Makoto Shinkai's Your Name was one of the most critically and commercially successful anime films of all time, so there's bound to be a ton of pressure on his next project to either reach or go beyond these heights. This definitely puts his newest film, Tenki no Ko: Weathering With You, in a strange predicament as all kinds of old and new fans of his works will be expecting something different.
In a recent press conference in Japan, Shinkai revealed he was confident in Weathering With You, but was worried that audience response to the film was going to be divided considering some of the decisions he made with its story.
According to a report from Mantan Web, Shinkai said the following about the upcoming film's release, "As a big-budget entertainment film, I want to do something that is absolutely fun and does not cause a loss. Based on that, I think this is a film that might divide the audience's opinions. I am doing things that are different from the people can agree as a classic story. This is the film that asks the audience, 'What would you do?'"
So it seems like Weathering With You will be evolving differently than Your Name did, and it could potentially effect the critical response to the film. But by the sounds of the quote, Shinkai is confident that audiences and fans will respond well to the narrative choices he has made.
Shinkai is also confident that fans will enjoy the performances from the film's two leads, Kotaro Daigo and Nana Mori, as he stated, "They have wonderful voices to listen to, which can make you think that they are the boy and the girl you want to support. Since the audition with 2,000 participants, they have delivered their hand raising-like voices, like 'Look at me!' They showed great performances that convinced us that these two were here for this film."
Currently scheduled for a release on July 19th in Japan, Makoto Shinkai will direct and write Tenki no Ko: Weathering With You for CoMix Wave Films, Masayoshi Tanaka returns from Your Name to design the characters, Atsushi Tamura will serve as animation director, and Hiroshi Takiguchi will serve as art director. The film stars Kotaro Daigo as Hodaka Morishima and Nana Mori as Hina Amano along with Tsubasa Honda, Shun Oguri, Sakura Kiryuu, Sei Hiraizumi, Yuki Kaji, and Chieko Baisho in currently unconfirmed roles.
GKIDS has confirmed that they have licensed the film for an English language release with the current release window of 2020. They describe Weathering With You as such, "The summer of his high school freshman year, Hokoda runs away from his remote island home to Tokyo, and quickly finds himself pushed to his financial and personal limits. The weather is unusually gloomy and rainy every day, as if to suggest his future. He lives his days in isolation, but finally finds work as a writer for a mysterious occult magazine. Then one day, Hokoda meets Hina on a busy street corner. This bright and strongwilled girl possesses a strange and wonderful ability: the power to stop the rain and clear the sky..."
via Mantan Web