Outside of Asia, anime is often discounted as being childish or considered something less than live-action films. It’s not always taken seriously, and when it does get coverage is regularly sidelined into a specialist category. This prejudice is vastly unfair. It’s a genre which comes in many shapes and sizes but directors such as Makoto Shinkai demonstrate how powerful it can be. With the likes of 5 Centimetres Per Second, The Garden of Words and last year’s smash hit Your Name he has demonstrated that he’s one of the best Japanese directors working today. His new film, Weathering with You, is another wonderful example.
After running away from home, high-school student Morishima Hodaka (Kotaro Daigo) is saved from a freak accident on the Tokyo ferry by Mr Suga (Shun Oguri). When he arrives in the capital, he struggles to find a job; ending up working for the older man and his niece Natsumi (Tsubasa Honda), investigating urban legends. Meanwhile, Hodaka forms a friendship with Hina (Nana Mori), who seems to have a strange affinity with the weather.
The first thing you notice about Weathering with You is just how beautiful it looks. As with his previous films, it’s a visual delight. It’s also delicately and empathetically written, addressing a number of social issues thoughtfully and without judgement. At turns exciting, at others heart-wrenching, Weathering with You is a wonderful example of the transformative possibilities of anime. A film with a huge heart and a vivid imagination.
Weathering with You is available to watch on Screen Anime now.