Arts & Entertainment

Film Court: ‘Weathering With You’ Is a Beautiful Ode to Youth, Bonds

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“Weathering With You” follows 16-year-old Morishima Hodaka (Kotaro Daigo) who ran away from his family to live in Tokyo and work for a tabloid about the supernatural. During his stay, he meets a girl, Amano Hina (Nana Mori), and the two are instantly drawn to each other. As their friendship begins, she shows him her ability to control the weather, but they soon learn that toying with the elements comes with a risky outcome. 

Courtesy of GKIDS Films

Ben: Rain Boy

While this film is a thoroughly exciting and intriguing experience, there were some plotlines left unresolved due to the narrow focus of the storytelling. The main characters, Hina and Hodaka, take up most of the screen time, which leaves some of the supporting cast feeling hollow.

There is one particularly baffling plotline involving life in the clouds that is completely neglected in the latter half of the film. Represented by translucent water-based life forms, life in the sky is brought up as a mystery meant to be unraveled by the main characters, but is forgotten in favor of a more character-based plot. While this direction still works for the film, it leaves 10 minutes of screen time dedicated to an essentially dead plot point.

Many of the supporting characters are endearing and have their own personality quirks that hint at a deeper character and make them feel more alive. However, this just makes the film all the more frustrating when these characters are tossed to the wayside to make way for the conclusion. The characters Nagi and Natsui are especially neglected in the third act. They’re only shown in a picture at the very end, leaving them feeling completely neglected. 

Courtesy of GKIDS Films

Sam: Sunshine Boy

With many elements that fit together perfectly, this film is nothing short of an animated masterpiece. The phenomenal animation and art alone are worth the price of admission, as every detail — the characters, city and environment — are carefully drawn. It’s a marvel of animation that’s refreshing to see, as 2D animation is seemingly becoming sidelined in lieu of 3D animation. Everything from the flow of liquid, shading of the setting and most importantly, how beautiful the weather looks in this film — the animators appear to put a great amount of effort to encapture the beauty of this world. As a viewer, it seems as though everyone involved in the creation of this film had great passion for the piece, and the director and writer are to thank for that. 

Shinkai once again gives his all to his creation, making a story that hits deep with emotion and heart. He tells a tale about how we have to make the hardest decisions to keep the ones we love. Though some elements of the story seem to be brought up and never come back, the story doesn’t stray from its main narrative. Each character has their meaning within the story and they’re fleshed out and developed properly. With only one character, Natsumi, who doesn’t seem to have a proper arc, everyone else has their own satisfying ending. That’s the best way to describe this entire film: satisfying. 

“Weathering With You” delivers another phenomenal film from Makoto Shintai that could easily surpass his previous work in fame and acclaim. Despite some messy storytelling and narrow focus, the film is an absolute delight and well worth the time of anyone with a love for animation. An Oscar-worthy film, this one is not to miss. 

“Weathering With You,” rated PG-13, is in theaters nationwide. 

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