Makoto Shinkai's latest work goes even further to support the theory that he's fantastic at directing a visually brilliant movie, but lacks the writing ability to tell a good story.
An absolute mess. Without spoiling it, this movie fails to get into the main plot until roughly halfway through. Before that point, it views like a teenage slice of life; nothing to be disappointed by. After the halfway mark, the plot becomes incredibly contrived with no logic, reason, or thought put into its creation. There were at least 4 separate climaxes (which is inexcusable for any movie which is not Return of the King) and an overly drawn out epilogue sequence. The main climax happens off screen, which negates the entire build up to it, because Shinkai wanted to have a reveal with little weight. There are an unacceptable amount of plotholes, mostly due to the concept of Musubi. There's little coherence, and amateur directing/writing displayed frequently throughout. To differentiate this from his other movies, Shinkai infused supernatural elements with romance, which fails horribly at enhancing the movie and instead detracts very significantly. Even amongst the people who love this movie, there is a large percentage that find the plot messy.
It's Makoto Shinkai. If movies were judged by aesthetics alone, this would be one of the best ones. There are no issues with the art. Scene composition is mostly great, the animation was very high quality, and the art style was beautiful. While there are not as many wallpaper opportunities as in 5cm/s, the quality of them is significantly higher. Watch this in the highest possible quality you can find. Worth watching for the art alone. The animation is what you'd expect from a high budget movie, but it's not anything revolutionary. There are several scenes that move beautifully and feel like magic to look at. The animation quality isn't quite up to Ghibli standards but it is nothing to scoff at.
Voice actors were quite good and played different roles effectively. The change in voice aesthetic was notable during the first half when they were body swapping. The soundtrack was unmemorable, but set the scene adequately, and it may help to broaden your horizons and expose you to new music. Sound FX and general background noise was well produced and sounded natural. The opening sequence song in particular stood out and is worth a listen, but I can't say that for most of the soundtrack.
The mains were adolescents, which meant there was a lot of adolescent stuff going on in the first half. The characters were interesting initially, though none stood out as incredibly well written and became less and less captivating as the movie went on. The main positive about the characters was that they mostly felt natural, save for when they were clearly not meant to. Side characters were certainly more natural than the mains, and contributed well to the atmosphere of the movie. They develop plot stupidity and have no depth or drive other than the forced romance, and plot amnesia is introduced for added gratuitous drama. There is no reason for the characters to become stupid, or amnesiacs, and it detracts from the believability of the characters and the plot.
Buy this on bluray because it looks stunning. Don't expect good characters, or a remotely good plot, but do expect to salivate at another of Shinkai's wallpaper opportunity movies. Worth the watch for the visuals. It's an awful movie that looks good.