The Weathering Continent (also known by its Japanese title, Kaze no Tairiku) is an anime adaptation of the novel series of the same name. Koichi Mashimo directed this hour-long movie from 1992, and man oh man do I love that eye shot on the lower right.
The music was done by Michiru Ooshima, who I remember being pretty awesome in… well, everything I’ve seen that she’s composed for. Admittedly, I’ve only seen four or five things she’s composed for, but The Weathering Continent doesn’t break this pattern. It’s good music and it fits nicely with what’s happening on-screen. Not much else to say on that.
The visuals in The Weathering Continent are really good. Because of the setting of the movie, it’s not a very colourful one. There are a lot of browns and grays everywhere, because the world is basically a wasteland. As much as I love my colours, this really fits The Weathering Continent. The designs are similar in that some of them may not be the most aesthetically pleasing, but make perfect sense in the context of the world. I’d even say some of these characters, especially the mains, look too pretty…
The animation is really noteworthy. Not only is it incredibly fluid both in movement and lighting effects (which come up a lot when you don’t really have electricity), but the animation is totally consistent throughout the whole movie. There was never really a time where I thought the animation was suddenly amazing (though there were a handful of moments where I thought they were doing something a little special with the camera angles) because it was the same high quality the whole time as far as I could tell. That’s pretty unique, I feel; even in movies animation usually seems to be ups and downs rather than having the same level of animation quality the entire time.
There’s not much to be gleaned from any of the characters in the movie, unfortunately. The story, too, doesn’t have a whole lot to it. You’ll come out of this movie feeling like you were only given an appetizer, and of course you will be hungry for the whole meal (which, I imagine, exists only in the novels). It does encompass what appears to be a standalone adventure, but there are too many details that seemed like they were very important that don’t really get explained. It’s definitely a bit of a disappointment in this regard.
On the other hand, the setting was really interesting, and unlike the things I mentioned in the above paragraph, it was actually developed pretty well. So it’s not like you’re going to be sitting through the whole hour bored out of your mind or anything. There’s still something here to appreciate beyond the music and visuals.
The Weathering Continent felt more like it was a delicious treat for people who have already read the novels. Not something that was really meant for the eyes of people who had no knowledge of them. It was enjoyable despite that, but I don’t think I’d recommend it to anyone unless they had read the novels or planned to.
tl;dr This is good, but don’t bother watching it unless you’re already interested in the novels or have a pressing need to watch very fluid, consistent animation for 50 minutes straight.
Also, I spent a whole post not once mentioning Mutsumi Inomata when I could have, and then the credits go and pull this on me. Really, guys? Don’t you hire people to make sure nobody accidentally types “Mustumi Inomata” and gets away with it?