If animators have done their job well then viewers don't think too hard about how they designed their backgrounds or characters, they just watch the wonderful animation and go squee.
But all artists work with real life reference, and for anime this reference often includes photos of Japanese cities like Tokyo that serve as a backdrop for the storyline.
The 2013 anime feature The Garden Of Words takes place in Tokyo, so director Makoto Shinkai used photo reference to create stunningly beautiful backgrounds that set the picture firmly in the city during the rainy season.
You can see how the anime backgrounds created by Makoto Shinkai are virtually indistinguishable from the original location reference photos here, a testament to the artistry and attention to detail that goes into the making of anime feature films.
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