Genre(s): Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Slice of Life
Age-Appropriateness: 13+ (Some violence, minor language)
Platforms: None (Blu-ray release September 15)
Episodes: One 2-hour movie
TheAwersome Rating: 8.3 / 10 (Beautiful with the unexpected)
Premise: Tokyo is experiencing rain showers to no end. Amidst this seemingly eternal downpour arrives the runaway high school student Hodaka Morishima, who struggles to financially support himself—ending up with a job at a small-time publisher. At the same time, the orphaned Hina Amano also strives to find work to sustain herself and her younger brother.
Both fates intertwine when Hodaka attempts to rescue Hina from shady men and discovers that she has a strange yet astounding power: the ability to call out the sun whenever she prays for it. With Tokyo’s unusual weather in mind, Hodaka sees the potential of this ability. He suggests that Hina become a “sunshine girl”—someone who will clear the sky for people when they need it the most.
Things begin looking up for them at first. However, it is common knowledge that power always comes with a hefty price…
TheAwersome’s Thoughts: Weathering With You was an exciting and gorgeous piece that is difficult to extract from the shadow of its predecessor, Your Name. There’s a whole lot of breathtaking scenery and animation in this piece, especially when it comes to the rain (remember Garden of Words? Same people). I think what I appreciate most about this piece is that it defies expectations. Having such a central theme of drastically changing weather obviously makes one think of climate change. And yet there isn’t any moralizing, which was an interesting break from what one would expect.
On the flipside, there were several elements that set themselves up to be relevant points that were later forgotten or discarded.
TLDR: Definitely great and interesting, not quite Your Name caliber.
Perhaps my main beef with this piece is it had too much of an 80s/90s Kids’ movie vibe in regard to the stupid protagonist. He makes dumb choices that are dangerous and gets of scot free nearly every time, including the tired trope of “Bumbling police officers that always ruin everything.” Don’t get me wrong, I’m more or less on the ACAB train for current U.S. policing climate, but this kid just straight up defies them and fights them at every turn, including || pointing a gun at them || and gets away dandy and fine. The scenes involving said defiance could have been cut by 12 minutes with no detriment to the rest of the movie.
I also feel that there were several elements that could have been explored more. Especially since they set them up all mysteriously to intrigue you into the next Act, only to never go back to them. I feel my extra critical eye for this movie is primarily due to the “Seinfeld Curse,” meaning because of a previous major success (Your Name) it’s hard to watch it without comparing everything to that great standard. But I also feel that Makoto Shinkai himself had that too much in his mind, because this really felt a lot like it was trying to be “The Next Your Name” rather than simply “Another Great Movie by Makato Shinkai.”