Friday, November 3, 2017

The Garden of Words (2013)


The Garden of Words is a Japanese animation film that's set mostly in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan.  Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is the garden referenced in the title and while the movie is short at only 46 minutes long, it is an emotional ride.  Amazingly, within the short amount of space, The Garden of Words manages to introduce the characters, create a deep bond and make the viewer care deeply about what happens to them.  It focuses on Takao, a 15 year old high school student who skips school on rainy mornings to go to the garden and focus on his ideas.  He aspires to be a shoemaker.  He meets an older 27 year old woman one day named Yukari, who is skipping work and initially they take in each other's presence but eventually start to talk to each other and grow a bond.  It is a sweet and melancholic story, made all the better when the finale comes around and Yukari's background is fully revealed.  The music coupled with the amazing animation is a treat.  The ending is hopeful and viewers will be glad that it is not a sad depressed one like 5 Centimeters of Second was.  It still carries forward the message of falling in love and moving on but in a less heartbreaking way.  The Garden of Words while slow paced, is deeply emotional and is a must-watch for fans of Makoto Shinkai.

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