Anonymous Animation Critic’s review published on Letterboxd:
While it feels like the black sheep out of the four films directed by Satoshi Kon, mainly because it doesn't have many of his characteristic elements like the blurring line between reality, and fantasy, it was still fantastic.
The characters are genuinely interesting, and we get to know so much about them. I think it took me a bit to get used to them, as the first 10 minutes were a little bit hard to get through, but once they find the baby, they start to become probably my favorite characters out of all of Satoshi Kon's filmography, up there with Mima from Perfect Blue (1997), and Konakawa from Paprika (2006). Maybe they went a bit over the top with Hana, as her cartoonish expressions sometimes felt a bit out of place, but maybe that's more of a personal thing.
I loved the sense of humor this film has. This is probably the only film from Satoshi Kon that is mainly a comedy, and most of it comes from the way these characters interact with each other and their different personalities. This film also has a considerable amount of emotional weight, and when things get serious, they get serious. The performances sold me these characters. The art direction is fantastic. I loved the dark color palette, as it truly gave the sense of isolation, and loneliness, and how it paints the streets of Tokyo as a sh*thole.
Like I said above, while the characteristic mindblowing nature of the other Kon films is apparently absent, it's actually here, but way more subtle in a way, but explaining how might spoil the film, so I hope you find it out by yourself, and even though it's his most straight-forward, and accesible film, it's still very thought-provoking, and the themes it tackles were represented in a really nice way, to be honest.
It's not a 5-star film (maybe the score could've been better, and there was a certain moment right before the climax that felt kinda out of place, and forced), but overall, this film was simply great. Definitely check it out!
(Not that fun) Fun fact: This film was submitted for consideration for the 2004 Best Animated Feature Oscar (which Finding Nemo ended up winning), and I can't f*cking believe Academy voters thought Disney's Brother Bear was worthy of a nomination, but not this. F*ck them.