The day after watching Your Name, we watched Weathering With You. As explained in my earlier post, I deliberately watched Your Name first because that movie was older, and I’m glad I decided on doing that, because it would have ruined my experience of Your Name if I had done it the other way around. Why? I will explain it after a quick review of this movie’s plot.
Hodaka is a runaway boy who decided that being alone in Tokyo would be better than living with his parents. He travels to the big city with a ferry, where he stupidly enough stands around on deck while everyone is being told to take cover from the weather. Barely being rescued by a guy named Keisuke, the boy later finds himself in Tokyo where he quickly learns that life is rough. He runs out of money, can’t find a job and gets into trouble after finding a gun that he fires in self-defense while trying to help out a girl whom he feels indebted to, since she gave him a burger for free earlier when he was really hungry.
Having found a job at Keisuke’s small publishing studio, Hodaka writes about supernatural occurrences and stories together with a woman named Natsumi, and thus knows about the girls who used to bring good weather to the country by sacrificing themselves to the beings living in the sky. The girl he meets, Hina, is one such girl, and her power is to bring sunshine to an otherwise rainy year. She can do so by praying to the Gods, but only for a short amount of time, and only in a small radius around her. Hodaka and Hina then offer this service to those who seek sunshine on important days, and business is booming. That is, until Hina starts showing the effects of her constant usage of this power.
Now, Weathering With You is very beautiful to look at, and the story is also quite good when it comes to depicting teenagers without parents, trying to be adults. But other than that, this movie doesn’t have much to offer, and this is where I will explain why I was glad that I watched Your Name first, because it’s simple; Weathering With You is a copy of Your Name.
They both follow the exact same formula of a boy and a girl meeting by chance, they become best friends, fall in love, lose each other due to supernatural happenings, the boy then seek out the girl because they share an unbreakable bond, and the boy uses said supernatural happenings to enter another world and bring the girl back. Only that in Your Name it didn’t affect their surroundings negatively, while in Weathering With You, it surely did.
Had I watched this movie first, I probably wouldn’t have felt so strongly about Your Name, which would have been sad, since it was kind of the original. My knowledge of Shinkai’s stories right now only comes from The Place Promised in Our Early Days, Your Name and now Weathering With You, and although I don’t like the first mentioned, I still think it’s better than this copy, which just makes me sad. Not because it’s a bad movie, because it certainly isn’t, but because he used the exact same formula in 2 movies that were released with nothing in-between to break them apart. On a quick side note though, my boyfriend liked this one over Your Name.
I just bought the manga version of She and Her Cat yesterday, and am looking forward to a hopefully better Shinkai experience from that.