Weathering With You

This image is the official theatrical poster for Weathering With You. According to IMDb.com under the article, “Weathering with You”, IMDb defines that “the rights for this image and film belong to  GKIDS, INC., TOHO CO., LTD, CoMix Wave Films Inc., STORY inc., KADOWAWA Corporation, JR East Marketing & Communications, Inc., Voque Ting CO., LTD., Lawson Entertainment, Inc., and Makoto Shinkai” (1). These production companies are responsible for the creation of this film. This image is on GKIDS Film’s official website under the article, “Weathering With You”.  On that website, viewers can find more about this film in addition to where Weathering With You will be playing in theaters.

Japanese Films Have Become More Prevalent within the United States

Within the most recent years, foreign films have made their way to American audiences.  Many distribution companies specialize in distributing foreign films to the states.  Even helping foreign films get an English dub.  This is especially true when it comes to Japanese animation films.  With the rise in popularity within the genre of anime, Japanese animation has become a huge factor into American culture.  Anyone can walk outside and ask strangers about what comes to mind when you hear anime. Without a doubt, many will say Dragon Ball Z, Pokémon, Attack on Titan, or Yu-Gi-Oh.  It’s no surprise that anime has made an impact on American society. With that said, many distribution companies distribute Japanese animation films.  Some that are incredibly popular include Wolf Children, Howls Moving Castle¸ and Tokyo Godfathers to name just a few. On January 15, 2020, a new name Weather With You came to theaters.

Weathering With You is by the same Japanese animation team that was responsible for the 2016 film, Your Name.  As a result, expectations for this film were incredibly high.  Rest assure, Weathering With You not only excels above expectations but it also shines over other Japanese animation films.  The question is how does this film excel other Japanese films? Let’s see how Weathering With You is easily one of the best Japanese animation films in a long time. In this review, we’re examining how Weathering With You shines from other Japanese animation films by analyzing the story, characters, animation, and music.

The Story of Weathering With You Delivers A Compelling Yet Beautiful Narrative

One of the many things that this film excels at is the story.  Basically, the story follows this young boy name Morishima Hodaka who comes to Tokyo, Japan.  While trying to find his own way, he finds a mysterious girl name Amano Hina.  As their relationship grows, Hodaka learns that Hina can make rain disappear.  To clarify, rain is consistent throughout this entire film to which some characters haven’t been able to see the sun in such a long time.  Throughout the whole story, there’s a consistent battle with the elements.  With this in mind, Weathering With You focuses on its bread and butter which is its characters.  More specifically, this story follows the trope of character focus stories.  By no means does this mean that this is a bad thing.  In fact, having a character focus story is incredibly important especially for this film.

Each of the actions that the story portrays is incredibly believable.  Weathering With You’s story makes the audiences question if they would take the same risks as the character have.  Without a doubt, this is how stories should be made.  Which is to keep the audience engagement high to root for the characters to reach their goal.  This is where this film strives in terms of audience engagement.  One of the things that really pushes this film forward is not only the story but also the incredible, three dimensional characters.

Weathering With You Brings Relatable and Three Dimensional Characters

Unquestionably, the characters are the driving factor for this film. Previously, I did state that Weathering With You is primarily a character driven story.  This statement still stands because this film has some of the most memorable characters I’ve seen in a long time.  Firstly, let’s look at the main character Hodaka.  Hodaka is an incredibly likable character.  What’s more is that the audience can easily behind his beliefs and wants within this complex story.  Not only that but Hina isn’t the stereotypical “Mary-Sue” character.  For those who aren’t aware, the term “Mary-Sue” is a character who is perfect and overpower in every stretch of the word.  Rest assure, Hina is not like that.  On the contrary, Hina is extremely funny but also incredibly kind.  Many viewers might even call her “a cinnamon roll” character.  Just as the main cast stands out, the minor characters in this film are memorable.

For many films, many minor characters just exist or simply disappear once their purpose completes.  With Weathering With You, every single character including the minor characters has a purpose.  Without going into spoilers, every single minor character that makes an appearance not only goes through their own character arc.  The minor characters have a specific purpose never feeling like complete irrelevant to the story.  Within other Japanese animation films, there are several characters that make the audience wonder why they were there in there in the first place.  Regardless, Weathering With You treats all of its characters with the same amount of character development and relatability.  Undoubtedly, what makes the characters stand out so much is the breathtaking animation.

Weathering With You Beyond Blows the Expectation of Animation Out the Window

One of the many things that easily defines Weathering With You is the animation.  Hands down, Weathering With You has some of the smoothest in addition to realistic Japanese animation seen to date.  The animation within Weathering With You makes this universe come alive.  Since the setting is primarily in Tokyo, the animation team makes it feel like audience is seeing Tokyo for the first time.  Additionally, this film has a lot of rain and weather elements.  Unsurprisingly, this can be incredibly hard to animate.  However, Weathering With You takes element animation to the max.  There are countless number of scenes that are filled with color and showing how beautiful the world is.  One of the other things that this film does well with is showing the emotion of the characters.

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When the characters come into focus, the characters stand out.  More importantly, the audience can get a sense for the characters just by the animation.  These characters go through emotions ranging from happy to even sadness.  Each one of these animations are done in such a way that makes these characters that even more alive.  Some Japanese animation films like Wolf Children makes the world so that it makes the eyes fall only on the main characters.  What Weathering With You does is the animation shows everything within this universe.  There’s many places that make your eyes wander before falling back onto the main cast of characters without being too distracting.  Which is why this film shines above so many other Japanese films.  Additionally, the music within Weathering With You shows a change of pace in a good way from typical Japanese animation films.

The Music Within Weathering With You Significantly Reflects the Film

Last but not least, the music within this film is a change of pace.  In comparison to Makoto Shinkai last film Your Name, Your Name’s music was heavily rock music.  That type of music fit very well within what story Your Name was trying to portray.  Weathering With You does a complete one eighty on its music genre.  Instead of rock music, this film focuses more on softer music.  For instance, this film uses a lot of piano, soft choirs, violins, and orchestra type music.  With that said, this type of music fits very well with the theme of the film.  At the same time, Weathering With You does have several songs that contain words.  Each one of them use the same formula of upbeat while at the same time much softer.  For instance, one song name “We’ll Be Alright” is from the Japanese band, Radwimps.

The use of softer as well as granter music fits incredibly well within Weathering With You.  Since Weathering With You is different from Your Name, it would make sense that the music would fit more with this film.  Personally, I like the music more in Weathering With You than Your Name.  To be fair, Your Name is an amazing film with incredible music.  Although, Weathering With You has more classical score type music.  This type of music may not be for everyone.  However, this softer music fits within the universe Weathering With You presents.  The audience can feel the pressure of the music during intense senses.  As well as senses that are meant to tug at audience’s heartstrings.  Weathering With You excels once again with the music within this film.

Weathering With You Will Undoubtedly Bring More Awareness to the Importance of Foreign Film Distribution

In this review, we’ve thoroughly analyze how Weathering With You shines from other Japanese films.  Firstly, the story of Weathering With You was incredibly compelling by bringing audiences to character driven stories.  Additionally, the characters both main as well as minor play their own role.  None of them overshadow each other.  Furthermore, the animation of this film creates deep emotion in addition to sucking the audience into the universe.  Lastly, the music changes the pace of classical music with soft choirs in the mix.  One of the things that shows how well this film is doing is that its being shown at theaters more than two days.  For Japanese animation films, this is unheard of.  Unless, the film is that well receive by audiences.   Without a doubt, Weathering With You will bring the point of why foreign films distribution is so crucial.

It’s so audience throughout the world can see special films like Weathering With You.  This will be a film that audience will discuss for years to come.

Discussion Time!

Thank you so much for reading this review.  Now, I want to hear your opinions. What did you think of this animated film? Is it better than Your Name? Fill free to leave your opinion in the comments below.

Again, here is the link to GKIDS website to receive more information regarding Weathering With You.  Within this website, viewers will be able to see the trailer, a general synopsis, and showtimes for this film.  If you have the time, please go support this film in order to help other Japanese, as well as other foreign films come to the United States.

Also, within this article, I shared a link to the Japanese band Radwimp’s official YouTube page where they’re singing the song “We’ll Be Alright” from the film.  Go check Radwimp’s official YouTube page out as they are responsible for most of the Japanese Pop songs within Weathering With You.  

Furthermore, if you like what you see here, fill free to follow this link to a previous review I did.  Previously, I did a comparison review on the sub as well as the dub version of Demon Slayer.  

Finally, if you want to receive any news regarding pop-culture, create an account today at Geek Street Society. 

Thank you once again, and stay tuned for more news here on Geek Street Society.

Word Cited

IMDb.com, Inc. “Weathering with You.” IMDb, IMDb.com, 17 Jan. 2020, www.imdb.com/title/tt9426210/companycredits?ref_=tt_dt_co.

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