WEATHERING WITH YOU (Tenki no ko) [2019]


weathering_with_you_philippines_release


A young high school student, Hodaka Morishima, is running away from school and is heading to Tokyo. His trip nearly ends in disaster as he his thrown off the ferry by abnormal, powerful rainstorms that have been pummelling Tokyo without end in an unprecedented fashion. Weathering With You wastes no time in offering a taste of the other-worldly situations that are to come. 

Hodaka is saved by the somewhat seedy Keisuke Suga, who gives Hodoka his business card in case he ever needs it. Hodaka cannot work officially as he should be in school, so he soon uses the card and finds himself working for Keisuke and his niece Natsumi at their publishing company, which much like Keisuke, doesn’t look or feel professional and has no qualms about hiring a kid who legally shouldn’t be working at all.

They soon decide to investigate various urban legends relating to the unusual weather, and soon Hodaka and Natsumi venture out after learning of a fortune teller who may have information to offer. This psychic tells them that the constant storms are a result of ‘weather maidens’ who have an ability to control the weather.

This leads them to Hina Amano, a girl who Hodaka had recently met earlier working a  really does possess this supernatural ability. She and Hodaka become friends and launch a business together, where Hina creates brief bouts of sunshine for those willing to pay. The animation, not for the first time, presents these scenes in a mesmerising fashion. Makoto Shinkai has successfully created his own unique style of animation, most of which he creates himself. 

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However, the constant use of her power proves to be risky, and the two decide to stop the business. Hina though decides to do it once more before abandoning her ability. However, her final creation of sunlight suddenly creates many fantastical events that affect both teenagers. These sequences are both hypnotising and emotionally poignant in their beauty. 

Weathering With You further separate Shinkai from the initial and inevitable Studio Ghibli comparisons he heard earlier in his career, some even labelling him ‘The New Misaki’. Shinkai dismisses such comparisons; many of his films may contain moments of fantasy, but the directors keen eye allows these moments of colourful, surreal events to often play out in a very plain, almost depressing Japan, especially in this and his last film. Omitting the core of the plot of course, nothing special or interesting happens here: greys often fill the screen as the atypical weather causes constant rain. 

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Additionally, Hodaka’s uncomfortable workplace and the fact he is running away from something combine to contrast brilliantly against the dream-like visual feasts. We also quickly learn about and care for these characters, where the events of the final act subsequently truly tug at the proverbial heartstrings.

Shinkai has again looked toward the sky for an unconventional narrative, creating a simultaneously similar yet very different film when compared to Your Name, his immensely popular last film that became the highest grosssing anime film. Slight hints posit the possibility that the two take place in the same cinematic world, a thoughtful proposition if you carefully compare the similarities and differences.

However, despite the mastery behind the scenes, Weathering feels a very slight notch below Your Name, but it still remains a sensitive and unique film, one that rewards repeat viewings.


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9 Comments on “WEATHERING WITH YOU (Tenki no ko) [2019]

    • This director is the best anime director out there, period. His last film looked just as good, and the guy is involved in the animation himself. He is very much distancing himself from Ghibli comparisons, this is something else entirely, I hope he somehow is able to release movies more often!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Its well your time, similar but totally different premises =]

      This guy really is nothing like Mizayaki, but he has become the most influential anime director out there, and that he does a majority of his own animations makes it just that much cooler!

      Like

  1. Makoto Shinkai’s films are worth it for the gorgeous visuals though I tend to find his films needlessly incoherent. Or maybe I’m just not up to the task of following his unconventional narratives?! I’m pleased to hear you love it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting, incoherent how? Its been a while since I saw his older films, but the last two were pretty straight forward, they both just used some creative writing to combine reality and fantasy. I love his stories personally but its not for everyone

      But yeah his animation is insane, and he fuckin does himself! HJe’s easily the best director of anime at the moment, there isn’t even a close second

      Liked by 1 person

      • I couldn’ give you examples, I just find Shinkai’s narratives hard work, slow, and tricky to follow. The non-linear aspect could be a reason, I don’t know. I think he’s a better animator than storyteller. Probably I’m in the minority though!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I can see why you’d think that. Perhaps cos I think very broadly, I’m able to connect the fantasy to the reality quite easily. Tho you may be right with your last statement. God his films look amazing, its worth seeing it on a big screen for his animation alone!

        I do think tho he currently is the king of anime, especially considering his last movie was the highest grossing anime of all time, which is a big fuckin deal eh!!

        I am counting down the days till his next film, tho I’m sure it’ll be at least two years,

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: I LOST MY BODY (J’ai perdu mon corps) [2019] | 500 CRAPPY WORDS A DAY

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