Weathering With You is Makoto Shinkai’s latest movie. Shinkai is a wonderful director best known for the hit movie “Your Name”. Just like Your Name, Weathering With You is a romance drama with a supernatural mystery. Shinkai once again expresses his mastery over the genre with Weathering with You. Weathering with You tells the story of Hodoka Morishima who ran away from home and is now living in Tokyo. He gets a job at a startup tabloid paper and eventually meets Hina Amano. Hina is a young but mature and cheerful girl who can change the weather when she prays. Hodoka and Hina come up with a business idea to bring sunshine to parts of the unusually rainy Tokyo. Hodoka, Hina and Nagi, Hina’s younger brother, quickly become close friends while bringing sunshine to the Tokyo.
The best thing about this movie was no doubt the animation. Everything was beautiful. Tokyo was vibrant, alive and full of people. It looked exactly how a large city should but animated. It wasn’t just alive but also detailed. When a character walked through a puddle you saw the reflection of them, you were able to see through clear umbrellas, the rain effects didn’t feel recycled because it would bounce off the things in the shot. There wasn’t one time where something seemed off. I could go on about how impressive the animations were, but I want to mention the side characters.
While Hina and Hodoka were great, the side characters were just as good. Keisuke Suga is the one to give Hodoka a job and a place to live in Tokyo. Keisuke sees a lot of his younger self in Hodoka. Keisuke lives with Natsumi. Natsumi is strong-willed but also the comic relief character. She believes the supernatural stories their tabloid writes about and she constantly teases Hodoka. Natsumi and Keisuke chemistry works well together and they’re kind of like parent figures to Hodoka. Nagi, Hina’s younger brother I mentioned earlier is mature for his age. He’s always looking out for Hina and there is a funny gag of him being popular with girls.
There were only two things that bothered me about this movie. The first being is the middle felt rushed. As Hodoka and Hina were becoming friends it just felt like that, just friends. There were times it was obvious Hodoka was attracted to Hina but the feeling didn’t seem mutual. If the movie wasn’t marketed as a romance this wouldn’t be an issue but it is. It just felt hard to believe the defining moment of the movie because of this. There are some moments in the first act of the movie where Hodoka was living off the streets of Tokyo you could cut to make more time on expanding their relationship. The second thing is just me nitpicking but the movie wasn’t subtle about foreshadowing at all. There are multiple times where the movie tells you why a character does something or tells you the premise of the plot. Showing is always better than telling. Again, this is me nitpicking but Shinkai did such an amazing job with subtlety in Your Name, its just disappointing he chose not to be with this movie.
That being said, it is still a wonderful movie. I don’t want to give away the ending, but it is inconclusive. I’m a sucker for a conclusion that makes you question the morality of the characters and gives them more depth so I enjoyed it but I can understand why others wouldn’t. Weathering with You still has the best animation to date, great characters, storytelling and its just a fun time to watch. I of course recommend anyone on the fence about it. Its going to be in theaters for the rest of the week. I give Weathering with You a strong.