Weathering with You review
As people, even with the new technology we've discovered, we're still controlled by the weather. The Earth has been consistently been shaped and molded by the weather for billions of years and will continue to do so after people are gone. Getting back to now, we tend to take for granted how much we've had to plan everything around extreme heat, rain, snow, or even the devastation of fires and tornados. It affects communications and transport. It can throw events inside or even cancel them if things are bad enough. As humans, our whole lives have to work around the weather.
Living in Southern California, I'm used to consistent sunshine and the heat that comes with it. Most of the year its great, but during the summer, my whole way of life adapts to the indoors to avoid the over one hundred degree heat. I'm also lucky to be away from areas that have constant rain and humidity. Let's say science had found a way to make whatever whether we'd want, would you use it? I'd bet a lot of money that you would. The story of a girl who can bring the sun is mixed in with a love story in the new anime Weathering with You.
Young Hodaka Morishima is a teenage runaway to goes to a rainy Tokyo looking for meaning and purpose. He's saved from falling off the boat by a man Keisuke Suga who tells the boy to come to him for help if needed. Hodaka unsuccessfully tries to make it on his own before he goes to Keisuke and gets a job at his publishing company. Hokaka also meets a college girl Natsumi who he assumes is Keisuke's mistress. Together, they all write articles about urban legends and conspiracy theories for a tabloid paper.
While out on an assignment, he finds a teenage girl Hina and helps her escape a club trying to hire her. They make it to an abandoned building where she reveals she can bring the sunshine for brief periods after praying. The two realize that they could turn her magical skill into a business and help Tokyo with the greater then usual rainfall. Hodaka also uncovers that she is something called a "weather maiden" who, according to legend, can bring the weather. The two go about their business as Hodaka continues to write about her. But what happens when Hina uses up her time and what happens to Tokyo?
Weathering with You is the highly anticipated follow up to the masterpiece of Your Name, which was directed by Makoto Shinkai. Honestly, this is another great movie that builds on what made Your Name incredible…perhaps a little too closely. It's a different story and a different kind of magic the characters face, but when you think about the plot points and how the love story plays out, it's similar to Your Name. those that haven't seen Your Name aren’t going to notice, but it was a little distracting for me.
I can't say the ruins everything because everything else is really good. I'll start by admiring how beautiful this movie is to look at. Anime is known for amplifying the hand drawn style, but this is something that really hypnotizes you and takes you into this Tokyo. As with Your Name, locations are beautiful, the weather is beautiful, and even the food is beautiful (including what has to be the best-looking Big Mac I've seen from a McDonalds). Almost any frame could be put on a matte and probably be called a masterpiece.
The story may be hitting some beats of Weathering with You, but I still liked it. I think it's because they try to main the main characters different in Weathering with You. Hina is very likable as a girl who herself doesn't understand her powers. Though his teenage angst got a little annoying, you could still get behind Hodaka as a lot of kids who want to see the world would want to. The biggest difference is that their relationship affects a lot more people…and I mean the population of Tokyo. Much of where the future of the rain and city goes depends on the relationship of our heroes.
I'll give this four anime McDonalds out of five. While it's not as good as Your Name, that’s like saying is off by a few points rather then a level. Keep in mind I saw the English dub, though I expect the Japanese language movie to be just as good. Anime fans will love this, and perhaps some of the mainstream crowd if their open to it. The sun shines on this movie.