Makoto Shinkai, the Japanese anime director responsible for the staggeringly brilliant Your Name, returns with Weathering with You; another supernatural-teenage-romance-circling-environmental-catastrophe type narrative.
Teenage runaway Hodaka falls in love with Hina, a teenage girl with mysterious powers. Known as a “sun girl” in mythology, Hina has the ability to manipulate weather to provide much needed respite from the unrelenting rain lashing Toyko in apparent perpetuity. But her powers come at a terrible cost.
It goes without saying that the animation is staggering. Images of rain swept Tokyo are beautifully detailed, and the more surreal visual elements – including a parallel world in the skies – are imaginatively rendered. The narrative is engaging, and builds to a gripping climax. Vocal performances are good, and the whole thing is underpinned by environmental concerns both familiar to the genre and metaphorically contemporary.
Weathering with You doesn’t scale the metaphysically mind-blowing, emotionally exhilarating heights of Your Name, but it is a very sweet-centred story that will delight anime fans in general, and fans of Your Name in particular.
UK Certificate: 12A
US Certificate: PG-13