4K UHD Review: Weathering With You (Collector’s Edition)

On top of everything else happening in 2020, the weather has been rather dramatic over the year. We’ve had dozens of named hurricanes and tropical storms that have dumped rain all the place. This is a prime time to watch a movie about a young girl that can stop the rain. Weathering With You opened at the beginning of the year in American theaters back when we could go to theaters without a care. Now GKIDS and Shout! Factory are bringing the theatrical resolution experience to your home with Weathering With You (Collector’s Edition) that includes a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray of the film along with the movie on a regular Blu-ray disc if you haven’t made the leap up. This is an animated film that deserves the upgraded view as you want to see the changes in the weather.

In the near future, Hodaka Morishima (Brandon Engman) splits from his small island of Kōzu-shima for the bright digital displays of Tokyo. Sure he’s only a high schooler, but he can’t wait anymore. But the journey gets bumpy fast when the ferry he’s riding gets nailed by a fierce rainstorm. Before he gets tossed into the ocean, he’s saved by Keisuke Suga (Halt and Catch Fire‘s Lee Pace). The guy gives the kid his business card in case he gets in trouble again. Hodaka doesn’t think it matters, but very quickly his Tokyo dreams get crushed as his cash reserves vanish quickly in the expensive city. His only moment of beauty comes when Hina Amano (Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street‘s Ashley Boettcher) sneaks him a sandwich during her shift at McDonalds. After a rather messy moment on the street, Hodaka seeks more help from Keisuke. Turns out the guy as a need for the kid. He runs a company that supplies stories to news outlets that deal in odd stories that used to run in the Weekly World News. Except they just don’t make up the lunacy. They have to at least find real life lunatics making the claims. Hodaka takes the job of both investigating, cleaning up the office and doing anything that won’t be done by Keisuke’s niece Natsumi Suga (GLOW‘s Alison Brie). One of the stories they are investigating is about a girl who can stop the rain that has been constant for a long time in Tokyo. Turns out Hodaka stumbles upon the mysterious girl. Instead of merely reporting on her talent, he goes into business with her. They have people hire her for various outdoor events where they’d like a bright and sunny time. Who wouldn’t pay top dollar to keep rain off their wedding? But things go bad to ruin the business and jeopardize the rain stopper. Hodaka also gets trouble when people from the island come looking for him. Will anything stop the rain?

Weathering With You is a beautiful film. Director Makoto Shinkai and his crew have been able to create a vision of a Tokyo of the near future that makes tomorrow seem exciting even with all the rain. The characters are very expressive so you don’t question why they didn’t just make a live-action version of the film. There is a sense of grace on the screen especially when the one character brings the sunshine on the constantly soaked Tokyo. Weathering With You really builds upon their success with Your Name (2016). Radwimps return with a new score. The boxset includes a compact disc of the music so you can listen to it in the car while driving in the rain and looking up for a sunny patch. The film was nominated by Japan as their official entry for the Best International Feature Film Oscar. it didn’t make the final nominees, but it shows how much people embraced the film. For those of you that missed the movie when it came to the theaters, the 4K UHD presentation will make you give you the detail from the silver screen while in the comfort of your home. Although the resolution will make you feel like it’s raining indoors.

The video is 1.78:1 anamorphic. The animation looks stunning in 4K UHD with the rain details. The audio on the Blu-ray is DTS-MA 5.1 for Japanese and English. Either track sounds fine. The rain effects will surround you. There’s a descriptive track in English. The subtitles are in English, Spanish and French.

CD Soundtrack features the score from Radwimps.

104-page Book includes interviews with cast & crew, model sheets for the characters and art from the film.

The Making of Weathering With You (89:22) goes deep into the making of the film. It’s in Japanese with English subtitles. There’s a real emphasis on how much time Shinkai put into the film. Nothing goes that fast in animation. It starts with his illustrated proposal and ends with the massive release.

Mini-Poster of the theatrical poster.

Decal Sticker is perfect for your window.

Interview with Director Makoto Shinkai (11:14) has him speak of the two years he took creating Weathering With You.. The film expanded on the weather element in his previous films and makes it more aggressive. He walks us through how you animate rain.

Weather Front (24:08) shows off the Godzilla statue in front of Toho’s headquarters building. We follow the film from pre-production to the record breaking theatrical release.

Talk Show: Makoto Shinkai and Yumiko Udo (70:02) is a long interview with the director for a TV Special. We even get to see Shinkai’s house. They even sneak in bonus elements from the film.

Director Filmography Featurette (13:00) goes through the trailers of the films he made starting in 2002.

Trailers & TV Spots (10:35) has all the promotional footage.

GKIDS and Shout! Factory presents Weathering With You. Directed by: Makoto Shinkai. Screenplay by: Makoto Shinkai. Starring: Kotaro Daigo, Brandon Engman, Nana Mori, Ashley Boettcher, Shun Oguri, Lee Pace, Tsubasa Honda and Alison Brie. Rated: PG-13. Running Time: 112 minutes. Released: November 17, 2020.

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