I could still remember the moment when my guy best friend introduced me to Makoto Shinkai’s work. It was around the time when the Garden of Words was released. Compared to me, my BFF was a legit fan of the director’s work. Through that introduction, I got into Makoto Shinkai’s movies, from his first work to Garden of Words, I watched them all.
Still, I wasn’t really a fan of his work. Yes, his movies are amazing, especially the visuals, damn, but I always felt like there was something missing.
Then, Your Name was released. I admit it wasn’t on my radar. I was waiting for the KyoAni movie, A Silent Voice, which was released 2 weeks after the former. So the moment when everyone seemed to gush about it, the negative side of me keeps on saying that Your Name wouldn’t be that good, but dang it proved me wrong.
It was a masterpiece. However, I still felt like it was missing something.
But I am not here to talk about the most famous Shinkai Movie, but actually express my thoughts about his latest work, Weathering With You.
The movie aired last July 19, 2019, in Japan, but I was only able to watch the movie a month after. Because of its early release, I was bombarded with a lot “Spoiler-Free” -ish reviews and impressions from people. Most of them were positive and there were some negative points too. I tried not to mind them and keep my mind free from prejudice and expectations, after all, overcoming a huge wall called “Your Name” is no easy feat.
Infairness, the movie was amazing. It exceeded my expectations. Well, I mean, my expectations were at the lowest as I don’t want to be disappointed. Believe me, Makoto Shinkai and his team delivered once again.
PS: Okay, before anything else, let me tell you guys that I will try to keep my entry spoiler-free as there might still be readers and viewers out there who haven’t seen it yet. I might also compare this movie alot with its big brother, Your Name, as its the most known movie and it’s “connections”. Now that we’re clear, let’s continue.
As this is a Makoto Shinkai’s work, Weathering With You is a romance movie between two teenagers in a city of Tokyo. Their love story is not really original but because of the circumstances they were in, their love story was quite interesting. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as intriguing as Your Name, but it still delivered around the same amount of feels.
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… (MAL)
The setting of the movie was interesting as I never see rain as a huge problem in Japan. But I guess if it is constantly happening, I guess it would pose a problem to the people living there. It definitely made me see Tokyo on a different light. Let’s just say, I am that type of person who sees Japan as an almost perfect place. So seeing its realistic look on screen pretty much opened my eyes to the truth that Tokyo is just like any other city in the world. Believe me, that’s not a bad thing.
Just like its predecessor, the movie is tied in with another Japanese myth. Compared to the movie, Your Name, I only know the myth on face value so learning it through the movie definitely made me feel amazed. The myth was quite tragic in some sense and it fascinates me how vast the Japanese myths are.
For the story, personally, I really like it. I really like how different the story was compared to Your Name and how it had darker themes too. I guess my only problem with it was its length. Your Name story focuses on two people who were connected by fate and the movie pretty much focuses on their love story, and their struggles. But here with Weathering with you, it was condensed with a lot of stuff. Not only it focuses on the love story of the main characters, the movie also includes the emotional baggage of each important character in the movie. There’s also the myth involves too, which made the movie feel a bit too much to bear. A lot of stuff was happening, it was hard to focus. The pacing didn’t help too. There were times that the movie was going too fast for my liking and then slows down out of nowhere. I think if they removed a bit of the baggage of the supporting characters and had proper pacing, I think the movie would have been a lot better.
Still, though, I love how the movie turned out in the end as I am a huge fan of really good endings. And yes, bruh, this has one. I feel more satisfied with how this movie ended compared to its big brother, Your Name. Just sayin’.
Now for its characters. It seems the main characters of Makoto Shinkai’s works keeps on getting younger. Lol. I mean, from a graduating high schooler & teacher in Garden of Words to the high schoolers in Your Name, Weathering with You stars teenagers in their late middle school to early high school age range. Damn. Lol. Still, this information definitely makes you understand them well and their decisions. We all went through that phase too, even though, we actually never did what they did, we can empathize at least.
Hina & Hodaka were really likable. Even though this was only a movie, with a huge amount of emotional baggage that was exposed all throughout the movie, you can’t help but root and feel for them. The supporting characters were also amazing on their own, especially Nagi-senpai. He’s so charming!!
I also want to point out how amazing the performance of the voice actors was. The main leads got their parts right. I think casting newbies in voice acting definitely exude the needed matured innocence for the characters.
As this is a Makoto Shinkai’s newest piece, the art and animation should be an upgrade. And indeed it was. Not only the art and animation were realistically breathtaking, it was also smooth and fluid. Me seeing it on theatres definitely made my views biased as it was so gorgeous to see it in widescreen. What made me amazed more with this movie was the inclusion of 3D animation. Of course, this thing is inevitable as it made everything easier to the animation studio, seeing that they incorporate it well made me happy. Uuuggghhh…it was so good.
I think I couldn’t finish my review of this movie without expressing my thoughts about its “Easter eggs”. I heard a lot of hearsay saying that this movie might be connected to Your Name or something. My opinion about it would be that the only connection this movie has with each other would be the fact that both movies are made by Makoto Shinkai. The Easter Eggs were added by the director to please the fans of his works and its also his way of expressing his appreciation for all of the support. It was a nice touch on his part, and now, as a fan, I greatly appreciate and love this. That’s my two cents. Heh.
Overall, Weathering With You was an amazing movie. Watching it on theatre was an experience I could never replace with anything. But was it a lot better than Your Name. Nope.
Both are masterpieces, but flawed. I guess the only lingering bad point of Weathering With You would be the fact that it was the movie after Your Name.
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That’s it for now. I guess I expressed my thoughts well.
This has been Will Sirius and thanks for reading.