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ANNCast - Don't Mind Me, I'm Just Weathering Over Here




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KitKat1721



Joined: 03 Feb 2015
Posts: 269
PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 4:37 pm Reply with quote
I didn't think Weathering With You really had a chance of getting a nomination to be honest, despite GKIDS track record. It was pretty much buried by Netflix's underdog animated features (aka not Disney/Pixar, Dreamworks, etc...) and Netflix seemed to have a much stronger, more expensive marketing strategy. Weathering With You really didn't seem to make a huge splash at the limited LA/NY screenings with critics either, at least the way Your Name seemed to. Goldderby had it at like 100/1 odds.

I am really glad its doing well box office wise though! I had pretty mixed opinions on it, but I'll always root for anime films being successful in theaters. I thought it was beautifully animated obviously and I actually liked the main couple's development better than in Your Name. But it was so similar in tone and structure to his other works, and I thought it pushed the drama and sentimentality too much at times, even more so than Your Name. I really can't stand how it used like six cheesy pop song inserts, just stick with two or three please. Mostly, I thought the ending was a little half-baked. spoiler[I definitely didn't mind the boy making a "selfish decision" because I thought that was totally earned, but the whole global warming metaphor felt kind of weak. You have the grandma literally saying "lol this is no one's fault, the world was always like this anyway."]
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angelmcazares
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 11:25 pm Reply with quote
This Winter season is not as loaded for me with appealing new shows. But as usual I have 4-5 shows that I am invested in and 5-7 that I like following week to week. A Certain Scientific Railgun T, Asteroid in Love, Smile Down the Runway, Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! and In/Spectre are the ones that more interests me; In/Spectre is especially a pleasant surprise.
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tojikomori
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Joined: 08 Jan 2017
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 1:56 pm Reply with quote
I like Zac's analogy of Your Name as a perfect pop song, but it also describes why I prefer Weathering With You: Your Name felt like my favorite indie band's fist major label hit – full of great hooks and undeniably the best production yet, but somehow missing the character of less-polished early work. In Weathering With You, Shinkai had carried over and even improved on some skills from his breakout success but in a film that feels a bit more his own.

I agree with Lynzee too about the background cast being really well formed. Ok, not exactly her words – I'm putting a positive spin on it – but comparing e.g. Mr Suga to Mr Morisaki (of Children Who Chase Lost Voices) I think Shinkai has come far as a writer. And I agree, it would be great to see him write a story with an adult cast.

I think there are two shows I'll stick with this season:

Eizouken, yes, it's an absolute joy. Some nifty background music too; I may pick up the soundtrack.

And Somali. After the second episode I'm starting to come around to the background art. I let myself get carried away wondering how the manga's detailed backgrounds would be translated into anime backdrops and of course they went with a more impressionistic style because it's an animated TV show, dummy. It's a decent adaptation but I'm not finding it quite as charming as the manga. Some of the reasons for that are superficial/obvious – Somali's voice can be a little grating – but whether it's those differences adding up or just the more intimate experience of reading vs. watching, I simply feel more bonded to manga-golem than I do to anime-golem.
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Agent355



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Location: Crackberry in hand, thumbs at the ready...
PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:02 pm Reply with quote
I just came home from Weathering With You, and I feel like I have to get my thoughts down, so apologies for commenting before I listen to the podcast. I’ll try to comment again afterwards.

I really enjoyed the first 3/4 of the movie, more so than Your Name. I definitely felt the stakes were higher with Hodaka spoiler[ I surmised that he may have been abused/bullied at home due to the bandages on his face on the ferry]. The emotional hook of his character and situation felt relatable and immediate to me, and perfectly seasoned with the humorous and heart tugging montages spoiler[ Montage 1, Hodaka down-and-out in Tokyo; 2. Hodaka beginning his job for Mr. Suga; 3 Hodaka, Hina, and Nagi working their Sunshine business]. The relationships between the characters worked. Hina could have used more inferiority, but she wasn’t purely a manic pixie dream girl.

I have a lot of mixed feelings about the ending.
spoiler[the movie wanted to have it’s cake and eat it, too—making the stakes as high as possible without any really tragic consequences. It also seemed to have an anti- climate change message—the weather is mystical and uncontrollable. Who really knows if it’s getting more extreme, since we only have 100 years of records, etc. The worst part of the ending was the implication that moving back home wasn’t really so bad for Hodaka, and he just chose not to communicate with Hina—nor she with him—for 3 years, eternity for teens. Huh? That was anticlimactic]

I would definitely recommend the movie to friends, but I wish Shinkai would consider doing a full length series with more time for mystical plot threads.

And the rain animation was not nearly as pretty as Garden of Words.
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kotomikun



Joined: 06 May 2013
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 8:31 pm Reply with quote
Agent355 wrote:
And the rain animation was not nearly as pretty as Garden of Words.

That's true, but it's also intentional. In the post-show interview at the early screenings, Shinkai said the rain was made to look "menacing" in this one, since it's in a sense the main antagonist.

For the ending stuff, spoiler[I feel like it's less "have your cake and eat it too" and more just the sort of bittersweet ending seen in all of Shinkai's movies except for Your Name. The lovebirds get together in the end, but most of Tokyo is underwater. Which itself kinda discredits the old guy who claimed we don't know if it's really getting worse; not all that surprising, the old people in this story are wrong about practically everything. So I don't see it as trying to disprove climate change. But since many people see it that way, maybe the movie should have been more direct.

The incommunicado time-skip was a bit strange, but I guess they had to set up the dramatic reunion somehow. Ironically, this is probably an age thing; Shinkai is well past the grew-up-continuously-plugged-in generation.]
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nDroae



Joined: 26 May 2017
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 11:51 pm Reply with quote
After living so long in a world head-over-heels for Makoto Shinkai, hearing (rather than reading) such balanced views on his work is cathartic; thank you for that. Razz Correction: he didn't score Voices of a Distant Star, Atsushi Shirakawa/TENMON did. person#14455 / https://vgmdb.net/artist/703

Shinkai says in the post-credits feature that he doesn't want to keep making films like Your Name, and I don't like how I couldn't help but respond to that with cynicism. The success of his last two films comes thanks to their appeal to the teen/young adult audience demographic (coupled with, I think, substantially more entertainment value than his previous work). He certainly could make films about adults, but sadly they would likely be less successful.

https://manga.tokyo/otaku-articles/why-kiminonawa-your-name-has-made-a-huge-box-office-success-in-japan/
Quote:
The best advertising is always the one that spreads from the fans directly. Word of mouth worked miracles after the premiere of Your Name, because the movie managed to win the hearts of the young people in teens and twenties. In this age of Social Media, you can count on the fans to quickly spread the news.

(...) Mamoru Hosoda (...) released Summer Wars in 2009, a story about a high school student facing a crisis in the internet world. The movie caught the attention of young people. (...) Mamoru Hosoda also released Wolf Children in 2012 and The Boy and the Beast in 2015. They made a decent box office run, but both stories were told through the perspective of a parent. Teenagers had been waiting for a story directed to them, their own generation; they had been thirsting for ‘their own story’.

Your Name is that story. It is a story set in the modern world. It is a romantic comedy about a high school boy living in Tokyo and a girl living in the countryside who switch bodies. They keep journals about their switched life on an application similar to LINE (a very famous chat application used in Japan). The setting appealed to the young people in their teens and twenties and captivated them. And, as we said earlier, this generation knows how to spread the news: Social Media went crazy. People who usually don’t go to the movies were caught by surprise by the hype and went to see the movie. Seeing that the hype was justified, they in turn took part in spreading the news.

I couldn't guess how vital it is that the films be as profitable as they are, but clearly the animation workload is immense, and I recall that the production budget ran out on Your Name... and there sure are a lot of product placements and tie-in ads.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vNDkF8HWoI

animenewsnetwork.com/news/2016-08-10/makoto-shinkai-your-name-anime-film-promotes-suntory-water-in-tie-up-ads/.105215

animenewsnetwork.com/interest/2016-08-20/makoto-shinkai-your-name-anime-film-promotes-suntory-water-in-2nd-ad/.105543

animenewsnetwork.com/interest/2019-07-01/shinkai-weathering-with-you-film-promotes-softbank-suntory-baitoru-in-tv-commercials/.148484

animenewsnetwork.com/interest/2019-07-22/shinkai-weathering-with-you-film-gets-2nd-suntory-ad/.149239

Of course, any young fanbase eventually grows up. I'll be interested to watch Shinkai's output 10-20 years from now. I certainly hope he won't still be trying to cater to the newest generation of teens, but we shall see.
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taster of pork



Joined: 11 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:41 pm Reply with quote
I thought it was weird that spoiler[Hodaka only got probation after he pointed a gun at multiple Police Officers. I'm sure he would have been sent to Prison in real life.]
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dragon695



Joined: 28 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 12:25 am Reply with quote
I will once again echo Tomino’s sentiment about Shinkai—his narratives, when semi-coherent, are best described as self-indulgent emotional masturbation; the romance, in particular, always ends up stilted and lacking in any real passion. It is very childish on an emotional level. He needs to hire someone else to do story/composition, that would fix a lot of his shortcomings.

taster of pork wrote:
I thought it was weird that spoiler[Hodaka only got probation after he pointed a gun at multiple Police Officers. I'm sure he would have been sent to Prison in real life.]

Japan has a higher conviction rate, like near 99%, but is more lenient on jail time and more heavy on restitution and reconciliation. At least that’s what my native born Japanese professor explained to me. As an example, Toriko’s mangaka was convicted in the early 2000s for statutory rape of 2 16 yo. girls and 1 girl of undisclosed age (under 18) who were paid to sleep with him (age of consent in the prefecture was 18). He ended up sentenced to 2 years in prison, but it was suspended, so he got probation and payed like $2-300k in restitution to the victims. And he returned to work on his manga, too. I’m guessing the same kind of deal would be accurate here, except not so much restitution...


Last edited by dragon695 on Tue Jan 21, 2020 2:28 am; edited 3 times in total
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nDroae



Joined: 26 May 2017
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 12:47 am Reply with quote
This is going completely off topic, but I think it's important enough to get the facts right in this case as it reflects on both that mangaka and Japanese society's tolerance for such things. The source I found mentions three victims, two age 16 and one of undisclosed age. What's the source on the third being younger?

http://old.app-jp.org/news/2002/08/8-29-3.html
Quote:
 調べでは、島袋容疑者は7月15日、横浜市内のホテルで、携帯電話の出会い系サイトで知り合った横浜市青葉区の女子高生(16)と小田原市の女子高生(16)にそれぞれ現金5万円と3万円を支払い、みだらな行為などをした疑い。


ANN article from early in the case:
animenewsnetwork.com/news/2002-08-07/mitsutoshi-shimabukuro-arrested

I was surprised to learn that he began Toriko in 2008, six years after this arrest. Then its anime adaptation ran from 2011-2014 and had 147 episodes.

I wonder how much worse the crime would have had to be to actually end his career.
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dragon695



Joined: 28 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:28 am Reply with quote
nDroae wrote:
This is going completely off topic, but I think it's important enough to get the facts right in this case as it reflects on both that mangaka and Japanese society's tolerance for such things. The source I found mentions three victims, two age 16 and one of undisclosed age. What's the source on the third being younger?

That was a long ago, hence the ? as there was uncertainty on the number and exact ages. The source was an article I had read (can’t recall where) awhile back on whether one ought to support works by problematic creators.

Thank you for the correction. I do think it makes little difference, be it 16 or 14, as they are children.

I think the punishment still was considerably less than what one expects in the west for a 27yo adult. And he was allowed to return to Jump. My initial point still stands.

Edit: he also did the Ring manga in Jump that was published in tanks from 2004-2005, which means it had to have started shortly after sentencing. So, yeah, no jail time, no career ender, plus allowed to work at kids publication, and presumably not restricted from doing events around kids. So in that context is it difficult to believe that spoiler[pointing a gun at police would only get a teenager probation?]
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nDroae



Joined: 26 May 2017
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 3:21 am Reply with quote
I wasn't questioning your point about the believability of that part of this film, or the contrast against western norms. I just wanted to get the facts straight. You had written "3(?) children under age 15," and I thought the placement of the question mark implied that you were sure of their ages but unsure of the number of victims. Even where prostitution at 18 is legal, I would be disgusted by an older man hiring an 18-year-old girl. I would consider 14 substantially worse than 16, and "children under age 15" brought to mind even younger ages than that, thus my interest to confirm that.

Come to think of it, I've seen some viewers thinking that spoiler[Hina was being coerced into underage prostitution], whereas my assumption was that it was "just" a cabaret like the one Godai works at in Maison Ikkoku, or (IIRC) Akari Kawamoto in 3-Gatsu no Lion. It's a nightclub/restaurant where salarymen can pay to have a meal with an attractive hostess. A decent one wouldn't hire an underage hostess, but it's not as bad as a strip club or worse. (I don't consider this part a spoiler, since it happens early in the film and was brought up in the podcast) (Edit: adding a spoiler tag anyway to be on the safe side)

And that reminds me of another thought I had; the McDonald's product placement seems strange to me. First you get an incredibly detailed mouthwatering shot of Hina's Big Mac, accompanied by the narrator's testimonial that it was delicious, which in that situation one would assume was an impression induced mainly by starvation... and later you find out that spoiler[McDonald's cut Hina loose without anywhere to turn, leading to her getting into that situation with the nightclub, and had apparently hired her in the first place without checking her papers. Not that one could reasonably ask McDonald's to take care of all orphans who come their way,] but the role of McDonald's in the story is not a positive one overall.
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dragon695



Joined: 28 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 4:55 pm Reply with quote
^ ^ ^
Ok, I think we’re getting way off topic, so I concede. Like I said, it was a convenient example that came off the top of my mind. Sorry if I was mistaken about some of the details.

On a separate note, I totally agree with Zac that Shinkai needs to try something different. If he’s not careful, he will construct a pigeonhole that he won’t be able to leave. I’d love to see a high fantasy epic or a grand adventure in a steampunk world. I know Urobuchi wanted to write a steampunk story, so...(Yeah, like that will ever happen Laughing) Hell, he could return to his roots and do a sci-fi story out amongst the stars. I think his gorgeous visuals go to waste on these love stories when he has so much potential for more! A different writer for something akin to what he did in Children Who... but perhaps with someone a little older is what I’m talking about.
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nDroae



Joined: 26 May 2017
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 7:08 pm Reply with quote
Those ideas are good, but I can only picture him shoehorning a star-crossed teen couple into every imaginable setting, one way or another.... It's really sad if the home youth market actually demands the characters live in their current normality, for one or two films that's fine but come on, kids, where's your escapism?

Edit: This is so ironic. When I was growing up, it seemed like kids were the ones keen for visual media in fanciful, imaginative settings, while adults were more interested in grounded real-world stuff. Now here I am yelling at kids for wanting a familiar real-world setting (allegedly, according to that article in my first post).

Disclaimer, there certainly is value in the way Shinkai's team's art and animation portray the familiar mundane beautifully and imbue it with magic, comparable to KyoAni's classic achievements in magical realism. I don't think anyone is denying that.

No need to apologize! Smile I think it was a good example. Here in the US, I would expect exploiting underage prostitution to permanently ruin one's life (which is not a good outcome either but that's another topic) while pointing a gun at police would normally result in instant death.
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