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
Weathering With You has another Shinkai character cameo – and an important one, at that – rather just a throwaway nod to Your Name. Taki Tachibana, one of Your Name's main protagonists, says that. Taki is visiting his grandmother, Fumi, in Tokyo (the rain-soaked location of Weathering With You) when Hodaka, Hina, and her younger brother Nagi arrive. Fumi is one of Hina's customers, hoping to use her "weather maiden" abilities to make the sun shine, while Taki is assisting his grandmother with a ceremony to remember his grandfather who has passed away.
In addition to being a persistent presence in the scene, Taki has a direct impact on the plot by giving his fellow Shinkai-written love lead, Hodaka, some advise on selecting the best present to give Hina. Hodaka ultimately decides to buy her a ring, which results in yet another unexpected cameo by Your Name. This time, it's Mitsuha Miyamizu, the film's main female character. Hodaka visits the jewelry store where Mitsuha works, and she aids him in selecting the ideal ring.
Are Weathering With You & 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 appearances to make sense, these two films must take place in parallel worlds, which isn't a huge jump of logic given Your Name's time-bending nature or Weathering With You's otherworldly premise. If the future brings additional accomplishments and increased name recognition, fans should expect the Shinkai multiverse to continue to grow.