Film Review: Weathering With You – 6/10

‘Who cares if we can’t see any sunshine? I want you more than any blue sky...’

I love Studio Ghibli as much as the next film geek, but my knowledge of anime is limited to their films and a recent viewing of Makoto Shinkai’s Your Name. I subsequently enjoyed that film so much that I found myself turning to its follow up Weathering With You. Alas, it’s not quite in the same league.

Morishima Hodaka (Kotaro Daigo) arrives in Tokyo with nothing. He soon befriends Hina (Nana Mori), a young girl who is somehow able to manipulate the weather. Weathering With You is the story of Hodaka and Hina and the insidious forces that try to keep them apart.

Your Name was cloying and sentimental, but the ingenious plot and beautiful visuals elevate it above the more dewy-eyed moments, but Weathering With You was too soft-centered for me. The central conceit is an interesting one and the voice cast throw themselves into the story, but the whole thing falls apart a little in the third act when the film begins to succumb to tired tropes and cliche.

That being said, the first 40 minutes or so are worth the entrance fee alone, and Shinkai still conjures up some bewitching visual moments from his diverse palette. I can also imagine that Weathering For You is probably catnip for any hyper emotional teenagers out there. And really, that’s ultimately who this film is for.

I’m not sure if I’ll ever be a true convert to anime, but the films of Makoto Shinkai have offered a tantalising counterpoint to the mad genius of Studio Ghibli and Weathering With You does enough to make me want to delve further into the Shinkai oeuvre.