My Thoughts on Weathering With You – Makoto Shinkai 2020 Film

So many ani bloggers are writing about this movie so I thought I should join in on the fun. The director is Makoto Shinkai, who also directed Your Name/Kimi no Na Wa. I watched Weathering With You today in the theatres. Tickets sell out really fast, which speaks a little to how popular Shinkai’s movies are. I’ll try not to spoil plot points.

There was an interview with Makoto Shinkai after the credits, which was extremely cool. Some things made more sense and I appreciated other things more after learning about the development of the movie.

I don’t like comparing works but I feel like it is inevitable to compare Weathering With You with Your Name. Most people I know liked Your Name better, but I actually liked this one more. I think it is an unpopular opinion but these are my reasons:

1) The side characters have a bigger presence. In Your Name, the memorable characters are Mitsuha and Taki. I barely remember anyone else. In Weathering With You, my favourite characters are two of the side characters.

2) I really, really appreciate all the rain scenes. Shinkai talked about the challenges of animating rain but the team went above and beyond. There are so many rain scenes.

3) I like the take on nature. Shinkai talked about this but in his previous films, nature was something celebratory. In this one, he takes on a darker turn with nature. I think that this is especially relevant with climate change. It motivates me to do more for the environment. This might be the pessimistic side of me coming out, but I really liked how things ended.

I am so happy that RADWIMPS’s songs are in this movie. I do think that the songs were catchier in Your Name, but I am not sure if catchy songs would suit Weathering With You. I think the songs were appropriate to the film. Another thing I liked more in Your Name was the cultural piece. Culture was a significant theme in Your Name, which made it really unique.

I think the ending could have been a little longer. It did feel a little unsatisfactory. They could have given us something while the credits were rolling but it’s a minor thing.

The movie had a lot of funny moments and emotional moments as well. I definitely recommend this movie. You will like it if you enjoyed Your Name. It is my favourite Shinkai film so far and I feel very happy to have seen it. ^_^ Go watch it in theatres!

Peach Girl (2017) – Japanese Film Review

Peach Girl (2017) is a Japanese live-action film based on the manga with the same name.

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Synopsis: Momo Adachi is a high school student who is always mistaken as “easy” and “scandalous” due to her tan skin. She doesn’t care what others think about her, as long as Kazuya Toji believes in her. A rumor gets out that Momo kissed Kairi Okayasu, the most popular guy at school. This starts a spiral of complicated matters because Toji is the one Momo is in love with!

The antagonist of this story is Sae Kashiwagi, a girl who pretends to be Momo’s friend but she actually takes pleasure in ruining Momo’s life. I watched the Taiwanese drama of this story in my childhood and to this dayΒ Sae has always been my most hated character. Momo is so sweet though, because she still cares about Sae. Sae is played by Mei Nagano,Β the actress who played Rinko Yamato from Ore Monogatari!! She’s a great actress because she played Sae’s character well, who is the complete opposite of Yamato’s character.

What I Liked: I liked the cast and liked how things were peach themed, especially with Momo’s name (meaning peach). Everyone was very fashionable, which reminds me of shojo manga. I liked the imagery, such as the beach scenes, flower shop and restaurant scenes. Overall, it was a pretty movie and the ending was cute.

What I Disliked: This movie had pacing issues. Things happened too quickly. There were overly dramatic scenes as well and it didn’t feel natural. While this film had its good moments,Β I would not rewatch this film.

Rating: 7/10

Similarities Between Inuyashiki and Ikiru

Inuyashiki is about a father who develops stomach cancer and has three months left to live. Spoilers: He becomes a robot, which sets off the story in the manga. Before he became a robot, he is on a swing and sings a song. This is after he finds out he has cancer. His family do not have respect for him, so he is unable to tell them the news.

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Ikiru (To Live) is a black and white Japanese film from 1952 by Akira Kurosawa. It’s about a father who also has stomach cancer. He has less than a year to live, and is unable to tell his son because his son cares more about his money than him. In the rest of the film, the main character tries to find meaning in his life, similar to Inuyashiki. At 1:39, the main character’s facial expression looks like Inuyashiki whenever he is trembling. Later on at 2:53, he is sitting on a swing and sings a song. Both characters in Inuyashiki and Ikiru are singing the same song! Do you think Oku watched Ikiru and was inspired by this scene?

The biggest difference is that Ikiru is more realistic and there are no robotic elements to it. After all, this is a movie from the 1950s and it has real actors. However, their journey towards finding meaning in life is similar. What do you think? Has anyone else seen Ikiru before?