Weathering with You is the new film from Japanese director and animator Makoto Shinkai, who is best known for his 2016 masterpiece Your Name. Following a young boy Hodaka, who, during a time of torrential rainfall, meets an orphan girl, Hina, who can control the weather.
If you’ve seen Your Name then you will know that Makoto Shinkai likes these young adult romances that are mixed with fantasy elements, in this case it is the mythology around Hina and her weather controlling powers. But Shinkai uses these fantasy elements to push the relatable and touching human story at the heart of his films to the fore. In Weathering with You he really makes you care about Hodaka and Hina and makes you root for them. This is done with his masterful script. As well as having beautiful and moving scenes he has such a great grasp of the how to use comedy and moments of levity to really make you fall in love with all his principle characters.
The other most instantly apparent aspect of Shinkai’s work is the stunning visuals. Your Name is one of the most beautiful films to look at of all time, and Weathering with You follows in its footsteps. The animators that work with Shinkai have done an exceptional job bringing this story to life, and I genuinely feel as though you could enjoy Weathering With You for just the visuals alone if you didn’t have the subtitles there. Every shot is akin to a painting, and in expect that shots from it will become as abundant across the internet as ones from Your Name.
But you may have noticed that I have spent a good amount of time alluding Your Name, in particular the similarities between the two. And you can see that a number of the same narrative beats occur in the two films. It certainly doesn’t ruin Weathering with You, which is still a magical experience to watch, but there is no question that it isn’t quite as fresh.