By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
September 15, 2020
Nov 17, 2020
The anime Weathering with You (天気の子) is more than just a movie about climate change. It’s also about relationships and how people handle crises. Here, Hodaka Morishima (Kotaro Daigo) is not happy with his life and runs away from home. He believes he can do better by himself in Tokyo. However, with no valid credentials, nobody will hire him.
A chance encounter with Hina Amano (Nana Mori) turns out to be the best thing to happen for the lad. The two develop feelings and pretty soon a lot of obstacles get in their way to happiness. One of them includes the fact both are orphans and it doesn’t take very long for social services to catch up to them!
The mystery of why Japan is in an eternal wet spell is being investigated by Keisuke (Shun Oguri), but he doesn’t have any solid answers. This mystery is part of the plot, and without it, this movie would have been one-sided. This journalist has suspicions, but until he learns Amano has powers given to her by the almighty graces of Amaterasu, all his theories are just that. Very few people know she can manipulate the weather—an ability granted to her because of a wish—and it comes at a cost.
Director Makoto Shinkai made more than a love story. He’s taken a few folktales about how to live with nature and massages it into the later acts to give this movie a bittersweet meaning. Amano is more in control of her well being than Morishima, but when social services come calling, there’s no hiding her fear!
Meatloaf best sums up the boys feelings with the song, “I Would Do Anything For Love (but I Won’t Do That).” At the same time, this movie is more than just another romantic tale. In addition to adding in folkloric elements, there’s also the suggestion that weather is a manifestation of a collective consciousness–an interpretation some fans can agree on and others not. Also, not everyone knows what a Sunshine Girl is. The origins are multifold, and we don’t get all the details revealed when compared to the Sunshine Doll.
The home video release covers a lot of ground, and I’m very pleased that it explains everything! Not only do we learn about how Shinkai had many drafts prior but also, we get to see just what went on behind the scenes. Since this film’s release, it’s been praised at many film festivals and we get to visit a few of those Q&As too! We also learn how involved the band Radwimps was to the film. Shinkai explains why those cameos from the couple in Your Name exist, but I suspect there may be more. These films will have to be viewed back to back (and frame by frame) in order to find out.
The feature length documentary “Weathering with You and Beyond” is a must watch. It’s nice to see when this director is humble and when he realizes he has the weight of fandom upon him to realize a memorable anime. As for what he’ll produce next, no official announcements are made. This studio is very much still promoting this movie because of the North American home video release this week. Out of all the anime films I’ve seen in this genre of fantasy romance, we can’t expect a continuation for everything. I’d certainly favour a part two to Weathering With You over the Whisper of the Heart sequel, though. The latter would have debuted this week but is delayed due to covid.
4K Collector’s Edition
- 4K UHD Presentation Of Feature Film
- CD Soundtrack
- 104-Page Book
- Feature-Length Documentary “Weathering with You and Beyond”
- Decal Sticker
- Interview With Director Makoto Shinkai
- “Weather Front” Featurette
- Talk Show: Makoto Shinkai And Yumiko Udo
- Director Filmography Featurette
- Trailers & TV Spots
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