“Tokyo is currently experiencing rain showers that seem to disrupt the usual pace of everyone living there to no end. Amidst this seemingly eternal downpour arrives the runaway high school student Hodaka Morishima, who struggles to financially support himself—ending up with a job at a small-time publisher. At the same time, the orphaned Hina Amano also strives to find work to sustain herself and her younger brother.
Both fates intertwine when Hodaka attempts to rescue Hina from shady men, deciding to run away together. Subsequently, Hodaka discovers that Hina has a strange yet astounding power: the ability to call out the sun whenever she prays for it. With Tokyo’s unusual weather in mind, Hodaka sees the potential of this ability. He suggests that Hina should become a “sunshine girl”—someone who will clear the sky for people when they need it the most.
Things begin looking up for them at first. However, it is common knowledge that power always comes with a hefty price…” MAL
A lot of things have been going on in my real life so my consumption of anime since the top of the new year has been sparse compared to last year. I started watching YuYu Hakusho in early march and that’s really been it lately, but I wanted to dip my toes back in with some anime movies. So I looked up a bunch of lists of “must see” anime movies and this one was on pretty much every single one. And before I really get into this spoiler free(ish) review of this movie. I wanna say I’m never one to be heavily swayed by majority opinion. I understand that everyone’s taste is subjective. So seeing something get high praise that I personally dislike or vice versa. I’m like okay, it’s just a difference of opinion and I can usually see from the other side as to why people might like what I don’t. As of writing this, I’ve yet to read any other reviews on this movie, but I’ve seen the scores. I’ve seen the high recommendations. The 9s, 10s, etc, etc. And this is one of those few times where I just don’t get it at all. I almost feel like I watched a different movie than everyone else.
On the positive side of things. The major saving grace of this film is the visuals and score. Anime movies always look fantastic. This is in that upper echelon of visuals and it constantly flaunts it. Pure eye candy with a great soundtrack to match. There are some scenes that made actually say, “wow this is beautiful.” Knocked it out of the park in that regard. More positives, the first half of this movie was pretty damn good. It’s a generic runaway story still but the characters and the extra spice added by the whole sunshine girl dynamic made it fun. It was fun, heartwarming, slightly dreary and melancholic, but all around very enjoyable is the perfect way to sum up the first half of this movie.
Now before I get to the negatives, something I’m more neutral on is the voice acting. I watched the dub and I honestly thought it was great up until the last act where the more emotional gut wrenching moments of dialogue just felt flat. I laughed at a few moments when I knew I should’ve been feeling the power and emotion behind the dialogue but the voice acting just wasn’t it. But this is a more neutral point because that gripe only goes for a few characters, mainly the main character Hodaka, and still overall everyone was really good.
So what I didn’t like. The second half of this movie started off good enough and It progressively got worse until the credits rolled. Initially, after it was over I had certain thoughts on why I felt this way and after sleeping on it I think I nailed down my biggest gripes with this portion of the movie and the movie as a whole. For one, I wanted more backstory and motivation from Hodaka. Every other character besides him got some sort of dialogue, flashback, or just a moment that alluded to or vividly painted their backstory. Except him. I don’t know why he ran away and if the movie went in a different direction than it did then maybe that wouldn’t have mattered at all. But since it went this way the lack of backstory was a big part in me not sympathizing with him at all.
Staying on Hodaka, his actions and selfishness were really jarring. Everything he did at the end of this movie was absurd. As I watched it, ridiculous as it was, I let it slide a bit. I let my disbelief be suspended even though I was laughing at how wild it was. Then he does something that is so selfish that results in a life changing event. Not just for him, but for millions of people. I strongly dislike how one character enabled this when up until the ending they did not seem like the type to do that. I hate even more how the story enabled this in the epilogue with Hodaka’s voice over. Which it initially heavily questioned his decision and how it affected millions and altered lives. Then he says “I guess I’ll have to live with it.” All the while he gets his happy ending. That line capped off a ridiculous ending that I guess wanted me to feel happy for him that he’s finally happy? I’m still shocked at just how selfish this ending was.
So yeah, Weathering with You is visually and musically amazing. Creme of the crop. Honestly, I could definitely tolerate watching this again just for the eye candy and music. Unfortunately, the latter half of this movie progressively gets more ridiculous until its very selfish ending that expected me to be happy for an unlikeable main character. I wanted to know more Hodaka, I needed that backstory. Just having that perspective on him could’ve changed how I viewed the ending. Instead, he was already the least interesting character that became completely unlikeable by his actions in the ending. All of that sucks cause I was really enjoying this movie for a bit, but it really lost me in the end.
Weathering With You – 4/10