Review: Weathering With You Vol. 1 by Makoto Shinkai and Wataru Kubota

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During the summer of his first year in high school, a young man named Hodaka runs away from home to the bustling city of Tokyo. Alone and exhausted, he decides to kill time in a fast food place, where he meets a young woman named Hina who happens to work there. Little does he know that Hina possesses powers that not only affect the weather, but the whole world…

There are a few people in this world that I will read anything they ever produce. Alice Oseman being one of them. Makoto Shinkai being another. I love Your Name, it is one of my favourite films in the world and I also love the light novel and manga. Weathering With You quickly became another favourite, and I read the light novel soon after the movie release. Me and Mark spotted this manga recently and knew we both wanted to pick it up, as we both loved the film so much. This is the first of 3 volumes (completed as far as I am aware) in the Weathering manga, and I read this in around half an hour. Naturally, the art style is well suited to manga due to the film being anime. I also love how some pages are completely given over to one drawing, giving big scenes the space, size and therefore impact they deserve.

Weathering with You - Kodansha
Copyright Vertical Comics 2020

I love the characters in Weathering so much, and just thinking about their friendship makes me emotional. This first volume heavily focuses on them meeting and developing their friendship, which already feels authentic and heartwarming. I also really enjoyed the slightly different insight reading the manga gives to Hodaka’s thought processes and feelings. His story feels almost slightly more raw due to this narrative, and even though only a few pieces of dialogue were changed, I felt the change.

I’m really excited to pick up the rest of this manga and it has definitely made me want to rewatch the film!

★★★★★
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Stacking the Shelves #17

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga where we share books we’ve bought or received this week. Find out more and join in here!

Hi all! This week I treated myself to something a little different – a manga book. I never really buy myself manga, and the only one’s I actually own are the Your Name mangas. If you know me you’ll know how much I adore Makoto Shinkai’s films, and I also own the light novels. I had the first two already but not the third, so I finally picked it up!

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What did you buy this week? 

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: Weathering With You by Makoto Shinkai

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Longing to escape his island home, a boy named Hodaka runs away during his first summer of high school to find a new life in Tokyo. As rain falls for days on end and Hodaka struggles to adjust, he meets a girl named Hina who holds a mysterious power: With a single prayer, she can part the clouds and bring back the sun. But her power comes at a price, and as the weather spirals further and further out of control, they must choose what future they truly want for themselves.
Written concurrently with production of the 2019 film Weathering With You, this novel comes straight from director Makoto Shinkai, the mind behind 2016’s hit your name.!

I always find these books the hardest to review. Makoto Shinkai is the director of multiple movies such as Your Name and now Weathering With You. In 2017, I read the light novel of Your Name and adored it so much – you can see my review here. But the difference here is I think there was much more time between me watching the Your Name movie and reading the light novel. This time, I only watched Weathering With You around a month ago, so reading the light novel with it so fresh in my mind was a little strange. I’m going to attempt to summarise my thoughts on this book, but I also believe I will naturally struggle to separate the two and may discuss both.

Makoto Shinkai, you’ve done it again. I fell in love with this story just as much as I did with Your Name. Although both stories are a little dark, I saw the contrast between them almost instantly. A major focus of Weathering is environmental and climate change, but it also immediately explores difficult family relationships, homelessness and mentions gun crime and the difficulties young girls face on the streets. Watching the film, I was a little shocked. The dark undertones of this story were not quite expected, and gave a much different narrative for me than that of the familiar Your Name.

However, the story quickly picks up and we see our main character meet the 100% sunshine girl, and a magical realism compelling fantasy tale emerges. Even if I didn’t always love all of the characters in this book, I appreciated them for what they were, including Keisuke. I loved that the book gives cameos to both Taki and Mitsuha from Your Name, and they’re in the movie too, if a little harder to spot.

Hodaka and Hina both grow and have a strange coming of age story among all the madness they face. Seeing them face their own challenges together and apart warmed my heart, and I ended up tearing up at the movie and the book. Even Hina’s little brother, Keisuke’s daughter and the cat ended up having a special place in my heart.

My only difficulty (other than separating my thoughts between the movie and the light novel), is that this book often left me questioning who was narrating. We follow more than two characters, and there isn’t any chapter or section headings to indicate the switches, neither is the tone all that different. It left me muddled and I found the book hard to follow in parts.

Overall, the story of Weathering With You was compelling, emotional and romantic. I can’t say whether it surpassed or matched Your Name for me, but rather I think it holds a different piece of me all together, a piece just as treasured.

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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