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‘Weathering With You’ (review)

Produced by Wakana Okamura, Kinue Itō
Written and Directed by Makoto Shinkai
English Dub Cast Brandon Engman, Alison Brie,
Ashley Boettcher, Lee Pace, Emeka Guindo,
Mike Pollock, Riz Ahmed, Barbara Goodson,
Stephanie Sheh, Michael Sinterniklaas

 

Weathering With You is a bittersweet fantastical tale of romance, loss, and friendship.

Young freshman Hodaka, a boy from a remote island in Japan runs away from home to a rain swept Tokyo where he befriends Hina, a girl who, according to an ancient myth, can control the weather. She is able to bring sunshine to the soggy city that hasn’t seen the sun in a very long time.

She and Hodaka start a small business utilizing her talents to make a quick buck unbeknownst to them that her power comes with a price. Hodaka also meets Keisuke, a local writer/owner of an occult magazine.

He hires Hodaka to be an office lackey and eventually He moves up to writing for the magazine.

Along with Keisuke’s cousin, Natsumi he discovers that the myth may be more than a fanciful tale.

Weathering With You is beautifully animated and director Makoto Shinkai and his team weave a lovely story.

I was immediately taken in by the stunning animation. A mix of hand drawn and computer aided cell animation the backgrounds are incredibly detailed and you would think that they were photographs. The story is gripping and with equal amounts of humor and drama I was hooked from the get go.

Hodaka and Hina’s friendship is very sweet and as their bond grows I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop and find out what sacrifice will have to be made in the end.

The caliber of animation throughout is exactly what one would expect from the maker of Your Name.

Makoto Shinkai surpasses himself with both the animation and the story. I highly recommend this family friendly tale. Featuring music from the hit band Radwimps, and starring an all-star voice cast including Lee Pace (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Hobbit Trilogy), Alison Brie (“GLOW”, The Lego Movie franchise), and Riz Ahmed (Rogue One: A star Wars Story, Venom) the themes of friendship and the bonds of family, both blood and familiar are what make this such a standout film.

I look forward to seeing this again with my niece, who is an anime fanatic.

Weathering With You is available on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital HD.

 

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