Weathering With You is simply stunning. If you’re wondering what all the buzz is about, then you’ve missed some of the most unexpected and delightful anime news of the year. A love story between a runaway and a troubled teen isn’t news, but sometimes a film comes along that reinvents the wheel so to speak. WWY is one of those films. Anyone who’s seen the film can tell you that this is one movie you do not want to miss. SPOILER ALERT! We have spoilers here.
1. The Oscars
It’s been over twenty years since Japan sent an anime to the Oscars. If we’re being honest, this film deserves all the hype it’s getting. We haven’t seen such a touching and gorgeous film since Grave of the Fireflies. While Oscar contention doesn’t make a movie great per se (we’re looking at you Click), it’s still fair to say this film deserves its time in the limelight. The tale of Hodaka and Hina deserves more than a few sentences. It is strange, surreal, sorrowful, relatable, touching and magical all at once with. The delicate balance of suspenseful action with the police breaks up the drama.
Weathering With You won an award at the 92nd Annual Academy Awards. The film took home Best International Feature Film. That’s a feat given the outstanding and extensive list of competition. Twenty-four films were submitted including Estonias’ Truth and Justice from Tanel Toom and the Dominican Republics The Projectionist from Jose Maria Cabral.
One of the things we love best is the score of a feature film. Good music gives you a sense of the mood of a piece. Great music makes you feel along with it. Between Toko Miura’s voice and Radwimps “Is There Still Anything That Love Can Do” among other songs, the music in Weathering With You is dynamic and beautiful. Writer/ Director Makoto Shinkai chose well.
4. Kotaro Daigo
As a relatively unknown actor, his ability to portray the runaway Hodaka was somewhat surprising, if only because we haven’t seen anything from him before. As break out roles go, this is a fantastic way to begin a career. Hopefully, we’ll see a great deal from the actor in the future since we so enjoyed him in WWY. Most of the cast was drawn from Your Name, which was also directed by Makoto Shinkai. Only Hima and Hodaka were chosen from a pool of outside actors.
5. Nana Mori
Over two thousand people auditioned for the roles in Weathering With You, but it was Nana Mori who won the part of the troubled Hima. Her skills speak for themselves when you watch the film. However, it bears mentioning that Nana was able to draw in audiences with her heartfelt portrayal of Hima. The young woman has so many conflicts with the law and her brother. Not to mention her incredible power and the introduction of her love interest.
The brilliant writer Makoto Shinkai, who also directed his film, did a spectacular job of drawing us into the tribulations and triumphs of his main characters Hima and Hodaka. Their interactions are insightful and oddly satisfying within the framework of the story of troubled youth and myth-made-real. We’re fans of his other work like The Garden of Words and Children Who Chase Lost Voices. It was about time he began garnering international recognition for his often haunting, sometimes sweet stories.
Lot’s of people enjoy having some popcorn or a soda while they watch a film. It’s part of movie theater history and tradition. Here in America, it’s common for us to find; for example, Star Wars-themed treats when a movie is released as part of the marketing strategy. However, Weathering With You is the first time we’ve seen a significant push for themed snacks to go with an international film. There are a unique intrigue and satisfaction that goes along with seeing the characters on screen and holding them in our hand at the same time. For the same reason, fans love bobbleheads and action figures. Our fascination with owning a small piece of film history helps support creators. The additional income means they can continue to work with studios and make more great films we love. Lawsons and other convenience stores issued a whole series of WWY themed snacks for fans.
8. Environmental Awareness
In this era of climate change and increasing global concern over alarming weather patterns, it’s always interesting to see how another culture is handling the topic. At its core Weathering With You is both a love story and a social awareness film that heavily features an environmental disaster as a significant turning point in the story. The flooding of Tokyo as a result of what happened to Hima and Hodaka is seen through the veneer of the weather witch mythos. Just as vital is a more profound commentary there for those, who read between the lines.
9. Family Film
It can be hard to find an outstanding international film that you can enjoy with the family. GKIDS, who are also the presenters for the 2019 Studio Ghibli Festival (https://gkids.com/films/weathering-with-you/), is presenting this film to audiences. If you’re not familiar with GKIDS or Studio Ghibli, then you’ve probably missed a whole lot of excellent kid-friendly movies that are beautifully heartwarming.
One of the best things about films is obviously visual content. We can’t say enough good things about the animation in this film. The combination of the typical anime characters in the stunning photo-real backgrounds brings the look of this film into its own realm, yet surreal, realm. You’ll fall in love with the breathtaking environments before you’ve even had a chance to get into the story of the film.
We don’t often say this, but you need to see this film. It’s not that often that a genuinely beautiful and unique animated movie like this comes along, and when it does, you should see it. We don’t doubt that Weathering With You is already a classic in its own time and it will go down in film history. Do yourself a favor and be a part of that history. You will want to share it with your friends and family when you do. Soulful, strange and outstanding, you are going to love WWY.