Aug 25, 2019
DannyTheDonkey (All reviews)
[Spoiler Warning]

“Hey can I copy your works”
“Of Course, make sure just change it up a bit so it doesn’t look to obvious”

This is snarky little thought that I came up with when I just got back from seeing this film in the theaters. However, in essence it is pretty much understandable to compare Tenki no Ko with Kimi no Nawa or even call this movie as its spiritual successor. Aside from the obvious the two movies are made by the same person, it also share the same universe where mystic/magic do appears in a grounded realistic setting as a main feature for the plot, RADWIMPS is once again present for providing the insert song/OST throughout the movie, and the two main protagonist of Kimi no Nawa did made a cameo appearances.

The plot plays out exactly same too, with the first half of the movie coming up with mix up of Melancholic but very cheerful type of movie and the second half had drastic change in tone ;becoming dark and full of intensity. Most of the jokes including some perverts jokes, reverting-expectations jokes, mascot jokes and pretty much everything else that you’ve seen in Kimi no Nawa, to my eyes this is very poor attempts, because it didn’t give any variety and it seems as though Shinkai’s very content with his usual formula (but then again why doesn’t he feel the need to fix something that he thinks is not broken).

But the problem of this movie is not that it is feels like a rehearse or it is a worse version to Kimi no Nawa. The problem with this movie is that judge on its own, it still feature the similar trait(or dare I say problems) of usual Makoto Shinkai’s movie; while the movie had an excellent production values it does not had a genuine plot and characters. It seems Shinkai has an idea but he doesn’t really manage to pull off the execution. Plot conveniences appear one after another, making it seems as though the objective is just to make the story progress whether is it believable. One of the examples is a scene when kids manage to escape from police station full of police and I do believe anyone with their right mind will find it odds and quite puzzling.

In the setting that is very unforgiving and cruel, the violence’s in the movie is extremely tame. There’s literally many chance when characters could die (and even implication of death of people) but the anime gets away with it and the characters never felt show any emotion on it whatsoever. The economic struggles the characters facing too is only explored in very superficial level and never goes depth, making the drama that the characters lacks of money is not very useful.

The romance is very tame too. With the amount events of relationship that the two protagonist present, I would believe they are at a stage where they are at least make a kiss. The girl even doesn’t mind to open her bath robe, but even so the romantic action is quite lacking. I guess both elements did not present so intensely because the targeted audience is for kids to young teenager, but even so why show those somewhat adult content from the first place and also there’s no excuse for that, as there are also others kiddy show that manage to show itself quite believable.

I guess my biggest disappointment is that Hina wasn’t a more fleshed out character. She’s too innocent and pure-hearted that at times she felt like a concept. At times, she didn’t feel real. Even her first and second encounter with Hidaka is also very questionable change of heart. Hidaka’s the prototypical anime protagonist, so we hear his thoughts, anxieties, frustrations, moments of bliss and joy, so on and so forth. We drag in too many side characters that don’t get enough development to stand out on their own, and as a result, they just needlessly pad out the film’s length. Had this been an anime series instead, we could then fully explore these characters and their issues. But in a two hour movie, the drama felt too forced between the characters and some of them become friends way too easily. Meanwhile the security was so useless; they’re dumb, unprofessional and incomptences making the films looks like Sunday morning cartoons.

And then there’s the second half of the show where things becomes chaotic and full of intensity. The ending was kind of resembling Life is Strange Video Games with the movie chose the ‘selfish’ options instead of the 'saint' which is not a bad thing at all. However, at this point the movie has become utter-train wreck. Aside from the usual plot convenient that happens, there’s also the usage of deus-ex machine that turn around reality with very little explanation. But the film doesn’t end there, what’s more? There’s a time-skip present which makes the consequences of the present time action been throw-out of window.

Having said that. You won’t find me complaining about the movie’s aesthetic. It is simply excellent, it’s always a pleasure to experience an anime film on the big screen and as expected, the art is simply gorgeous. Every background is full of detail and lively, it’s pretty much a joy to watch throughout, the character’s design is the same as Kimi no Nawa but it is they are quite distinguishable and have different feature on them. I feel like the animation could have been better specifically when the movie tries to show the fireworks happens all around city and I found the people standing still instead of cheering because the situations is happiness, but that’s just personal nitpicking and never it does hammering the quality of the animation at all. On the whole, it is just great production.

It doesn’t sound half bad either. The voice acting is generally very good; the background sound specifically the rain sound (which will feature a lot) is pretty spot on for building the atmosphere. Watching on theaters really enhance the assessment on the movie especially when you heard it on full volumes. Though one thing I did not like is that the trick that the movie uses when they want to insert some Theme Song/OST. The movie really likes to show the viewers some dialogue-less scene of the characters spending their moment or cinematic porn of the landscapes with the back sounds appears for like every 20 minutes throughout the movie. I feel like this is cheap effort to induces feels to viewers but I think the movie should do this with their story and not with their supporting elements.

All in all. I feel like Tenki no Ko is just really wants to follow the successful of Kimi no Nawa but it never feels had a major deviation from its predecessor. So in the end, we got an the all-too-familiar product and this time I feel the execution is worse. On its own, it’s never being a good movie; there are some genuinely emotional moments in this movie that could move some viewers I guess. Nevertheless, it is a thoroughly frustrating movie. If you want to finish your Makoto Shinkai’s movie collection or you just want to watch some gorgeous animation spectacles. Go for it. Otherwise, I’d really can’t recommend it.

I guess what I learned is that Mc Donald isn’t so bad restaurant after all.