Weathering With You12¦ Blu-ray, DVD
It’s an unofficial law that everyone in the UK has to discuss the weather at least three times a day. And yes, looking out of the window and stating how dreary it all looks counts.
Of course, with the increasing effects of climate change (really, don’t even waste your breath denying it) around the globe, it appears our personal obsession has spread.
Although not directly referencing the science, this animated feature from Japan, as the title intimates, features plenty of weather.
At the fairy young age of 16, Hodaka (Kotaro Daigo) has decided to run away from home and head to the very bright lights of Tokyo. Initially he finds it a little scary, particularly when he nearly dies on the ferry over, but his situation improves when a young woman working in a burger joint shows him some kindness.
Her name is Hina (Nani Moi), and she is nearly eighteen living in the city with her younger brother. She too is doing what she can to get by and earn money, hence working in a fast food restaurant.
Call it fate or coincidence but the pair soon meet again when Hodaka prevents Hina getting into trouble on the street. They soon become friends and Hina finally reveals to Hodaka that she has a special power of sorts – she is known as a sunshine girl and has the ability to make it shine, whatever the weather.
With Tokyo experiencing a huge amount of unseasonably wet weather for summer, Hodaka suggests that perhaps she should start a business where she could help customers out who have need of a spell of bright sunny weather for a short period of time.
With Hodaka building her a website, the business is soon up and running, with Hina providing bouts of sunshine to the Tokyo skyline. With both their relationship and business growing strong, the pair can suddenly start to enjoy life. But unbeknownst to them, lurking on the horizon, is a prophecy regarding being a sunshine girl, which makes for a very dark forecast for the pair of them.
Director Makoto Shinkai’s film is a striking blend of old and new animation techniques, where you certainly get a sense of the changeable weather conditions.
Although it may have something to say about the current state of the planet, its focus is a love story between two young outcasts. It’s their relationship, and how they cope with the many storms both figuratively and emotionally, that will hold your attention throughout.
It wouldn’t be a Japanese animation if it didn’t have a few quirks; there are a number of curious characters, as well as some emotional reactions that you would only find in this particular genre. And unfortunately there are also a number of grating songs that rain down unnecessarily that cloud the overall enjoyment.
The Blu-ray release features both the original dialogue with subtitles, as well as a western dubbed soundtrack which although features some great talent including Lee Pace, Alison Brie and Riz Ahmed, you would do well to stick with the original cast for the most authentic experience.
Weathering With You is a charming alternative to the squeaky clean Disney titles, with visuals that simply dazzle. So it can be said with confidence that for its near two hour running time, the outlook is looking really rather good indeed.