Weathering With You is a blockbuster anime romance from Makoto Shinkai, the director behind 2016's Your Name. Your Name, which put a cosmic spin on the classic body-swapping trope, was a phenomenal hit across the world when it was released, including in Japan where it became second only to Spirited Away and now, Demon Slayer: Mugen Train, in box office receipts. While Weathering With You hasn't quite taken the globe by storm in the same way, it still became the highest-grossing film in its home country in 2019 and had a strong U.S opening.
The two films have many things in common, from their preponderance with the heavens to a teenage romantic pairing torn apart by (almost) insurmountable, fantastical forces. In fact, the vast majority of Shinkai's work can be defined by "Shinkai-isms" like these. Your Name took this one step further by including a few nods to his previous film, The Garden of Words, and a minor cameo from one of its characters. Weathering With You continues this trend in an even more noticeable way.
Weathering With You Features Cameos From Your Name's Main Characters
Rather than simply a passing reference to Your Name, Weathering With You features another Shinkai character cameo -- and a significant one, at that. It's from one of Your Name's central characters: Taki Tachibana. Taki is visiting his grandmother, Fumi, in Tokyo -- Weathering With You's rain-drenched setting -- when Hodaka, Hina and her younger brother Nagi also arrive at the elderly's woman's house. Fumi is one of Hina's customers, looking to use her "weather maiden" power to make the sun shine, while Taki is helping his grandmother with a ceremony to honor his departed grandfather.
Not only is Taki a lingering presence during the scene, he actually impacts the film's story: offering some romantic advice to his fellow Shinkai-penned romantic lead, Hodaka, on finding the ideal gift to woo Hina with. Hodaka eventually settles on buying her a ring, which then leads to another surprising cameo from Your Name. This time it's the film's lead female character: Mitsuha Miyamizu. Mitsuha is working at the jewelry store that Hodaka goes to and helps him pick out the perfect ring.
Are Weathering With You and Your Name In the Same Universe?
Does this mean we're dealing with a shared Shinkai-verse? Yes and no. This is, in fact, a multi-Shinkai-verse. Timeline savvy fans have sleuthed out that Weathering With You begins in 2021 while Mitsuha and Taki's emotionally-charged reunion at the climax of Your Name takes place in 2022 -- in a noticeably not underwater Tokyo. This means that in order for the cameos to make sense, these two films must take place in parallel worlds, which isn't a big leap of logic considering the time-bending nature of Your Name, or the supernatural premise of Weathering With You.
If the future brings more successes and even greater name recognition, maybe we can expect the Shinkai multiverse to keep on expanding.