“Your Name” Or “Weathering With You” ?

Oh so the quarantine is extended in my country and to top it off, I’m spending it alone in a dormitory. Oh lala! But I fret not. In fact I am surprised on how well I’m coping with being alone. One that truly helps me right now are bullet journaling and blogging! All the more, I started to doing blogging collaborations for non-Philippine based bloggers. And here is one of them, featuring my collaboration with China-based blogger Libera Tarts!

Which is better from Makoto Shinkai’s famous masterpieces, “Your Name” or “Weathering With You”?

From the time we decided on this topic, Libera have only watched “Your Name” and it’s her favorite movie. Unfortunately , she missed the theatrical showing of “Weathering with You”. That’s the complete opposite for me though. In my timeline, I have watched Weathering first because a friend and a fan of “Your Name” invited me to watch it in theaters. I’m aware how popular “Your Name” is and I’ve been always curious but did not have the chance to actually watch it for years. This blog collaboration gave me a new exciting purpose to finally watch my forgotten copy of “Your Name” in my laptop.

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

My draft of thoughts about the movie in my bullet journal after I watched “Kimi No Nawa”.

As Kimi No nawa’s story progresses, I couldn’t help but to see the parallelism of the story to its successor Weathering With You” .

1. Both involves teenager protagonists.

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Kimi No Nawa couple: Taki and Mitsuha

Your Name is about Taki and Mitsuha, ordinary highschool students living miles apart , found themselves swapping bodies one day.

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Weathering With You couple: Hodaka and Hina

Weathering With You tells a story about a runaway highschooler named Hodaka who met Hina in Tokyo and together, they put a business utilizing Hina’s ability to bring out the sun in a short duration of time.

2. Girl protagonist entangled in a supernatural phenomenon.

In Kimi No Nawa, both of them are involved in a supernatural phenomena. However, it was Mitsuha who has the heritage of body swapping running in their family thorough generation. Her grandmother explained that this happens because of their role as the caretakers of the shrine.

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Taki and Mitsuha trying to communicate when they swapper their bodies.

In Weathering With You, Hina was the one who possessed the ability to clear the weather. She got it when one day she was mesmerized to a ray of sunlight and followed it until she reached it on a rooftop. A seemingly magical encounter with mythical creatures happened and she woke up with the ability to clear the endless rain in Tokyo. She was later referred as “Sunshine Girl or the Weather Maiden”.

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3. Both are detached from their parents.

There is a lack of parental guardians in both movie. Although in Kimi No Nawa, Mitsuha has a father but they are not closed. She and her siblings felt like they already divorced their father emotionally. and is not living with him. They have their grandmother instead to take care of them. Taki seems to be living independently even as a highschooler.

The same with “Weathering with you”. Hodaka ran away from home. No backstory or whatsoever why. Hina and her adorable brother “Nagisa” were already orphan but Hina proved to be such a dependable sister. She works on part-time jobs and is an incredible chef.

4. Girl protagonist has cute sibling.

In Kimi No Nawa, there is Yotsuha, always grumpy waking her sister up every morning. Sometimes she acts like she’s the older sister. She’s an elementary student. She also performs the family tradition of taking care of the shrine and creating sake through the mouth with Mitsuha.

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Yotsuha

And then there’s Nagisa of “Weathering With You”. Even as an elementary student, she’s popular with girls. He gives advice to Hodaka like an older brother sometimes. Nagisa is also with them during their weathering gigs.

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Nagisa

5. Both has Japanese cultural and Shintoism Sentimentality.

In both films, the Shintoism beliefs were added to the magical realism narrative of both films.

First what is Shinto? Shintoism is a major and an old religion in Japan.To put it simply, this is worshiping the spirits of the nature. In Shinto, you worship the spirit of the wind, the mountainside, and the river. They personifies the nature and call them “Kami” or Gods. That is why in Shinto, there are many “Kami” and they are often worshiped in places like shrine. This also explains why Japanese has high regard to cleanliness as this is the way of being close to God and paying respect.

In “Kimi No Nawa”, Mitsuha and her family upholds the responsibility of taking care of the shrine and making sure that the tradition continues like offering Kuchikamizake “mouth-chewed sake” for the Gods in the rock cave shrine. This has a big role in the plot of Kimi No Nawa as their Kami forged the interweaving and links of time making their body swapping magic to happen.

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Mitsuha making a sake out of her own saliva to offer to the Gods.
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Taki later searched for that rock shrine and drink the fermented sake made by Mitsuha’s saliva which interconnected their bodies once more.

Weathering With You also makes use of Shinto beliefs and is a big part of the plot. Sunshine brought Hina to this ragged Torii gate which is usually the entrance of any Shinto Shrines and the Kami of heavens eventually made her the weather priestess. The tradition also of praying and performing rituals for clear weather are Shinto practices as well.

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An image of a real Torii gate in Japan which signifies a separation of ordinary and sacred place leading to Shinto Shrines.

A torii gate of Usa Jingu

6. Both get separated with each other for years before re-uniting.

In Kimi No Nawa, the couple reunited after 5 years of the comet crash in Mitsuha’s town. Taki is now searching for a job. All this years, he felt somehow empty but he doesn’t know why because both of them lost memories of their body swapping ventures. Mitsuha feels the same way. At this time she is now living in Tokyo. Their train met in parallel and instantly it struck a chord inside their hearts that they have found what they were looking for. They took off the train and simultaneously looked for each other. In this pivotal moment in the staircase, they suddenly had this awkward moment approaching each other.

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Hell yeah! You could not blame them. They could not explain why they seem to long for each other so hard while they haven’t met yet. Good thing Taki broke the ice, turned around and asked if they have met before. Mitsuha quickly replied that it seems like so. And finally, they learned each others names with tears of joy in their eyes.

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Now for Weathering with You, the gap was three years. They got separated when the police arrested Hodaka after his successful reclaiming of Hina from being the weather sacrifice. They lost contact of with each other. When he got out of the probationary period, Tokyo is already submerged in flood because of the endless rain since the heavens lost Hina as their weather maiden. He found her one day praying for the Gods in the street. They re-unite and held hands with Hodaka re-assuring her that everything will be fine from now on.

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5. RADWIMPS musical score.

Outside of the story, the emotional atmosphere were both performed by a rock group named Radwimp.

Kimi No Nawa – Just a Little More

Tenki No Ko-“Is There Still Anything That Love Can Do?”

With this similarities, parallelism, for me both movies are indeed masterpieces and each has magic on its own. But which is better?

Now please understand that this is my own opinion and I don’t represent any group.

For visual aesthetic of animation and musical scoring, I choose “Weathering With You”. But for overall verdict, I would choose “Kimi No Nawa”. I felt that the story of this piece has more emotional intensity. It made me feel the longing to someone I don’t know or haven’t met yet. I felt the emptiness of searching for someone who would fill the unbearable void inside me. In short I felt more connected with Taki and Mitsuha’s emotions and consistently so throughout the movie. In Weathering With You, I lost it somehow in the chasing scene towards the end. The chasing scene was corny in my preference.

One again I invite you to read Libera’s take on weighing Makoto Shinkai’s masterpieces here mostly on “Weathering With You.” It was a delightful read as she uncovered lot of points that I did not notice myself.

Lastly, I invite you to be my International Blogger Friend. The basic idea is to have at least one blogger friend in each country. In the Philippines where I live, I also have a separate directory called one friend in each PH Region. For more details, just go to this link. I hope you accept my invitation!


Remember, you are awesome and wonderfully made,

GUREZU

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Indak (Movie Review)

Jen (Nadine Lustre) is an island tourist guide who loves to dance without an audience due to a childhood traumatic experience. Her dancing in the middle of the ocean caught the eyes of the passing tourists and her video went viral in social media. Vin (Sam Concepcion) who happens to be in the same island immediately sought her to be a new member of Indak Pinas , a dance group that would represent the Philippines in the World Dance Competition in South Korea.

WHAT I LIKED!

  • I love the actors. First, Nadine Lustre has the perfect island girl look.  .We all know she’s a total performer. She can sing, dance and act. And I’m happy that  she got a chance to show it off here. She embodies the look of real Filipina beauty. But what I like most from Nadine Lustre was that she has both mainstream and contemporary appeal. Like for example, I can imagine her take indie film roles and do it with justice. Something that won’t work with other mainstream actresses. She has that kind of magic for me.  Sam Concepcion is perfect also for this movie. He can dance but I love his singing more. He also surprised me that he can  act. He has this expressive and vulnerable eyes. I never saw him act so it’s a revelation to me. I want to see more  of him.
  • The visuals and framing. I was blown-away how they showcase Bantayan Island in Cebu . For me, this is a low-key  tourism video and I say that in a positive light.  I love the colors they put whenever the scene is in Bantayan at broad daylight. It brings out the paradise in this island.
  • The music. I appreciate that they invested in original songs for this movie. I personally like the song “Sumayaw sa Indak”. There was this authentic Filipino pride in that song that sends the message of “never giving up” in dancing tune.
  •   It’s rare for Philippine Cinema to have a sort of musical movie targeting younger audiences. I love the song and dance numbers. On top of that, there was this whole poetic narrations from Nadine that anchored the whole movie. It is ambitious. I like it and it turns out really fresh.

MESSAGE of THE MOVIE

Don’t let a one-time disappointment pull you down and limit your world. And also the support you  can give to your friends and family can go a long way in helping them face their fears. This theme explored between the relationship of Jen and her mother (Yayo Aguila). Their relationship is the most moving part of the movie.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE!

  • Underdeveloped sub-plots. Is there a love triangle? Not so much. Is this a love story? Yes, kind of. Is this about the journey of a Filipino creatives braving the international stage? Yes. There was a chemistry with Nadine and Sam but it felt like the movie skipped on building it up appropriately. So when  it’s time for the characters to make drama out  if it, there was this lack of intensity.  I have to mention that I specially hated the scene at the airport. So there’s a love triangle drama going on in the most inconvenient time. While, it can give the movie the conflict it should have, the lack of development leading to that conflict is just problematic. Perhaps, the movie has some issues with  balancing between their journey to the world dance and the romance backstory.
  • There were awkward lip syncing going on in some of the parts of the movie. It’s not the talent’s fault because their voices are really great. It’s just the technicality of syncing their voice and the video. And it’s unsettling to watch.

FINAL VERDICT! ★★★½

3.5 out of 5 stars! Despite the many flaws in the story, the movie is refreshing, brave and has good message.

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###########SPOILER time. Beware of the following section if you haven’t watched it. You have been warned.#####################################

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1.SUDDEN unprofessionalism from Nadine’s character. As I’ve mentioned above, there was this annoying airport scene wherein Jen did not show up in the airport for their boarding time. I didn’t get the sudden drama of not showing of having second thoughts.  Also, Vin and Jen are living in the same condo. Why don’t they go the airport together? In the end Jen showed to the airport and the following scenes suggests that she and Sam flew on a different plane. Jen’s selfishness carried on before the competition itself as she did not inform the team that she’s already in the venue. And she just showed when they are about to dance. I get it that she’s heartbroken but the events leading to it did not get proper build-up to make her actions justifiable.

2. They didn’t win as champions in World Dance Competition.

3. Sam’s character was engaged in the past and it turns out that he has not moved on and has been using Jen as rebound. Some scenes suggests that the girl might have been dead already.

4. It was not really clear if they became officially together at the end. Or Indak team were just having a vacation in Bantayan Island after the competition.

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And that’s it ! I’ve been watching a lot of films these days. And I have more movie reviews coming up. If you have watched this film, let me now your thoughts below!

It’s not too late for everything,

GUREZU ❤

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