Makoto Shinkai created a story for the ages with his animated feature, Your Name, and he's looking to make a splash with his next picture, Weathering With You (or Tenki No Ko). Aiming for a release in early 2020, fans are anxious to see the next installment from this critically acclaimed creator. The American release is in good hands having just been licensed by GKids, a distributor that has 11 animated academy award nominees under its belt.
The story of Weathering With You is looking to be just as inventive as that of Your Name. The plot revolves around a high school freshman Hodaka who decides to leave the quiet, peaceful life on a private island and set sail for Tokyo. Things don't exactly go the young man's way as Tokyo puts him into a tough situation where his personal, mental, and financial health are all at risk. Luckily, he's able to get a job writing for an occult magazine shaded in mystery.
With his job in place, Hodaka runs into a woman named Hina that is a blessing, or perhaps a curse. Harboring the strange ability to clear the sky whenever it rains, Hina and Hodaka are sure to make this movie just as anticipated, if not more so, than its predecessor.
While the English dubbed version of the film has yet to reveal its cast, the Japanese cast will include Kotaro Daigo as Hodaka Morishima and Nana Mori as Hina Amano as the lead protagonists. Makoto Shinkai will direct and write the film 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.
GKids Founder and CEO, Erik Beckman, had this to say about the licensing:
"Gkids is thrilled to be working with Makoto Shinkai and Genki Kawamura on 'Weathering With You,' following their blockbuster hit 'Your Name,'. We have been huge fans of Makoto Shinkai since his breathtaking '5 Centimeters Per Second,' and he is unquestionably one of the top animation filmmakers working today."
Your Name is the the most successful anime feature of all-time. The film debuted in Japan in 2016 and quickly earned more money than any of Studio Ghibli's iconic films, beating out Spirited Away to become one of the highest-grossing anime features in the global market. Your Name is a beautiful, nostalgic love story between two star-crossed lovers. It follows two high school students after they discover they spontaneously switch bodies. Rather than panic, the pair find a way to work out their supernatural exchanges and begin to fall for one another. But, when the phenomena comes to an abrupt halt, the would-be lovers learn how cruel both fate and time can truly be.
Excited for the spiritual successor to Your Name? Let us know in the comments or feel free to hit me up directly on Twitter @EVComedy to talk all things comics and anime.