After the phenomenal success of Your Name, when Makoto Shinkai's next film became known, everyone had heightened expectations that it would turn out to be another phenomenon. However, perhaps to the dismay of many, this is not the case. MyAnimeList is looking into whether Tenki no Ko will be the next Kimi no Na wa. This article contains spoilers for both pictures.
The unprecedented success of this anime meant that a great responsibility fell on Makoto Shinkaya, because everyone was expecting another masterpiece, if not better, then at least at the same level. The author of the material saw this motive in numerous articles, reviews, interviews and personal conversations with the author related to the latest film "Weathering With You". As a native Australian, the author was fortunate enough to see the anime in theaters just a month after it premiered in Japan, while much of the world is still waiting. It does not come close to the level of Tenki no Ko in terms of cinematic quality of Kimi no Na wa, but one cannot ignore the provocative creative decisions made by Shinkai in the new film.
About Weathering With You
First, let's analyze a little the plot of the picture. Sixteen-year-old Hodaka Morishima escapes from his home on a small island and moves to Tokyo, where he struggles to survive. Hodaka meets Hina, a young girl who is also trying to support herself and her younger brother Nagi. Later, the guy gets a job as a journalist in the yellow edition. He is tasked with investigating various urban legends and supernatural events. Hodaka learns that Hina has the power to control the weather, and they are going to stop the endless rain coming to Tokyo.
Things are only getting worse: the weather is getting worse and out of Hina's control. At this time, Hodaka is wanted by the social service. Hina finds out that in order to prevent the catastrophe she will have to sacrifice herself and she wants to do it faster than Hodaka tries to save her.
Anime is made up of a collection of genres and ideas that don't quite fit together. In the words of Nick Dent, “[Tenki no Ko] looks amazing, but the picture is still struggling to decide which movie it wants to be: a tender teen romance, urban drama, an apocalyptic metaphor for climate change, or a flight of fantasy,” the anime illustrates this statement.
Shinkai and its success
Over the past few years, Makoto Shinkai has established himself as an iconic anime director. His digital technology and unique art style have been at the forefront of the modern anime revolution. But besides this, important and understandable themes flow through his story: distance, fate, aspiration, isolation, connection, the nature of relationships, and so on.
Before "Your Name", he was considered an independent filmmaker who was known for his small and beautiful works of authorship. According to Genka Kawamura, producer of Your Name, it was conceived as the best of all past works. And so it was, anime brought together teenage love, long-distance relationships, supernatural fantasies, promises and dreams, not to mention how the picture took in the production of the elements.
As Shinkai said in an interview with The Los Angeles Times, “No one knows this yet, but there is someone somewhere you should care deeply about. I thought that I could inspire young people with this message if I could create a fairy tale. ”
"Your Name" vs. "Weather Child"
There are two main differences between these two pictures: "Your name" is a story about destiny. "Weather child" - rejection of it. To understand, let's look at the concept of "musubi" or the Red Thread of Fate. Taki and Mitsuha are linked by a supernatural power that transcends time. They believe in this destiny and fight for it. In the second film, the same fate dictates to Hina that she must become a victim in order to restore normal weather in Tokyo. But Hodaka refuses to accept this fate, although it will entail the consequences shown throughout the film. These ideas and emotions influence the thematic structure of the film and its message to young people.
As Shinkai told Yahoo! Japan: “The Hodaka conflict is a confrontation against the wishes of society, its own well-being and the good for humanity. Compared to his past films, where interpersonal conflicts are explored, Weather Child is an author's appeal to the whole world.
One of Makoto Shinkai's most beloved metaphors is trains and how they symbolize separation. In Byousoku 5 Centimeter, we see the torture that Takaki faces on his long travels to see Akari on trains that spend his limited time; in Your Name, Taki and Mitsuha are helpless as they see each other in passing trains, carrying them away from each other. The same theme is momentarily present in Tenki no Ko, Hina's house is constantly shaking when trains pass by and it worries her. And precipitation due to climate change leads to the fact that all railway lines are closed, and this prevents them from escaping, which is according to the plot, and also causes inconvenience to all other residents of Tokyo.
However, this motive is destroyed when Hodaka runs away from the police to rescue Hina and runs along the train tracks. At this point, Hodaka rejects the themes of the past and the restrictions imposed on him by society, as he ignores all warnings directed at him.
The Catcher in the Rye
At the same time, the film has clear parallels with the book "The Catcher in the Rye". The central theme of this timeless book is the protection of the innocence of children. In the book, it all boils down to the fact that if teenagers want to take risks, they have the right to do so, as evidenced by Hodaki's decision to save Hina and leave Tokyo in disaster. At the end of the film, he tells her: “Pray only for yourself, Hina,” thereby telling her and the audience to follow their destiny and reject the expectations placed on her by others.
The ending is much bolder
Despite the message, which is encouraging, the end of the anime itself is much harsher and bolder. When Hina and Hodaka return to Earth, it starts to rain. Then the action moves forward three years, and we see that the whole of Tokyo is literally flooded.
It would be foolish not to acknowledge the climate change allegory, which is one of, if not the hottest, topic of concern for today's youth.
This is not just an illustration of things to come, it is also a question of the burden and responsibility that the younger generation must bear.
When Hodaka enters the sky after entering the shrine, he passes through a dark world filled with terrifying creatures. It would not surprise me if this is a reference to society's ill-treatment of the planet we live on, and heavy rainfall is heaven's retribution for our stupidity and pride.
Makoto Shinkai delved into the world of youth emotions and desires many times, but thanks to the latest film, he captured the chasm that exists between youth and the adult world, the future and the past, and also raised the moral question of whether it is worth sacrificing one person for the collective good. although it is not new to movies and books. To some extent, "Weather Child" can be called the next "Your name", but its themes are fundamentally different from those for which he became famous.
The Topic of Article: Is Makoto Shinkai's Weather Child Next Your Name?.