By: Amanda Guarragi
Weathering with You, created by Makoto Shinkai, is a beautifully made Japanese anime, about human connection with the world. Shinkai utilizes every inch of the frame and the space created when sketching his world. He captures the cycle of life and how time is more important than any of us realize.
The film begins with young Hina Amano (voiced by Nana Mori), saying goodbye to her mother, as she passes away. The final days leading to her mothers death, Tokyo had been under heavy rainfall, so Hina continuously prayed for one day of sun. She was able to have one day of sun but it came with consequences, unbeknownst to her. After her mother’s passing, Hina has to support her younger brother Nagi (voiced by Sakura Kiryu), by getting a full time job.
Then we meet, the high school runaway, Hodaka Morishima (voiced by Kotaro Daigo), who has left his family for a better life in Tokyo. On his ferry ride to Tokyo, he almost gets thrown off the ship, due a brutal storm that hits, nearly knocking the ship over. Hodaka is saved by Keisuki Suga (voiced by Shun Oguri), he gives him his business card incase Hodaka ever needs him. Hodaka then ventures into Tokyo, alone, in order to find his own way, not realizing that living on your own comes with many responsibilities and expenses.
The city of Tokyo was under heavy rainfall for months, the people of Tokyo did not know how to handle the rain anymore and things seemed bleak for the townspeople. After experiencing some minor setbacks, Hodaka finally called Keisuki and began working for his company. As he worked alongside Keisuki and his assistant Natsumi (voiced by Tsubasa Honda), they come across the myth of the “Sunshine Girl”. The myth states that there is a young girl, who has the power to summon the sun.
The film is more than a fantasy adventure, it integrates the lack of interest from every community towards global warming and its many warnings. The heavy rainfall in Tokyo caused many floods and eventually, due to the cold weather dropping, in the middle of August, caused some light flurries. There is definitely a human connection with the Earth, but as time passes, we realize that we truly have no control over these natural disasters and what we choose to fill our time with, ends up controlling us.
Time is another important aspect of this film. Humans rate time by spending it with those we care most about and when we run out of time with our loved ones, humans do not seem to care about anything else. Time runs in different ways, especially the concept of time between spaces. The time we spend on Earth is just as valuable as the time we spend with our loved ones, it should be rated in the same way and Shinkai, truly makes his audience contemplate how convoluted the value of time can be.
It’s a very emotional film once Hodaka and Hina meet. I truly didn’t expect to be so overwhelmed with the concept of the “sunshine girl” but the sentimental meaning of losing a loved one, definitely pulls at the heartstrings. The sketches and the colouring were absolutely stunning and it really brought the piece together. Shinkai also raises the question of “How far are you willing to go for someone you love?” and I think it’s executed in such a flawless way.
This was my first Japenese Anime film that I’ve ever watched and I’m really happy I tried something out of my usual range. Director, Bong Joon – ho was right when he said, “Once you overcome the one-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.”