Weathering With You DVD REVIEW

When I was faced with reviewing WEATHERING WITH YOU, an apparently twee anime about love, I was less than thrilled.  I come from the anime of AKIRA, NINJA SCROLLS and GOLGO 13. Tough, unsettling films. Films that reflected Japanese cinema’s search to challenge and question its post war ideals. My niece, who is an anime aficionado, comes from a newer, dare I say modern realm. One of more compassionate and broader themes.

So I sat to watch WEATHERING WITH YOU. The story is straight forward enough. Young high schooler Hodaka Morishima is in Tokyo. Chasing dreams but falling behind. He finds a job as a newspaper reporter of an occult orientated publication. He has to write extraordinary pieces for his boss Suga, who levels with him that it is as much to mock as to inform. Then he runs into Hina, she is a sunshine girl. She is also wanted by a nasty mob guy for some indecent boy girl thing. Cue strange weather events…

So I enjoyed WEATHERING WITH YOU. The usual good bits were there. The animation was bold and beautifully coloured. It was scripted with wit and a sense of purposes but I liked it for its ability to navigate its path evenly and engagingly. Often anime films seem to meander. I hate Studio Ghibli (but tell others to watch it) because it meanders and in a twee way. Before you cry fowl. SPIRITED AWAY could have been 40 minutes shorter and still be too meandering and pretensious.

In places WEATHERING WITH YOU felt like it was from a teen drama from the 1960s. All urgency and agency. Characters do things because a writer has actually bothered to detail why. To give them aspiration and perspiration. They do and they have to do. Its really very good. I was impressed and maybe now I will return and return again to these films I have treated with indignation. Also to note. My niece loved it to. She enjoyed the love story certainly but she also seemed to love the drama. From the sadness of love lost to the occasional drawing of a gun. From the tender capture of the light to a rain cloud blasting force with stunning water. WEATHERING WITH YOU pleased us both and across age and gender groups. So in summation. Its rather good…

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