There’s no arguing that Makoto Shinkai’s mythical Weathering with You is a breathtakingly gorgeous visual experience. A massive box-office hit in Japan, it reiterates the appeal, power, and warmth of hand-drawn animation (albeit with a computerized touch here and there). It’s unabashedly romantic, despite some curious choices in regards to its representation of women. It contains scenes of tremendous power, but they occur sporadically, in-between drawn-out sequences that are as drippy as its rain-soaked rooftops. Weathering with You doesn’t quite achieve its lofty aspirations, but warrants your attention nevertheless.
“They soon form a bond, and then a website…Let’s make money with weather!”
Hodaka (voiced by Kotaro Daigo), a 15-year-old boy, finds himself stranded on the forever-rainy streets of Tokyo. He finds a job writing fake news for the snarky-but-affectionate Keisuke Suga (Shun Oguri). This leads to the discovery of a gun, and with its help, the rescue of Hina (Nana Mori) – the fabled “sunshine girl” who possesses a weather-controlling power. “You can clear up the sky just by praying,” Hodaka comments in awe at her prowess.
They soon form a bond, and then a website, offering up Hina’s services to the astonished public who’s had enough of the torrential downpours (“Let’s make money with weather!” Hodaka exclaims). Next thing they know, Hodaka and Hina go viral, rays of sunshine frequently – albeit briefly – ripping apart the black blanket of low-hanging clouds. When Hira’s caught on camera, they agree on “one last gig.” Here’s where things get interesting. Due to a curse associated with her kind, Hira’s doomed to be sacrificed, her body gradually deteriorating into a celestial glow. It all culminates in a chase sequence of sorts, a trip into another dimension, and a Mexican standoff.