Luke Halliday writes:
"The name ‘Makoto Shinkai‘ has become so thoroughly ingrained in the anime culture lexicon that it is almost impossible to separate the name from the work. The Garden of Words is a film that rather than being uplifted by the name of Shinkai is burdened with the expectations the name brings.
The Garden of Words is an interesting film for a number of reasons but the most intriguing thing of all is just how unlike Shinkai this film feels. This is a very different beast, one that is majestic, moving and thoughtful but all the while it is missing the magic Shinkai feeling that ties all of it together. Regardless of that it is still a great film albeit one that doesn’t exactly live up to its pedigree."