Darren Carver-Balsiger’s review published on Letterboxd :
Makoto Shinkai is the most overrated director working right now. I’m very tempted to unfollow any of my Letterboxd friends who have referred to him as the “new Miyazaki”.
Shinkai is almost like an anime version of Wong Kar-wai as they both extensively use voiceover, romance, stunning visuals, and pop music. However, unlike Wong, Shinkai is annoying and shit. Plus Shinkai’s use of music is terrible.
I swear Shinkai only uses female characters as plot devices to impact the emotions of the better developed male characters. Their only agency is the fact they all “choose” to love a male character.
Regarding this specific film, it started off okay then just became insufferable. The setting is an alternate history sci-fi universe. He could have used the film to examine this world. He could have examined how the changes in history have affected the human condition. He could have used it as an interesting metaphor of some kind. But no, Shinkai had to make it about a shit romance, as per fucking usual. I lost track of how many times I said “oh, fuck off” whilst watching this.
For more details, I refer you to an excellent review from a friend of mine that encapsulates all that is wrong with this trainwreck: boxd.it/o3AVz