In Weathering with You a young high school student, Hodaka Morishima, runs away from school and heads to Tokyo. His trip nearly ends in disaster as he his thrown off the ferry by powerful rainstorms that have been pummelling Tokyo in an unprecedented fashion.

Hodaka is saved by the somewhat seedy Keisuke Suga, who gives the young man his business card in case he ever needs it. The chance meeting leads to Hodaka working for Suga and his niece at their publishing company that specializes in urban legends.

Learning from a psychic that the constant storms are a result of ‘weather maidens’, who have an ability to control the weather, Hodaka and Suga’s investigation leads them to Hina Amano, a girl who really does possess this supernatural ability. Quickly becoming good friends, Hina and Hodaka decide to launch a business together. One where Hina creates brief bouts of sunshine for those willing to pay.

Weathering With You

The constant use of her power proves to be risky though, and the pair decide to shut down the business after one last act. Unexpectedly, Hina’s final creation of sunlight suddenly causes many fantastical events that will ultimately affect both of their lives.

Weathering with You’s unique style of animation further separates Makoto Shinkai from the initial, and inevitable, “The New Miyazaki” comparisons that haunted him earlier in his career. Shinkai infuses his film with sequences that are both hypnotising and emotionally poignant in their beauty. The keen directorial eye allows the colourful visuals to add rich context to the uneventful and almost depressing portrait of Japan viewers are initially shown.

Shinkai once again looks toward the sky for an unconventional narrative. This time around he creates a work that has similarities to his popular previous film Your Name but offers an entirely unique experience. Slight hints posit the possibility that the two films take place in the same cinematic world, a thoughtful proposition if you carefully compare the similarities and differences. Weathering with You is a slight notch below Your Name, but it still tugs at the proverbial heartstrings. All this makes for a visually and emotionally rich film that will be even more rewarding upon repeat viewings.