- Alternate Character Interpretation: This essay suggests that, far from Akari and Takaki unintentionally drifting away from each other as physical distance becomes emotional distance, Akari was already prepared for their first kiss to be the last, a sign of farewell, and did not hold out the same hope Takaki did of wanting to fight for their relationship.
- Awesome Music: This is now pretty much a standard for a Makoto Shinkai film, as the bittersweet closing theme shows.
- Epileptic Trees: Due to the nature of the ending, this movie invites Epileptic Trees with regards to the future of its characters. At this point it becomes notable that, contrary to his reputation, Makoto Shinkai has never actually made a movie with a genuine Downer Ending. Voices of a Distant Star and The Place Promised in Our Early Days both worked out in the end — but then, neither of those movies were set in the "real" world.
- Esoteric Happy Ending: The director claims that the ending is supposed to be uplifting, because Takaki smiles as he walks away in the last scene, indicating that he has moved on. But most viewers see it as a Downer Ending because he Did Not Get the Girl.
- Fan-Preferred Couple: Most people ship Takaki and Akari.
- Fridge Logic: In the last third, Takaki and Akari cross the railway crossing just moments before two trains whiz past. Doesn't this world have the most basic of safety precautions?
- Hilarious in Hindsight: As mentioned in the preface to the novel, one of the draft short stories Shinkai wrote while planning this was The Sky Outside the Window, which has rain as a central concept. Though it was rejected back then, now with both Garden of Words and Weathering With You, he has gone back to the idea not once but twice.
- Hype Backlash: While the film is largely well-received for its atmospheric, emotive style and choosing realism in depicting the fragility of a Long-Distance Relationship while avoiding the usual fairytale endings, there is a substantial minority of viewers coming in later who find it boring and reliant on melodrama and ambience rather than a well-developed plot and characters.
- Memetic Mutation: "Fuck trains", in reference to the very long time a pair of trains take to pass in the final scene, by the end of which Akari has already disappeared, preventing Takaki from reaching out to her.
- Signature Scene: Takaki and maybe-Akari crossing paths at the railway crossing when they are adults and the subsequent vehicle vanish.
YMMV / 5 Centimeters per Second