Weathering With You (「天気の子」) First Impressions
by Rakka • Tags: anime makoto-shinkai
I just had the chance to watch Weathering With You two months early(!!) at AnimeNYC. Overall, I like the movie more than 2016’s Your Name. I still don’t think it tops 5 Centimeters Per Second, but they’re extremely different movies, and almost can’t be compared.
If you haven’t yet, check out my favorite trailer for the movie, which starts with a retrospective of Makoto Shinkai’s works.
Some quick thoughts (spoiler-free):
- RADWIMPS has improved on their soundtracks! Compared to Your Name, there’s a wider variety of songs, with more memorable ones, and less reliance on a single motif (though, the main motif of “Is There Still Anything Love Can Do?” still is front and center). Like Your Name, there’s several vocal pieces spread out throughout, and this time, the voice actor for Hina joins in. However, their non-vocal tracks still fall short of what TENMON achieved with 5 Centimeters.
- Obviously, the visuals are even more stunning. Unlike Your Name and the kuchikamizake trip, I don’t think there was a single “bombshell” moment, though. Shinkai continues his race towards realism - at this point it’s more like “if real life were an anime”. Also unlike Your Name, I didn’t notice anything at all that seemed jarringly CGI-rendered. Some panning shots had to have been done with CGI, but they were smooth. Meanwhile, in Your Name, where characters occasionally “moon-walked” across the background, and some backgrounds were very jerky—notably panning shots of the crater.
- Plot-wise, Shinkai sticks to the fantasy(-lite) template of Your Name and Children Who Chase Lost Voices. It’s a little messy: there’s more things going on, and many of them are never really explained. However, where Your Name felt like it occasionally dragged or chugged, Weathering With You stayed well-paced throughout. In my opinion, the messiness is fine—not everything works out nicely or makes sense or has a neat explanation, and sometimes you just don’t know why things happen or what happened while you were living your own life. (In a way, this is a nice little callback to 5 Centimeters, intentional or not.)
- The observational/situational humor (MINOR SPOILERS: and some boob jokes…) stays; this is much less a serious film than the ones before Your Name.
I was lucky enough to acquire the novel early as well, thanks to the Yen Press booth at AnimeNYC, and will read it soon for comparisons :)
Update 2019/11/21: I put up a review of the novel.
- The biggest unexplained moment, in my opinion, is why the heck Hina comes back to Hodaka after he fires the gun. As for the gun itself, it seems kind of unnecessary, though I could imagine reasons to keep it.
- Nothing about Hina’s power is really explained, nor are any of the fantasy elements overall—at least Your Name and Children Who Chase Lost Voices had some background on what’s going on. Perhaps this is intentional, given the themes of the movie.
- I know I said there wasn’t a single visual stunner scene, but the fireworks in this movie are AMAZING, and Shaft should feel bad for releasing a movie named Fireworks with terrible fireworks.
- Your Name characters Taki and Mitsuha reappear with cameos—in Taki’s case, reasonably extensive ones even. (No mention of Yotsuha, though.)