Ever since ‘Your Name’ ( Kimi no Na Wa ) stormed anime and non-anime fans worldwide three years ago, all eyes are on Makoto Shinkai for his newest work – Tenki no Ko that was released on July 19 in Japan. Much to our expectations, it landed a great hit there and even selected as Japan’s pick for Oscars’ Best International Feature Film.
However, one common misconception is that this movie would be the next Kimi No Na Wa, but it’s not. It would be despicable to compare both of this movie to see which one is better as a whole or deal a greater impact to others. Don’t do this. Take a look at it as a whole new movie and just stay in that moment. It would be worth it.
This is because what ‘Your Name’ did, ‘Weathering With You’ does it in a different way by taking a step backward, and making a leap forward.
Taking a step backward:
Customary topics that came up when discussing Makoto Shinkai’s work are most likely the detailed animation and the amazing score that defined his movies. In his newest work, the fluid animation has again, literally caught everyone’s attention. In contrast to countryside views, he employed back the beautiful rainy weather from ‘Garden of Words’ and keeping it up with the breathtaking view of Tokyo from ‘Your Name’, adding some scenes in the chilly Tokyo night.
Another impact that he brought to fans is the song and music composed by RADWIMPS which are mesmerizing and the lyrics that ring painfully close to the different scenarios and emotions. The score brings an emotional attachment to the songs that link you to the characters, their words and their thoughts that are yet to be expressed. This serve as a same link that makes ‘Your Name’ enjoyable and one of the merits which enhance the story of ‘Weathering With You’. And with the songs, it left a great aftertaste to listen to it again to keep that emptiness in your heart at check. ( Is there still anything love can do? and Grand Escape are both criminally touching )
Then, Tenki no Ko springs through the air with its story.
Perhaps one of the elements in Shinkai’s work that is genuine and heart-warming to everyone is that most of his characters are designed to be normal, just like you, just like any of us. It doesn’t involve them saving the world, or living in a far-fetched world of wonders, they are simply living their lives here inside the rainy Tokyo. Which is why draping their ordinary lives with a bit colored fantasy is so fascinating to watch, like it could happen to any of us in just one instant.
And because it’s not something highly fabricated, it feels true and able to resonate so deeply to us.
At one point in the film, Taki and Mitsuha made a cameo. They guide the main lead, Hodaka in their own way and I think it’s one of the greatest scenes in whole movie. Because once again, Makoto leaves a reminder for us that is watching – they are just ordinary people. Everything that we know about them and their adventure are in the past, all the emotions that we feel about them are already buried deep and etched inside our heart and so, it’s time to move on.
With that being said, Tenki no Ko has its ups and downs.
Without spoiling anything, it has its fair share of character developments of main and side characters that spice up the story. Though the pace is a bit slow at the beginning, but it caught up midway and with some drama, you’re in for a ride. Plus, it has chilling and captivating suspenseful moments with transitions. More importantly, it managed to portray how the two teenage leads – Hodaka and Hina bring an impact to one another and how their impulsive action can have consequences. They give the weather a meaning by depicting how they’ve changed the world and how deep they meant to each other, which is just beautiful.
In the end, it’s up to us, the audiences to decide the takeaway from the film and what to cherish from it. Because given the situation they face and the pain that they feel, the question that it leaves us with is rather a simple and complicated one.
Tenki no Ko is quite a great movie as expected and on whether it’s really successful or not, I just enjoy the fact that their feelings got to me and a smile was carved on my face as I leave the cinema.
Thanks for reading.