Weathering with You is visually stupendous. Unfortunately, it is weighed down by a flimsy ending.
Weathering with You Synopsis
Morishima Hodaka is a runaway teen who discovers the painful way that Tokyo is not the place to be for someone like him. Fortunately, he is taken in by Suga Keisuke, a struggling online writer, after which he also meets Amano Hina, an enigmatic girl who claims to be two years older than him. Throughout these, Tokyo is besieged by record-breaking rainfall, and urban legends soon surface about a “sunshine girl” and a “rain girl,” the former of which is supposedly able to stop the rain. The sunshine girl turns out to be none other than Hina. Seizing the opportunity, Hodaka and Hina begin offering prayer services. For a small fee, they will ensure brief bouts of good weather over small locations.
I’ll begin by highlighting what I loved about Shinkai Makoto’s latest masterpiece.
So as to be “fair,” I’ll refrain from comparisons with Your Name too. 🙂
What I loved: The animation and art, of course! Gosh, I almost wept with joy at some of the scenes. Not only did these instantly transported me back to Tokyo, reminding me of all my visits, every single one accurately captured the ambience of Japan’s capital. As in the crowds, the vibrancy, the often dazzling and bewildering colours too. Hereby, I give special mention to the backgrounds, set-pieces so intricate and detailed they are rare even in the best Anime series. Fleeting as these scenes might be, they complement the story and characters in a way that could only be described as lovingly obsessive. You are not just watching a Tokyo story with Weathering with You. You will feel as if you are in Tokyo.
An actual 2019 Tokyo btw. Click here to see how so many places in the movie are meticulous copies of actual Tokyo streets and sights.
As for what I didn’t like, well, no easy way for me to write this, so I’ll just say it straight. I disliked the ending. It felt rushed and unrefined. A stark, ugly contrast to the painstaking build-up in the first half.
Yes, I understand the movie is a veiled discussion of individualism versus social/family responsibility. Given the way Tokyo treated them, the leads have no obligations whatsoever to resolve the crisis on hand too. That said, this being Fantasy Anime, couldn’t there have been a better resolution? A less incomplete, less grudging finale? One that doesn’t leave so many questions hanging in the rain ?
Maybe Shinkai Makoto’s real intension for this story is to depict the many irresolvable dilemmas in life. I don’t know.
Or maybe I missed something during the ending. Whichever the case, the conclusion felt like a chip in an otherwise perfect cup. I felt a great deal of finesse was removed from the story.
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