The only thing I knew about this when I went into it was that it's about two people who keep meeting in the rain. That was enough for me. I love the rain, I love the idea/trope of "strangers meeting in the rain", and so I was sold. I'll start off with what I enjoyed about this short film.
* The art-style. Whilst the scenes where it rained were, of course, particularly beautiful, you also get some nice attention to deal. There's some Ghibli magic going on when it comes to food too, it's delightfully drawn.
* Plus, the "camera direction" is really well done. You get some very fluid and interesting shots in this film.
* The music's good, too. I found the addition of the piano to be very welcome, and the voice actors did a decent job.
* Finally, I'm a sucker for just... the general depiction of Japanese day-to-day life, and Kotonoha no Niwa does it well, in my opinion.
Now, for the cons.
* I just didn't care for the characters. They felt very generic, very bland, and they're just not memorable.
* The age-gap. He's 15, she's 27, and a tutor at his school. I appreciate that I'm getting to see an entirely different culture to my own, and different cultures do/see things differently, but for me, that sort of age-gap isn't going to sit well with me.
* Whilst the initial concept interested me, my interest didn't develop further. You could see where things were going, and I would've liked for things to be longer, and more fleshed out, so I could be properly absorbed into and impacted by the plot.
* Plus, kind of spoilery but not really, the "plot twist" where the main guy suddenly seems to have a foot fetish? It threw me, and all I could think of as he went to touch her foot was the "ET phone home" moment where ET's finger is glowing. I struggled to take things seriously after that.
I know I'm in the minority with my opinions, and that's fine. I think I just wanted more.