Weathering With You (12A)



Drama (2019)
112mins Jpn

Starring: Kotaro Daigo, Nana Mori, Kentaro Araki, Shun Oguri
Director: Makoto Shinkai
Writer(s): Makoto Shinkai
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

High school student Hodaka Morishima runs away from home to seek his fortune in Tokyo. Unable to afford a roof over his head or food in his belly, Hodaka relies on the comfort of strangers including writer Keisuke Suga. The older man offers Hodaka a job on his occult magazine. A tip-off leads Hodaka to a bright-eyed girl called Hina Amano, who demonstrates can apparently control the weather and ushers bright sunshine for a few hours through concentrated prayer.

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LondonNet Film Review
Weathering With You (12A)

Centuries of Japanese tradition are drenched by visually arresting meteorological fantasy in Weathering With You, writer-director Makoto Shinkai's eagerly awaited follow-up to the 2016 anime Your Name. Lightning almost strikes twice as Shinkai raises a conductor rod into the swirling storm of climate change to pluck our heartstrings with nascent love on the streets of Tokyo during a freak rainstorm...

Weathering With You. Copyright: Anime Limited/National Amusements. Caption: Hodaka Morishima (voiced by Kotaro Diago) and Hina Amano (Nana Mori) in Weathering With You, directed by Makoto Shinkai. All Rights Reserved.In a cute touch which also highlights some of this film's shortcomings, Weathering With You incorporates fleeting cameos for Taki (voiced by Ryunosuke Kamiki) and Mitsuha (Mone Kamishiraishi), whose body-swapping exploits in Your Name shattered box office records for a Japanese picture. Their impact on the storyline is minimal but the presence of these richly drawn and relatable characters is a reminder of the narrative clarity that is immediately lacking here. Shinkai replays some stylistic flourishes from his previous picture, unleashing a tsunami of dazzling water effects to move back and forth between real and otherworldly realms as he writes another valentine to the ebb and flow of daily life in the Japanese capital.

The rain-sodden hero is high school student Hodaka Morishima (Kotaro Daigo), who runs away from home to seek his fortune in Tokyo. Unable to afford a roof over his head or food in his belly, Hodaka relies on the comfort of strangers including writer Keisuke Suga (Shun Oguri). The older man offers Hodaka a job on his occult magazine, which includes room and board, and the grateful teenager learns how to chase down a story by shadowing spunky, scooter-riding college student Natsumi (Tsubasa Honda). She is fascinated by rumours of Sunshine Girls, who can manipulate the weather and supposedly banish storm clouds that hang perpetually over the city. A tip-off leads Hodaka to a bright-eyed girl called Hina Amano (Nana Mori), who demonstrates the ability to usher bright sunshine for a few hours through concentrated prayer. The teenagers advertise Hina's gift and help a widow to celebrate the anniversary of her husband's death under a clear blue sky. Hina's little brother Nagisa (Sakura Kiryu) joins the adventure and bears witness to the physical toll on his sister, which brings the youngsters to the attention of police officer Yasui (Sei Hiraizumi).

Weathering With You lacks the strong emotional hook of Your Name but still impresses with its fantastical storyline. Writer-director Shinkai serves up a hearty feast for the senses, blending hand-drawn and computer animation to dizzying effect. He garnishes with enough heartache to warrant us being soaked to the skin for almost two hours. An English language dubbed version featuring the vocal talents of Lee Pace, Alison Brie and Riz Ahmed will be available at selected cinemas for audiences daunted by subtitles.

- Sam Cannon

Weathering With You. Copyright: Anime Limited/National Amusements. Caption: Hodaka Morishima (voiced by Kotaro Diago) and Hina Amano (Nana Mori) in Weathering With You, directed by Makoto Shinkai. All Rights Reserved.


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