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Weathering With You

Jul 29, 2019

Weathering With You - is just another Shinkai Makoto-esque movie that recycles the "boy and girl fall for each other" theme, with supernatural occurences as the plot driver, scenary porn and jpop music abound. The story and characters woefully lacked detail and depth, so your enjoyment would depend on how much you can tolerate this lack of detail and depth, and ultimately, how much you can sympathize with the characters.


Story: lacking detail

The setting is present day Tokyo, albeit it's constantly raining and people are craving for sunshine. The 16-year-old male MC has just arrived at Tokyo after running away from his home from the countryside of Japan (presumably because he wasn't doing well with his parents). He's lucky enough to find a place to stay at, when one day he encounters the herione in Shinjuku or Shibuya whichever it was. The heroine is being solicited and the MC is foolish enough to shoot at the offender with a gun he so previously happened to pick up on the street. The writing is quite sloppy here, allowing a certain amount of time to pass until the consequence of this incident is properly addressed. Meanwhile, the two escape and become quite close; they start a business, utilizing the herione's supernatural power which lets her temporarily clear the weather. The issue: the herione will "disappear" if she keeps using her power. Fastforward the plot and the herione disappears, the male MC attempts to bring her back only to be prevented by the police who are timely enough to start investigating about the MC's previous offence on the street at this critical moment. 

Weakpoint: sloppy writing. It's a relief that at least the incident on the street was addressed later on in the story, but there were other incidents that either weren't properly explanied, simply forgotten, or didn't make sense. 

1. Masses of water falling from the sky - most likely in exchange for every time the heroine clears the rainy weather. No explicit explanation is given though.

2. The world above the clouds - the cause of all the rain and the basis of the world setting of this story is so poorly described. The story’s logic is that the weather in the world below would be restored at the exchange of the herione’s (or any “sunny” person’s) existence, but the story behind this logic is not too clear.

3. What is that shrine on the rooftop anyway? I can see that it functions as a gateway to the world above, but it’s really nothing more than that. The shrine just doesn’t really connect with the herione’s supernatural power. The explanation given about the existence of  “sunny” people, or those whose presence brings about sunshine, makes it seem as if this is an inborn trait, not something bestowed to anyone who passes through the torii of that shrine.

4. The herione apparently has the power to strike thunder in addition to the ability to clear the rainy weather. This additional setting came out of nowhere. 

5. The editor who hires the MC - if he so wants to see his daughter, why quit his smoking ban, and why go so far as to get himself arrested for the sake of the MC? Maybe it was out of empathy to the MC’s “what’s wrong with trying to be with the person I love” angry statement, which may be indicative of his relationship with his deceased wife (mentioned to have died of an accident) but even if this were the case, inferences were hard to draw because of the lack of background information given for each character. I’m still baffled as to what made him act in the interest of the MC on the last minute.

6. The herione is saved - how exactly? If she could be saved by the MC safely escorting her back to the world below, all that drama was for naught. 

Also, did anyone notice?:

The reference to Catcher In The Rye - we see that book appear, if I remember correctly, at the beginning of the show as if in the author’s homage to it. There are similarities, like the MCs’ resistance to the adult world, the coming of age theme so on and so forth, so it does seem that Shinkai had the theme from this book in mind. That being said, Tenki no Ko is embarrassing because it lacks the descriptive sensitivity and authenticity I felt in Catcher In The Rye.

Characters: lacking depth; the description was off-the-point and lacking

I fail to like the characters from Shinkai’s works; they and their situation are hard to relate to. The characters in this show were particularly hard to relate to because every single character lacked depth, and descriptions were obviously off-the-point and lacking.

- The MC, I disliked him the most for being so impulsive. Why did he leave his house in the first place? Why didn’t he leave the gun where he found it? What made him think he’d survive life in Tokyo, jobless as he was, or even think he’d live happily ever after with the herione and her little brother, after having shot at someone earlier in the story? None of his decisions made sense to me. 

- Then there’s the ‘grown up’ herione who has somehow survived thus far with her little brother with what little earning she was receiving from her part time job. The next moment, though, she’s fine with sacrificing herself for humanity. This decision doesn’t make sense either. Is she really okay with leaving her little brother to some guy who is 1. A (sort of) fugitive and 2. Incapable of managing his own life in Tokyo, let alone taking care of Nagi, the herione’s little brother? She could have stopped using her power the instant she had realized what she was sacrificing, but she didn’t because she felt responsible for taking humanity over family.

- Then again, was the herione’s sacrifice really worth it? Surely, the people would benefit from this sacrifice as they would no longer have to endure the rain. But I do not think that it makes the herione responsible for ‘fixing’ the weather as *it is not her fault to begin with that it’s raining*. To me, this is reason enough to consider her sacrifice worthless, but Shinkai apparently doesn’t think so. The reason he gives is that the rainy weather is not a problem considering how the whole of Tokyo used to be under water a few hundred years ago (the same reason why we have the ocean which is because it used to be very rainy on earth some billions of years ago), which I do not believe really matters to the characters (nor does it matter to the audience), since the dilemma concerns with the MC and herione choosing between their own happiness and the happiness of the majority. To me, the historical impact of their choice was never the issue to the characters in this show, so Shinkai’s decision to focus on this argument really baffled me. If anything, it made it a lot harder for me to sympathize with the dilemma felt by the herione and the MC.

Music & Animation: Good & great.

Shinkai's works tend to select the most j-pop sounding j-pop songs as insert and theme songs, which are fine and fitting. Loads of scenary porn.

Overall, the show was entertaining, visually but not at all plotwise. The sloppy writing, generally uninteresting characters and off-the-point descriptions reduce the enjoyment to a score of 5/10.

4/10 story
10/10 animation
8/10 sound
5/10 characters
5/10 overall

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Mechjeb Nov 24, 2020

Totally, these Makoto Shinkai films are seriously overrated excluding Kotonoha no Niwa.

kakotiger Aug 8, 2020

The movie really fell apart in the ending. The ending could have been salvaged if the "city used to be underwater" cop out never happened. The bittersweet ending of Tokyo drowning could still work imo.

I agree, the story just focused on the feelings of the main characters in the end of the story. We know they are just happy to be alive but it would be interesting to see them being guilty at the same time for the price they have to pay for this ending.

Naeruu Jul 24, 2020

Who knows how Makoto Shinaki might evolve? But as it is, his work doesn't really click with me. It's pretty to look at, but it lacks substance in my opinion and often feels half-baked. Pretty forgettable, too. And I quite like romance! I watched a few of his movies and while I might have been entertained for their running time, I never had the desire to go back and rewatch them. This review tells me that the experience with this movie would be much the same. :/

Oisif Jun 4, 2020

i just finished watching it. I already watched your name so i had a general idea on what to expect on makoto shinkai's works.... but your review is totally what i had in mind after finishing this.

itarusaki May 18, 2020

I agree with your review 100%. It just lacked so much it irked me 15 minutes in lmao