Makoto Shinkai’s last film, Your Name, was a smash hit, becoming the second highest-grossing anime film of all time, and soon spawning plans for an American remake. His latest work, Weathering With You, seems poised for the same kind of success. It’s the top box office hit in Japan this year, and was even selected as Japan’s official entry to the Oscars.
Luckily, it now also has an official North American release date: Weathering With You will hit U.S. theaters beginning Jan. 17, 2020.
Centering on a teenager who runs away to Tokyo and ends up encountering a girl who can change the weather, the film’s lush animation perfectly conveys the sometimes magical feeling of a break in the clouds or a sudden downpour, as well as capturing contemporary anxieties about the way the world is changing.
“I really had just two themes that I wanted to explore,” Shinkai said, in an interview with Polygon out of Toronto International Film Festival. “One is, of course, about climate change, you know, because lately there’s just been so many disasters and we see it everyday on the news and it’s directly related to our lives. [...] It’s something I worry about so I wanted to incorporate that into my film, but also have the individual wishes of a boy contrasted with the wishes or the good of the community, and the conflict between that.”