By Emily Nguyen
The film “Weathering with You” is overall a disappointment compared to “Your Name,” another film Makoto Shinkai has directed in the past. The animation details and music in the film only partly make up for a confusing plot and the flawed internal logic of situations that happen in the film.
In recent years, Shinkai has been known for his unique combination of realism and fantasy, such as realistic environments with a touch of romance. His directing of his past film “Your Name” has carved himself a place in anime culture.
He has also directed “5 Centimeters per Second” and “Children Who Chase Lost Voices.” Shinkai’s detailed environment in his animated films usually appeals to the plot of heartache romance between teenage characters.
Shinkai’s recent movie “Weathering with You” earned many awards, such as the Tokyo Anime Award for best animation of the year, but, when comparing the plot to his hit film “Your Name,” it fails to meet expectations.
In the film “Weathering with You,” Shinkai turns a juvenile romance into a magical journey. His film also describes social concerns such as global warming, guns, and foster care.
Hodaka is a freshman in high school who runs away from home to Tokyo and encounters financial and personal problems. When he arrives in Tokyo, the weather is rainy and gloomy every day, and he lives his days in isolation; however, he finally starts working as a writer for a small magazine company. Then, one day, Hodaka meets Hina, a girl who possesses the ability to stop the rain and clear up the sky.
The animation of the film captures the beautiful details of Tokyo; almost every scene of the movie has breathtaking animation that the viewer can emerge themselves in.
The ending of “Weathering with You” mainly contains pop songs that go together with nostalgic feelings. The music throughout the movie was heartfelt; the combination of the music and vivid visual details immerses the audience in the film.
Though the film included enchanting scenery and music, Shinkai’s plot in “Weathering with You” was dull, and he had trouble balancing its supernatural weather story with its central romance. The film had a difficult time with its narrative structure, with no clear plot.
The plot has a lengthy prologue where mythology is being mentioned but never really developed throughout the film. Shinkai manages to fix only some of the confusion in the film.
The film has many plot holes that hurt the internal logic of the movie, with unnecessary parts that were confusing at times. Shinkai’s film did not provide enough information on both of the characters, such as why Hodaka leaves his home and why Hina agrees to do illegal work.
The bizarre plot with the guns that attracts the police’s attention and Hina’s ability to harness lightning out of nowhere are examples of plot holes — why they decide to run from the authorities doesn’t appear logical to the audience.
During the film, Tokyo is flooded and turned into a bay where half of Tokyo is submerged in water. The environmental catastrophe in Tokyo puts rain into a new context and foreshadows the global warming crisis that is happening in real life.
The climate change crisis in the film explains that humans have some control over the environment, such as Hina, but we also can’t afford to act like the environment has complete control over us.
The global warming emergency can also be there simply to increase the emotional intensity; however, the movie simply did not leave the same impression and did not have the same impact as “Your Name.”
Featured image (at the top of this post): Makoto Shinkai is the director of the film “Weathering with You.” PHOTO CREDIT: WIKIMEDIA