It’s been roughly three years since Makoto Shinkai took the anime spotlight with Your Name. The sensation swept the community and eventually paved the film as the highest-grossing anime film upon release. Shinkai returns this year with yet another hit film, Weathering with You, but it tackles weather and climate in a different way than one would expect.
With recent ongoing news about climate change and extreme weather patterns, the film’s story takes a different approach and builds itself around torrential rainfall in Japan. Hina, the female protagonist has the unique supernatural powers to stop the rain for a brief moment. Our male protagonist Hodaka eventually runs into Hina in Tokyo after running away from his home. Together and a few others, they figure out how to harness Hina’s powers to bring sunshine throughout the gloomy metropolis.
Throughout the movie, each individual’s actions have significant consequences, whether it impacts the environment or the people around them. The story builds heavily around the actions of Hina and Hodaka, for the better or the worst. With every action they take, it impacts indirectly impacts the few side characters and arcs.
Ironically, the film did a fantastic job bringing the most minor characters to life. It even leaves you hanging on what happened to them at the end of the film.
To complement the vibrant and colorful visuals, RADWIMPS returns to compose a wide array of themes and soundtracks. From the epic to emotional moments, the music compliments well with various scenes, a coordination between RADWIMPs and the director. Every scene packs an extra punch, leaving you absolutely breathless and completely moved.
Even after watching the film more than once, it can be difficult to convey the full extent of Makoto Shinkai’s beautiful storytelling and appreciate all the hard work from the staff. There are reasons why movies and films exist: to tell a story. Just like in Your Name, this movie is worth seeing multiple times to fully immerse yourself into Shinkai’s world. There’s a hidden message in each of his films that lies beyond the scope of politics, societal problems, and science itself. It’s a story about humanity and how all our efforts matter, even if it’s as small hoisting up umbrellas and sewing rain dolls.
Fortunately, GKIDS, the North American distributor, is releasing the film nationwide on 17 January 2019 after a limited fan screening on the 15th and 16th in select theaters.
The film is described as:
The summer of his high school freshman year, Hodaka runs away from his remote island home to Tokyo, and quickly finds himself pushed to his financial and personal limits. The weather is unusually gloomy and rainy every day, as if to suggest his future. He lives his days in isolation, but finally finds work as a writer for a mysterious occult magazine. Then one day, Hodaka meets Hina on a busy street corner. This bright and strong-willed girl possesses a strange and wonderful ability: the power to stop the rain and clear the sky…
Special thanks to GKIDS for the opportunity.