A new film from the imagination of writer and director Makoto Shinkai finally hit UK cinemas in January. Initially released to Japanese audiences in the summer of 2019, the film has already received worldwide critical acclaim and has been nominated for several awards.
Some may recognise Shinkai’s name as the mind behind the gorgeously-animated film Your Name (2016) that tells the story of a boy and girl who swap bodies.
Weathering With You (2020) is equally stunning in ways that nod to Your Name (2016), only this time it focuses on the details of life in one location that is Tokyo. The film perpetuates this importance of life in Tokyo as its plot revolves around a boy and a girl who can make the sun shine when it rains and who make a business out of it to survive. The animation team’s ability to turn something as simple as the weather into a mesmerising piece of pure art makes this a film to try and catch on the big screen while you can.
Shinkai cleverly combines elements of the supernatural with the social difficulties and realities of young adults and teenagers in Japan that range from real loss to the struggle to stay alive and employed. The variety of characters ensures everyone will find someone to adore or identify with, from Hina and her many sacrifices to the adorable six-year-old Nagi.
You don’t really need to be a diehard anime fan to love this film. Yes, there are moments for Your Name fans to appreciate, but there are moments for newcomers too. For a start, the soundtrack provided by RADWIMPS is almost impossible not to appreciate. Plot-wise, you’ll think you know where it’s headed and still find yourself surprised and thrown off your own emotional balance. Most importantly though, like any great film, everyone will have their own moral struggle on whether they would have made the same decisions as the characters.