Rob’s review published on Letterboxd:
Sadly not as good as I remembered. I loved this movie the first time around but watching it now I realize how much of the dialogue is just exposition. Plus the background becomes more distracting on a second watch because you realize how much of it is CGI filler. I also found younger Ren pretty bland this time.
I still really liked it, and not just because I'm furry trash. Kumatetsu and Ren have an interesting relationship. The story feels like a fairy tale of sorts and the ending is very satisfying. Hosoda is no Miyazaki, but he is certainly an anime director I keep an eye out for. After this viewing I want to try the sub version to see if the dialogue is better. A lot of the time on the dub the dialogue doesn't match how expressive the characters are.
Still a movie worth checking out if you haven't seen it before. Also, Wolf Children is a good one to watch first in you are new to Hosoda films.