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In the second half of Your Name (after the body switching stops happening), Mitsuha and Taki can't remember each other's names. They can even end up forgetting the names within 10 seconds of seeing each other. Why does this happen? One theory I have is:

Before Taki intervenes, Mitsuha would have died when the comet hit. Taki couldn't remember her name because her future was hanging in the balance.

But this answer doesn't entirely work. For one,

He still fails to remember her name after they rescue Itomori, and Mitsuha is no longer at risk of dying

And second off

Taki was never in risk of dying in the comet, but Mitsuha still can't remember his name either.

So why did this happen? I know this is somewhat the main theme of the whole movie, but it never made sense to me how they could forget so quickly. It's almost like something was actively causing them to forget.

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Losing the associated memories is one of the effects of this mysterious phenomenon that the entire movie is based around, it happened in the scene you are asking about, but it also happened in reference to Mitsu's grandmother. All the supernatural occurrences in the movie are supposed to be caused by the shrine god, comet, the shrine maiden (Mitsu) or some combination of those three. Losing the memories associated with the body-swap/time-travel was quite simply just one of the effects of the supernatural phenomenon surrounding "Kimi no Na wa".

Going into specifics as to why it was that moment, exactly what memories they lost and why it happened so suddenly starts to enter the territory of artistic interpretation, this reddit post explains a few useful plot moments for understanding this and comes up with quite a good interpretation for why it happened at that moment because it had just reached twilight and they had just left the shrine which holds the symbolic meaning of leaving behind your most precious thing (their memories of each other).

The issue that I think you noticed with your theory is that it limits the forgotten memories to be specifically about death when really it was about much more. The reddit post is just one interpretation, exactly why is really up to the viewer.

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I had to read this elsewhere - but when Taki and Mitsuha respectively go into the shrine (the Underworld) they have to leave something behind in exchange for being allowed to return alive. That something is their memory of each other. In the twilight, Taki gives Mitsuho the thread she gave him [3 years later / earlier] so he loses his reminder of her.

  • Please include relevant sources/references. – W. Are Jul 3 at 13:45
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Since they mostly switched bodies after going to sleep, one could think of it like forgetting a dream. Sometimes when you wake up from a dream you don't remember what happened soon after, even while you are currently thinking about it; details can quickly fade away.

This also goes hand in hand with Mistuha and Taki not remembering anything while they were "awake". They were living as the other person, so large swatches of their days were unknown unless the other chronicled it for them while they were there. Taki would have no idea what happened that day if Mitsuha hadn't written in his e-dairy and Mitsuha wouldn't have know what had happened if Taki didn't leave her notes (or if her friends hadn't told her what happened).

When Mitsuha disappears, so does all of her data entries in Taki's e-diary, making it seem like she was only a dream and that all of Taki's memories of her and living as her were also a dream.

This is idea of dreaming is especially prominent when Grandma (Who knows that Mitsuha actually Taki) asks him, "Are you dreaming?".

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