Review: Weathering With You (Tenki no ko)

Year: 2019
Runtime: 114 Minutes
Director: Makoto Shinkai
Writer: Makoto Shinkai
Stars: Kotaro Daigo, Nana Mori, Sei Hiraizumi

By Liselotte Vanophem

There are days in which we’ve wished we could influence the weather. Whether it’s to have sunshine on your wedding day, to enjoy the heating sun on your birthday or to get snow when you’re about to go on a ski trip. We might not have that power but Hina Amano from “Weathering with You” (2019) definitely has it. Her wonderful and unique story is now being told in a beautiful, blissful and gorgeously made film by writer/director Makoto Shinkai (“Your Name” (2016), “The Garden of Words” (2013))

Hina (Nana Mori) is going through a very difficult time as her mother is ill. She sits beside her bed every day of the week, and the young girl’s future seems very uncertain. Despite all the tears and heartbreak, there’s also a little bit of sunshine in Hina’s life. Both literally and figuratively speaking. During an enjoyable warm day, Hina passed through a magical pathway that will change her life forever.

weathering
Nana Mori in Tenki no ko (2019) © 2019 WYFP

Someone’s life who has been turned upside completely is the life of the young high school student, Hodaka Morishima (Kotaro Daigo). After running away from home and school, he’s heading to Tokyo in the hope to get a better existence. Sadly, that’s not what he gets. He’s forced to live on the street, has to beg for food and money and is in more danger than what’s good for a boy of his age. Luckily for him, he meets Keisuke Suga who gives him a job and a place to stay. This is a whole new start for Hodaka. He has finally a roof above his head, food on his plate and can sharpen his writing skills as a journalist.

There’s a high “element of relatability” in this movie. At some points in our lives, we’ve all been in either Hina’s or Hodaka’s shoes.

During one of his assignments, he learns that the heaving rains that are flooding Japan are the work of “weather maidens” and “sunshine girls”. As a good journalist, he does more research into them and decides to meet up with a sunshine girl. One called Hina. Yep, that same Hina who lost her mother. Their encounter isn’t only the beginning of a wondrous friendship but also of a lucrative business. Thanks to Hina’s abilities as a sunshine girl, Hina and Hodaka promise people the most wonderful weather when people need it. It all goes great. The money is coming in and Hina and Hodaka are growing closer each day. Sadly, being a weather girl comes with an incredibly high price. Will the future be bright for both Hina and Hodaka or will black clouds be hanging above their heads soon?

weather
Nana Mori and Kotaro Daigo in Tenki no ko (2019) © 2019 WYFP

A Japanese animated film about a runaway boy and a lovely and sweet girl may seem to be uninteresting, too soft or too cheesy for some. However, don’t let this stop you from catching “Weathering with You” as it’s a fabulous follow up of “Your Name”.

Firstly, because of the film’s stunning animation. Yes, it has that typical Japanese style that you’ve already saw in Shinkai previous films such as “Someone’s Gaze” (2013) and “Children Who Chase Lost Voices” (2011) but again it’s top-notch quality. You’re drawn the screen the entire time by the bright, colourful and vivid animations. They make the story comes to life instantly and it’s just a lust for the eye to watch the friendship between Hina and Hodaka growing stronger. Just sit back and let the dreamy feeling of the animation overwhelm you.

“Weathering with You” is an undeniably emotional film as it’s about happiness, sadness, grieving and loving. 

The story itself also has many fascinating elements to it. As a writer, Shinkai decided to put a lot of humor and wittiness in his script. This results in many funny and cleverly written scenes. Whether it’s about being in love, trying to cope with loss, worrying about the future or just wanting to be accepted by others, yes the topics in “Weathering with You” are very adult-like. Despite being an animation film, there’s a high “element of relatability” in this movie. At some points in our lives, we’ve all been in either Hina’s or Hodaka’s shoes.

weathering wi
Nana Mori in Tenki no ko (2019) © 2019 WYFP

“Weathering with You” is an undeniably emotional film as it’s about happiness, sadness, grieving and loving. These are emotions many of us will recognize ourselves in.

What makes this movie such a beautiful and captivating one to watch is the peaceful and immersive score. Whether it’s originally composed music or the sound of heavy rain or gushing wind, it really amplifies the emotions. The result? The film is being lifted to a higher level for sure!

After being screened at prestigious film festivals such as Toronto International Film Festival, Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival, and Los Cabos International Film Festival, “Weathering with You” is now coming to the UK. Thanks to the dazzling work of the animation team, the mesmerizing score, the real-life emotions, and the dreamy vibe, you will be able to immerse yourself in a world of bliss, happiness, and joy. “Weathering with You” will definitely bring sunshine into your life during these dark days.

3.5 stars

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