Pages Navigation Menu

"No matter where you go, there you are."


Review: Weathering With You – “Wonderfully thought out and rich with characters”

Makato Shinkai has been a constant name in anime but recently made it into the western mainstream with ‘Your Name’ in 2016, which blended breath-taking animation with supernatural elements. Weathering With You has a similar approach, such that it has already been selected as Japan’s entry for best foreign film at the Oscar’s and frankly I think this has a great chance of winning. The film is a mystical coming of age tale, focused on the teenage leads Hodaka and Hina it is charmingly romantic, funny and has absolutely gorgeous art.

Hodaka has run away from home and tries to fend for himself in Tokyo – which has so far had two months of continuous rain. He starts off as a small fish in a big city, unable to comprehend with its sheer size and chaos. Finding his way around the mean streets and in need of work he calls up Keisuke Suga, a man he met on the boat to Tokyo and joins his tabloid magazine. The magazine specialises in supernatural events and through it, Hodaka meets Hina, a girl who can supposedly control the weather.

Japan has a rich cultural history that feels antiquated in the modern era. Mysticism, folk tales and culture have been lost to time and Weathering with You taps into this loss. Hina’s ability to stop the rain is mostly seen as luck by Keisuke rather than anything supernatural. Even Hodaka starts off as a sceptic when he gets a job writing for the supernatural magazine, but once he meets Hina he starts to believe. The audience will have far more fun leaning into the mysticism as the films mixed message of the consequences of ignoring these old traditions depends on your point of view, especially at its ending.

There is an attention to detail that makes this film stand out against all other anime, from the backgrounds to the reflections cast in puddles. It’s a fever dream for artists and amateurs to look at so much beautiful art, oftentimes in unglamorous locations. The apartment he lives in feels real like you could reach out and pick up any of the items within. This is not just because of the art but because of the thought put into designing the items that fill these locations. Of course, when the film delves into fantasy your pupils will dilate at the majesty of the clouds. It deserves to be watched in a theatre rather than just waiting for the DVD release.

Although the pair are brought together by supernatural events, there are real-life issues happening to the cast. Keisuke is preoccupied with reuniting with his daughter, Hodaka’s reason for ruining away is never addressed and Hina is taking care of her little brother. It is a rich cast and they are far more developed that they were in Your Name. The actions they take do have real consequences and it isn’t long before the police arrive asking for Hodaka. Weather With You is a fresh voice in film, wonderfully thought out and rich with characters. Every second will delight you.

Next PostPrevious Post


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.