WARNING: Slight spoilers ahead for Your Name and Weathering With You!
Makoto Shinkai’s latest film, Weathering With You, is a heart-wrenching and breathtakingly beautiful anime film that leans heavily into Your Name’s legacy. In true Makoto Shinkai fashion, the film follows a pair of teens who foster feelings for each other and challenge authority and the forces of nature to belong, and features a soundtrack by RADWIMPS that absolutely slaps and bops. So, by no surprise, it features a few cameos of our favourite body-swapped time-travelling lovebirds.
If you don’t want to know what happens next for Your Name’s Mitsuha and Taki, stop reading right now and know that Weathering With You is a great film and probably the best anime film in Australian theatres this year. But, if you do, continue on…
Weathering With You follows high schooler Hodaka Morishima who runs away from his home on an isolated island to Tokyo and soon realises he’s broke poor. After taking up a part-time job as a writer for an amateur occult magazine, he begins looking into the various superstitions of Tokyo’s constantly rainy weather.
One day, he sees a ray of light break through the cloudy sky, shining down onto the roof of an abandoned overgrown building. Chasing after it, he meets Hina Amano, a fellow parent-less girl in Tokyo who has the power to stop the rain and clear the sky.
From there, the duo start an online anonymous service where Tokyo residents can pay money to have Hina appear and stop the rain in a specific place for a short period of time. Without spoiling the film, they get more than they bargain for and throughout their journey meet some familiar faces.
Casting your mind back to the end of Your Name, you might remember teens Mitsuha and Taki free themselves from their body swap nightmare and, now in the same timeline, are determined to meet face-to-face. For those who've seen the movie, you know what the closing shot is... and now, we might know what happened next.
In Weathering With You, we find Taki, now seemingly in his mid-20s, living with his grandmother in a scene where Hina helps stop the rain shortly for their clothes to dry.
Later, Hodoka wants to buy a gift for Hina’s birthday and gets advice from a department store assistant who looks and sounds like Mitsuha, wearing the same red ribbon that tied the two star-crossed lovers together originally. We don’t know if the pair are together at this point but what we can say is that they’re both living in Tokyo, so take with that what you will, shippers.
This isn’t the first time characters from other Makoto Shinkai films have popped up in other films - Garden of Words’ Takao and Yukari have a very small cameo in Your Name. But, there’s something strangely nostalgic and heart-stopping about seeing Taki and Mitsuha again that makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Are they together? Do they really remember each other? What is Taki doing now?
We might not have the answers but what we can say is that it hints that all of Shinkai’s films exist in a shared universe, which is rad as.
Weathering With You is the next anime film by Your Name director Makoto Shinkai, out in Australian theatres on August 22. It’s an incredibly pretty film dripping in mesmerising animation, lovable characters and an emotional story perfect for fans of Your Name and coming-of-age romantic comedies.
Btw, the RADWIMPS soundtrack seriously slaps.
Before seeing Weathering With You, watch Makoto Shinkai's record-breaking beloved anime Your Name on SBS World Movies (Channel 32)! It screens on Wednesday 4 September 2019 at 9.05pm and you can stream it after the broadcast on SBS On Demand.
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