Lately it seems a little rare to see one of these anime rom-coms where one of the characters doesn’t just die tragically. This time the plot’s still emotional but not going for quite as much of a traumatic kind of story. It’s a very solid all around title and one that has a fantastic ending. Honestly the ending’s so good that I almost threw it an extra star because it wraps up the product so well. Either way this is a very good film.
The movie starts by introducing us to Hodaka who is in a bit of a rough patch. He can away from home and is trying to tough it out in Tokyo. Since he is a minor with no ID and running out of money, this isn’t easy though. Fortunately he does end up meeting a local CEO named Suga who offers him a job. It doesn’t pay much but now Hodaka has somewhere to live. He also meets up with a nice girl named Hina who has the power to generate sunlight over a limited area. Since Tokyo has been experiencing rain for months on end, Hodaka has an idea. They can charge people money for Hina’s services. She will make it sunny on special occasions as per the requester in exchange for the fee. Everything seems to be going well but can it possibly last?
Weathering With You definitely throws a lot of trials at the main characters. Usually whenever they get out of one situation then another one is quick to pop up in its place. Still, as long as they have each other they are able to get through it. In a way I would say Hodaka’s toughest trial was the intro scenes since not having any money and being in a strange new place has to be tough to overcome.
I’d say this is a pretty upbeat movie though. It helps that Hina is definitely an optimist who always sees the bright side of things. As a Sunshine girl that is certainly to be expected. She’s a good cook and is just very talented. Bringing good fortune to the people around her is definitely something to keep her emotions up as well. Throughout the movie Hina is always thinking of everyone around her and doesn’t mind making sacrifices if it’ll help everyone else out so she’s definitely a star character.
Her little brother Nagi also means well but he definitely flirts a lot so I wouldn’t say he is quite as fun as the little sibling in other films like A Silent Voice. Nagi is smart though so he does come in handy several times. He’s also good at tackling when needed which was helpful in the climax. Then you have the supporting characters from the job. First up is Natsumi who wants to get more of a real job but in the meantime she throws herself into her work. She may buy into all of the supernatural elements a little too easily but at least this makes her interviews with the various people quite genuine.
You can also tell she is the responsible member of the household since Suga tends to be a lot sloppier. Suga is mainly focused on trying to win a custody case but still tries to do the right things along the way. He can be a little dense in the second half of the film though as the writing is on the wall but he’s still slowing everyone down. I think to a reasonable extent you can see why he was trying to put distance between him and Hodaka though. Perhaps he could handle it a little better but that was a tough spot to be put in. The scene of stopping him on the skyscraper though? Nah…I can’t get behind that one.
As for Hodaka himself, I would say he’s weaker than some of the other characters. For starters, while he likes Hina, he gets distracted way too easily. Hodaka didn’t exactly handle himself very gracefully when he first met Natsumi or even later on when they were chatting at the park. Those scenes keep him from being a better character as he doesn’t seem like the most loyal of guys around. That said, he is able to ultimately recover his character a good deal by the end.
The ending is really one of the best parts of the film. See, a lot of times you have characters make the “tough” calls where they decide that they have to put the good of the world above the few. You’ll see a character willing to make a sacrifice to save everyone and the characters either half heartedly agree or don’t really try doing anything about it. Hodaka made a clear choice that he would save his special someone even if it means that the world has to go back to a time of peril. It’s the right answer. Characters like the Flash (coughshouldhavesavedhismothercough) could learn a thing or two from him. It was a spectacular move and he didn’t have any doubts about it or start regretting the move.
No, Hodaka just went in and made the right call without a split second’s hesitation. That’s what I like to see in a main character. So I had some issues with him but that was just such a good scene that he had to rise up a bit there. The film even dealt with the fallback from this and it was handled really well. At the end of the day, you can never let someone make the ultimate sacrifice if you can stop it.
The animation here is great as expected. The character designs are on point and the animation is very smooth. One character even grabs a gun at one point which made for a powerful visual. There are less supernatural elements here to get you a lot of impressive visuals but at least as far as going for a more slice of life look went, this one got you everything you could need. I had no issues with the graphics. The soundtrack was also solid. The best theme was the brief rock theme that played during one of the motorcycle chases at the end. There are also a few lyrical songs of course and those were good as well.
While the movie doesn’t go in this direction I started thinking we were going to meet some rain girls who were causing the current downpours and that would lead to some kind of fight scene. In the end that didn’t happen but it would have been fun. I did enjoy the nonstop rain though because that’s where the animation got to focus its attention. The rain is different from pure water like in the recent anime film I saw so they got to go for different techniques. Watching a heavy rainstorm out your window is always an incredible sight and the movie captures that pretty well.
The food also looks good as expected. It’s always a lot of fun seeing how the dishes look in the movies. For example, here we had Hina make a solid ramen infused with potato chips and that did look pretty good. I’ve messed around with potato chips a lot in my day like for mac n cheese or pizza, but I haven’t tried it in a ramen. It does look really good though so I could definitely see that working out well. The fast food at the hotel was also good. With solid writing and pacing throughout, you could say that this film started off on the right foot and just kept on going that way.
Overall, Weathering With You is definitely a film that I would highly recommend. It’s just a lot of fun and while the characters go through their share of challenges, they handle them rather well. McDonalds even gets its due respect as a character has one of their burgers and realizes that it’s the best meal he’s had in years. This isn’t surprising, McDonalds has always had some of the best food on the planet. Most people don’t realize this but they have the best burgers. Mix in the excellent ending and you definitely have a winner here.