next switch (the first shown in the film), and to have happened on another weekend there would need to be six days between switches, which is otherwise unprecedented. Of course, none of this materially affects the plot anyway!
Thursday, September 5, 2013
Taki inhabits Mitsuha’s body for the second time, though we do not see any specific evidence of what goes on this day. Later on, we see that Mitsuha has a “TAKI” diary on her phone that has an entry for this day, presumably written by him.
Saturday, September 7, 2013
Taki inhabits Mitsuha’s body for the third time, and again we don’t hear about it explicitly. There is another TAKI entry for this day.
Monday, September 9, 2013
Taki inhabits Mitsuha’s body for the fourth time. The movie makes no particular note of this occurrence, except that there is a third TAKI entry on this day.
Thursday, September 12, 2013
As Mitsuha, Taki causes a scene at school by knocking over a table in response to several students teasing Mitsuha about her father. The fourth TAKI entry takes place on this day. While presumably there are more entries in this diary, we do not see them shown during the movie.
Friday, September 13, 2013
Mitsuha learns of Taki’s actions the previous day, and combined with the accumulated evidence in her notebooks, realizes that the body switching is truly occurring.
Monday, September 16, 2013
Taki inhabits Mitsuha’s body for the fifth time. This period is covered during the Zenzenzense montage.
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Taki inhabits Mitsuha’s body for the sixth time. This period is covered during the Zenzenzense montage.
Friday, September 20, 2013
Taki inhabits Mitsuha’s body the second consecutive day, the only time during the movie when this occurs. This period is also covered under the Zenzenzense montage.
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Taki inhabits Mitsuha’s body for the seventh time. This period is covered during the Zenzenzense montage.
Sunday, September 29, 2013
Taki inhabits Mitsuha’s body for the eighth time. At five days, this is the longest gap between switches. This period is covered during the Zenzenzense montage.
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Taki wakes up as Mitsuha for the ninth and final time. He initially dresses in her school uniform, but instead of going to school, he goes with Yotsuha and grandmother to the body of the Miyamizu shrine’s god. He is suddenly awoken from his time as Mitsuha when her grandmother asks if he’s dreaming. It’s not clear who was inhabiting Mitsuha’s body or what happened to her for the rest of the night.
Thursday, October 3, 2013
Mitsuha, hoping to wake as Taki to go on a Tokyo date with Miss Okudera, finds herself suddenly crying and decides to visit Taki in Tokyo. It’s not clear if she’s attempting to crash the date or has already forgotten that Taki would be on one, though she does eventually arrive at the same bridge Taki does after that date. She does eventually find Taki, albeit a younger Taki who does not know her, and gives him her braided cord. She then returns home and asks her grandmother to cut her hair.
Friday, October 4, 2013
Mitsuha does not go to school, still saddened by the events of the previous day. She does meet her friends for the Autumn festival that evening, only to be killed along with 1/3 of Itomori’s population when a meteor splits off from the comet and impacts the town at 8:42 p.m.
After drinking Mitsuha’s kuchikamisake in 2016, Taki wakes up as Mitsuha, creating an alternate timeline. He convinces Tessie and Sayaka to help evacuate the town, though he is unable to convince Mitsuha’s father. Desperate, he goes to the body of the Miyamizu shrine’s god looking for Mitsuha in his own body (despite the time difference). He finds her at dusk (approximately 5:21 p.m.), and they each return to their own bodies.
Continuing the alternate timeline created by Taki, Mitsuha returns to Itomori and puts the evacuation plan into effect. Sayaka manages to broadcast an evacuation message for about half an hour starting at 6:45 p.m., but few if any townspeople heed her warning. The comet visibly splits at some time between 7:14 and 7:49 p.m., after which Mitsuha reaches her father and this time convinces him to evacuate the town. With less than an hour to spare, they are successful, and no Itomori residents are killed.
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Itomori’s elections were scheduled for this day, though due to the destruction of part of the town it is unlikely they actually took place.
Saturday, September 3, 2016
Mitsuha inhabits Taki’s body for the first time. We do not see this happen in the movie, and there is no evidence that she left any notes during this time. The only reference to this event is when, on her next day in her own body, Mitsuha comments that she feels like she’s been dreaming of someone else’s life. Presumably, since this was a Saturday, Mitsuha had minimal interactions with Taki’s friends and didn’t cause enough of a scene for Taki to note that this had occurred.
Monday, September 5, 2016
Mitsuha inhabits Taki’s body for the second time. She is late to school and meets Taki’s friends, who notice that Taki is acting oddly. She is saved from a confrontation with a customer at work by Miss Okudera, and ends up repairing Okudera’s skirt and walking her home. She leaves the first diary entry on Taki’s phone, and writes her name on his hand before going to sleep.
Tuesday, September 7, 2016
Taki wakes up to find the name “Mitsuha” written on his hand, and discovers the diary entry she left the night before. Her report on events is backed up by the reaction from his coworkers that night.
Wednesday, September 7, 2016
Taki inhabits Mitsuha’s body for the third time, but the movie doesn’t specifically show what goes on during this day. She leaves another diary entry.
Friday, September 9, 2016
Taki inhabits Mitsuha’s body for the fourth time, and leaves a third diary entry. The day is otherwise not shown in the movie.
Monday, September 12, 2016
Taki inhabits Mitsuha’s body for the fourth time, and this time leaves two diary entries, though the day itself isn’t shown.
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Taki, looking at the diary entries Mitsuha has been leaving (now four in number), realizes that the switches are happening and are in fact real.
Friday, September 16, 2016
Mitsuha inhabits Taki’s body for the fifth time, and leaves a sixth diary entry. This period is covered during the Zenzenzense montage.
Monday, September 19, 2016
Mitsuha inhabits Taki’s body for the sixth time, and leaves a seventh diary entry. This period is covered during the Zenzenzense montage.
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Mitsuha inhabits Taki’s body the second consecutive day, the only time during the movie when this occurs. She leaves an eighth diary entry. This period is also covered by the Zenzenzense montage.
Saturday, September 24, 2016
Mitsuha inhabits Taki’s body for the seventh time, leaving a ninth diary entry. This period is covered during the Zenzenzense montage.
Thursday, September 29, 2016
Mitsuha inhabits Taki’s body for the eighth time, leaving a tenth diary entry. At five days, this is the longest gap between switches. This period is covered during the Zenzenzense montage.
Sunday, October 2, 2016
Mitsuha inhabits Taki’s body for the ninth and final time. Though we don’t see the events of the day, Mitsuha schedules a date with Miss Okudera for the following day, and leaves her eleventh diary entry, which details her plans for the date, in case Taki ends up going on it.
Saturday, October 2, 2016
It has been six days since Taki last switched with Mitsuha, so it is presumably around this time that he begins to suspect that the switching may have stopped.
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Taki skips school to go looking for Mitsuha, accompanied by Tsukasa and Miss Okudera. He is largely unsuccessful for most of the day until finally stumbling on a former resident of Itomori. This man drives them to the ruins of the town, and Taki cannot understand how it is possible that Itomori had been destroyed three years prior. All eleven of Mitsuha’s diary entries are corrupted and erased from Taki’s phone by some unknown force.
Thursday, October 20, 2016
Waking up the next day, Taki leaves a note for his friends telling them to return to Tokyo. He heads for the body of the Miyamizu shrine’s god, hoping to form a link with Mitsuha that will give him a chance to save her. He succeeds by drinking her kuchikamisake, waking up as Mitsuha after seeing visions of her entire life.
Mitsuha wakes up in Taki’s body, seemingly able to remember her own death. This memory comes back to her when she sees what is left of Itomori. She eventually encounters Taki across time at dusk, at which point the two switch back to their own bodies.
As night falls, Mitsuha disappears, and Taki quickly forgets her name or indeed why he even came to Itomori. He spends the night on the mountain.
Friday, October 21, 2016
Taki wakes up near Itomori, and starts heading home to Tokyo.
Monday, October 4, 2021
Taki is looking for a job with little success. He gets a message from Okudera, who is now married, and they spend the day together and talk about their odd trip to Itomori five years earlier.
Friday, December 3, 2021
Still interviewing for jobs, Taki overhears a conversation between Sayaka and Tessie, who are engaged to be married, in a coffee shop. Later that night, he happens to walk past Mitsuha, but the two do not connect with one another.
With the cherry blossoms in bloom, Mitsuha and Taki make eye contact across two separate trains, recognizing each other. They both scramble to find one another, and eventually do, though neither is initially prepared to actually admit to a total stranger that they seem to know them. Eventually, Taki does, and the two ask each other their name.