This is Shinkai's finest film to date, a hard feat to achieve given his previous work. From the very first scene to the very last it is a visual masterclass that puts all other Anime Films in it's shadow in terms of beauty. Shinkai has really gone to great length's to make this film come alive with colour, artistry & technicality that will take your breath away.
Tenmon is a regular in Shinkai's works & as always his soundtrack is perfect, beautiful in places & even more beautiful in others it is a real gem that will tug on your heartstrings which brings me nicely to the story of this film. This film is all about losing someone & how hard it is to say goodbye to them, it will move u emotionally (like all of his work), even with the moments of happiness & lightheartedness thrown in this is still a serious film about loneliness & the grieving of losing loved ones which is not going to be to everyones taste.
if u have watched Shinkai's previous works then yes this is as good as u hoped & more so, it is part Shinkai & part Miyazaki, it is an Epic Fantasy Adventure crossed with the Poetic Ethereal beauty u come to expect from Makoto Shinkai films.
This film will have it's critics like all films do but like all films U should be the one to make your own mind up, i think this is the best film i have ever watched & in my honest opinion it may only be bettered by Makoto Shinkai's next work, what ever it may be :) 10/10.
PS. To all the people comparing parts of this film to parts of Miyazaki's best works please listen to what u are saying... anything that can be compared to those films needs to be applauded & i'm sure that if Miyazaki has seen this film he will be happy that he has left a legacy of film makers that will continue to produce stunning Anime Films like this one for many years to come.