Austin Burke’s review published on Letterboxd:
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Let’s start with the visuals. It’s obviously one of the most beautiful movies of the past few months. The animation is ridiculously gorgeous, and it’s just another testament to what Anime can do. If it is executed properly; it can take you into another world. Makoto Shinkai has proven himself to be a brilliant Writer/Director combination. Your Name is easily one of the best animated movies of all-time. Weathering with You doesn’t quite get there, but it does present plenty of impressive ideas that have never been showcased before. The concept of this girl controlling the weather is quite cool, but it’s even cooler when our characters begin to use it as a way to change their lives; without listening to what destiny is telling them. What (somewhat) bugs me is how we end it, as our characters are making selfish decisions throughout the third act.
We understand the passion behind it, because it has been displayed properly, but it still baffled me that we didn’t end in a different place. It’s still a tear jerking story that provides yet another fairy tale-like love story to an audience craving more of that world from this Director. Your Name was just so tragic yet beautiful. This film can be classified as the exact same thing, but it holds a different “supernatural element.” Hodaka is a great character. We find ways to relate to him almost immediately, as we feel sorry for his predicament. It’s never really explained why he is in this position (at first), but it’s still engaging enough to make us invested. The side characters are well-written as well, even if we could have gotten more from them. The trademark editing style is back and possibly better than it has ever been.
It’s paced in such a way that keeps you on your toes. Occasionally, the story slows down a bit too much, but you’re always pulled back in with an emotional moment. This film tackles love, inevitability, destiny, and changing your path in an interesting way. It can be rushed if you’re looking at the overall story, and the real disappointment within the film is the fact that it’s so similar to Your Name. Structure-wise, the fact that it’s a supernatural love story, and just not getting anything out of the boundaries set with his previous movie are all reasons to want a bit more. This takes nothing away from the masterful animation, the perfect sound design, as the interesting characters. The hope is that he can go in a different direction with his next film. Regardless, this Anime film is absolutely beautiful, and it deserves to be seen on a big screen. My theater had subtitled and audio-dubbed options, but I opted to go with subtitled this time.