'Weathering With You': Are there any 'Your Name' Easter eggs or cameos?
Japanese animator and filmmaker Makoto Shinkai followed up the tremendous success of Your Name — the highest-grossing anime film of all time — with a new tenderhearted story of two teenagers developing a bond in rain-soaked Tokyo. Called Weathering With You, Shinkai’s new film, out January 17 in America, shares many similarities with Your Name in terms of basic plot structure: Two spirited young people connect over a feeling of wonder inspired by supernatural phenomenon and struggle in the face of tragedy to preserve that connection.
But are there any Easter eggs or cameos that connect Weathering With You and Your Name in even more ways? The answer might surprise you.
Big spoilers follow for Weathering With You and Your Name.
In Your Name, a boy living in Tokyo swaps bodies with a girl from a rural town. Once they realize they’re from different points in time and a catastrophic event separates them, they have to transcend time and space or risk forgetting one another completely.
In Weathering With You, Hodaka Morishima runs away from home during a rainy summer to live on the streets of Tokyo. After finding work at a small occult magazine, he meets Hina Amano, a young girl who somehow developed the power to control the weather. But a “tragic fate” awaits the “weather maiden.”
Both stories explore intimate human connections in a world infused with magic and mysticism rooted in folklore, but there deeper connections between the two films — and a pair of cameos — that establish what we might as well call the Makoto Shinkai Cinematic Universe, or maybe even the Shinkaiverse for short
After Hina reveals her weather maiden powers to Hodaka in Weathering With You, the two start a business to make money off of her ability to make the rain stop temporarily. On one such job, they make the sun shine in an old woman’s back yard. While there, they meet an older version of Taki, one of the protagonists from Your Name, who is this woman’s grandson.
Later in the film, when Hodaka goes to the mall to buy Hina a birthday present, the clerk that helps him is none other than Mitsuha, who moved to Tokyo after her town Itomori was destroyed by the meteor. A few other minor characters from Your Name, namely Mitsuha’s friends Tessie and Sayaka, also appear during the climax of Weathering With You.
Essentially, most of Weathering With You takes place in 2021, eight years after the climax of Your Name when the meteor hit Itomori, but just under a year before Taki and Mitsuha’s reunion in 2022 at the very end of Your Name. Based on the ending to Weathering With You, however, this presents a discrepancy. Because Hodaka saves Hina in 2021 and it never stops raining in Tokyo, most of the city is flooded by the time they reunite in March 2024.
Rather than Taki and Mitsuha reuniting on a sunny day, it should have been raining, which means that rather than a shared universe, we’re probably dealing with some kind of alternate reality shenanigans. At the film’s premiere, Shinkai reportedly said during a Q&A that he didn’t care about the timeline discrepancies.
These cameos aren’t all that surprising considering Shinkai’s penchant for tying together his films. Your Name had several Easter eggs and at least one cameo of a character from his previous film, The Garden of Words.
Still, for fans of the director, it’s always fun to spot the smaller details that connect these beautiful movies.
Weathering With You is screening in the U.S. now.