Review of 'Weathering with You (Tenki no ko)'

weathering_with_you.jpg Morishima Hodaka (voiced by Kotaro Daigo) has run away from home. On the way to Tokyo he is rescued by a man named Keisuke Suga (voiced by Shun Oguri). In Tokyo, where is has been perpetually raining for months, Hodaka finds it difficult to find a job. Dejected and hungry he finds himself in a McDonalds where a kind employee, Amano Hina (voiced by Nana Mori), gives him a hamburger, lifting his spirits. Reluctantly Hodaka contacts Suga who runs a small publishing company where he is offered a job. One day Hodaka sees Hina seemingly being forced by two men into a building so helps her escape. He learns that Hina previously visited a shrine on the top of an abandoned building that appears to have given her the power to temporarily stop the rain. They quickly hatch upon the idea of making a business out of this which proves to be extremely successful. Hina and Hodaka grow to love each other but it is only a matter of time before the past will catch up with them…

Another incredible looking film from Makoto Shinkai that combines not only amazing visuals but also compelling, human characters. Unlike his other films here Shinkai's attention is on the big city, Tokyo, which looks utterly believable, realised in stunning detail. The story is fairly bizarre and, refreshingly, ends in way the viewer may not entirely expect. At odds with the film's reality is the way some of the critical, unusual, points in the story appear to be so easily accepted: The girl that can stop the rain, the continuous rain itself, the obviously under-aged boy alone in the big city…To me it seems these are not normal things and the reality of the story is called into question by none of the characters seemingly too bothered by it. “Oh yes, it is still raining after four months, must get on with ironing…” (!).

There is a lot of good humour here with the audience at the screening I attended tittering throughout. The film is not afraid to take it's time telling the story and exploring in detail it's characters. There are only a few action sequences though troubling, at least for me as a western viewer, are those that feature Hodaka and the gun he found that he uses to protect himself. I found it uncomfortable to see this child using a tool of ultimate violence against others (he does more than just point it…). It seems to me that this was perhaps a step too far and the story could have been accomplished without the cold shock of a weapon in the hands of a minor. Though, admittedly, it could have been the director's intention to shock but it jars in what is otherwise quite a gentle film.

Ultimately, as with many of Shinkai's work, “Weathering with You” (yes, it is a very odd title) is a love story as we root for the two lovers to find a way out of their situation and get together. Thankfully, given both are underage, this is very much a story of infatuation with even kissing very much off the board. A story of young love and a simple world outlook.

Another wonderful looking film from the masterful Makoto Shinkai that seamlessly blends stunning visuals, quirky story and compelling characters. Though it may cause some raised eyebrows in parts it is most definitely worth a watch.

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2020-01-19

Directed by: Makoto Shinkai

Studio: “Weathering With You” Film Partners

Year: 2019

Length: 114 minutes

Genre: Japanese Animation

Other reviewed films by Makoto Shinkai: