Weathering With You Volume 2 Review

5 months ago 103
Weathering With You Volume 2

The rain continues to pelt Tokyo, so although Hina’s Sunshine Girl powers would be even more in demand, she and Hodaka decide to take a break and stop the business. Even if they didn’t choose to close down, circumstances would have forced them to anyway — and soon, it’s not their business in jeopardy but their current lifestyle.

For Hodaka, the police grow closer to his trail, looking for the runaway and teen accused of firing a gun. Hina and Suga both find themselves in the police’s line of sight for associating with Hodaka, and neither want that since they have relatives (brother and daughter respectively) they want to look after. Hina though has another thing to worry about: herself. Well, to be more precise, her body, as her special ability is literally draining her. When Hodaka tries to give her the ring, for instance, a strong gust of wind sweeps her off her feet. So much so that she’s several meters above the ground! Soon, for Hina and Hodaka, it becomes a question of weather or not. (Pun intended.)

I complained a bit about Weathering With You volume 1‘s straightforward charge through the story, so much so it felt like the whole tale could be wrapped up in a single volume. Volume 2 does a much better job of giving everyone some emotional space as they grasp with their changing circumstances. Hodaka, Hina, Suga, Natsumi, and Nagi are not obtuse to the toll this is and/or will take on Hina, and they each face crossroads as the supernatural and a previously ordinary girl collide. Some of these struggles are found in the other versions of Weathering With You, but others (like the bonus extra) I believe are exclusive to this adaptation. Without going into spoilers, these provide better context for events here and as the story of a runaway and a Sunshine Girl reaches a climax in the next volume.

And it does become increasingly clear Hina is a weather maiden. This may seem obvious to readers, but the first volume did a terrible job at introducing the whole mystical aspect of the story. And while that sounds like some destiny bestowed upon birth, she tells the story of how she became a Sunshine Girl. It was only recently, and readers see how her attempt to be brave has now led her on to an unfortunate path. For Hodaka, it’s another reason why he is so strongly drawn to her and more motivation to do anything for her.

That sounds romantic, but manga’s melancholy tone contrasts beautifully with that desire, as there’s only so much a runaway teen can do to help. However, while the seriousness of the situation is handled well, not all of the art reaches that same level. Some of it is impressive as the world in the skies is shown or the busy metropolis slows down due to floods, but the characters themselves are often drawn strangely. I know no one is going to look cool as they fall from the sky, but Hina’s arms are oddly stiff as she does. Plus, the angle means I kept staring at the large image of the bottom of her shoe instead of the sky.

And as Hina’s connection with the sky grows even stronger, I’d like to concentrate on the fish and Hodaka’s increasing dread rather than sneakers in the next volume. Volume 2’s pace may have slowed, but the emotional momentum here could lead to an poignant finale.

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