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Japanese anime is probably one of the most unique film genres in the world. Japanese filmmakers are known for creating some of the finest animated movie franchises, loved by fans all over the world. Some of these fans are in India, and they have finally managed to bring the Japanese flavour to the country. Weathering With You (Tenki no Ko), Japan's submission as Best International Feature Film category for the upcoming 92nd Academy Awards (Oscars 2020), will be released across select PVR movie theaters in India on October 11, as part of the ongoing Japanese Film Festival. The guys at PVR were kind enough to show us an early screening of the movie and here is our review.

PS: Major spoilers ahead

Weathering With You is the tale of two teenagers who fall in love so deep, they end up influencing the weather in the city of Tokyo. It's a tale of climate change, and how it ruins our world.

The story starts off by introducing the boy, Hodaka Morishima, who runs away from his home town to Tokyo, in search for livelihood. The girl, Hina Amano, is introduced as the daughter of an ailing woman. Hina is blessed with the power to bring sunshine even in heavy rain.

The both of them meet by chance; Hina offers Hodaka a free burger on seeing his condition. Hodaka saves her from child trafficking and they both set up a business to use the girl's superpowers to make money. However, Hodaka ends up falling madly in love with her and decides to propose.

The twist in the story comes when Hina reveals that she actually loses parts of her body whenever she summons sunshine. Hodaka is heartbroken but Hina must decide to vanish in order to save Tokyo from deadly thunderstorms. Hodaka is determined to get her back by using the same method she used when she got her superpower.

Weathering With You is the heartwarming story of two pure kids in love. It is refreshing to see a love story without any baggage or consequences, on screen. However, the plot is slightly confused and presents twists on its own convenience. For instance, plot points like why Hodaka ran away from his home town or how he fell in love with Hina are really never explained.

For those who have been to Tokyo, the cinematography is brilliant. You see the gorgeous alleyways, vending machine galleries, and skyline, all beautifully recreated in an animated world. The direction is classic, and sets up for an emotional climax.

Emotions aside, the climax is quite cliched. There is no real surprise element, and you tend to feel the predictability of the story by the last quarter of the movie. Weathering With You is Japan's only anime submission to the Oscars in the last 20 years, but might not be enough to get it a nomination.

Verdict

Weathering With You, celebrated filmmaker Makoto Shinkai's latest, is a fun watch. In an era of stuffy rom-coms, the concept of this anime is refreshing and unique. However, the scriptwriter couldn't quite manage to capture the complete essence of the film, leaving you bored by the end of it. That said, this movie is a great sign of things to come as Japanese cinema gains popularity in India with each passing year.

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Rating: 3/5

Voice Cast: Kotaro Daigo, Nana Mori, Shun Oguri, Tsubasa Honda, Chieko Baisho

Director: Makoto Shinkai

Producer: Genki Kawamura

Weathering With You (Tenki no Ko) releases in select PVR movie theaters in India on October 11, 2019, as part of the ongoing Japanese Film Festival 2019.