|Kotonoha No Niwa (The Garden of Words) An ARD Review|
Rain is a natural phenomena that we get to see during the rainy seasons and sometimes it appears out of nowhere. Rain can also contribute to give way to our emotions such as Sadness and Grief or Happiness for some. But I never once thought that Rain can also be a sign of Hope and Love. Until I watch Kotonoha no Niwa or The Garden of Words.
Hey fellow Vicers! ARD here to do my first ever review. I actually wanted to make a review of an anime months ago but due to being busy in Highschool might as well study first then anime later. But now that i have the time to do it, I hope that this review will be very useful for you guys. Well then lets begin....
I won't add any delay and just cut to the chase
Setting - Is it Original?, Is it something that has been use before?, At what genre is it set at?
Characters - Who are the Characters?, Are they memorable?, What are their personality?, Are they that interesting to know about?
Music - Will it suit you taste? Does it set the mood of the story?, Who Compose or Sang it?
Animation - Is it Amazing to look at?, Are the movements Fluid?
Story with ending - Did it make you Satisfied?, Is the ending right for the story? Will i ask for more or stop right there.
Final Verdict and Conclusion with score - It Can be from 1 to 100 or 1 to 5 stars
Now that I've said what needs to be said, Lets get Started
The setting takes place at a modern time in japan where the the rainy season has just started. Where our character Takao Akizuki , an aspiring shoemaker and 15 year old student , one day skips his morning session in school because of the rainy weather. He decides to proceed to the park and draw a design for his shoes until the rain stops. He then encounters a young woman named Yukari Yukino, though well-dressed she drinks beer in early morning drizzle. They do not speak with each other but as they continue always seeing each other in that park during rainy mornings they eventually got closer. One day Yukari was interested in seeing Takao's shoemaking, He then decides to make a pair of shoes of her size. While being measure Yukari the says that she needs to walk on her on. As the Rainy Season ends Both Takao and yukari wanted to go back to their normal lives but wish it would still continue raining so that they would both meet each other.
The story could be describe as a Romance and the Drama type. But the Romance presented in this show is not the typical Romance scenario found in anime in general involving guy meets girl, supernatural and, Fate/Destiny. The show has a more realistic type romance involving two people who were not suppose to meet but on circumstances given they met each other. It's not the same as fate or destiny those are in a different scale. Fate and destiny is like you never meet but at some point in time you will absolutely one hundred percent meet that person. While Garden of words is like if the circumstances given to you did not happen both of you will never see each other and will meet other people instead. I give props to this kind of setting which not regularly seen in the romance genre. The story itself is very original but then again it feels like what old married couples would say to you if you ask them how they met each other.
The show focuses on the lives primarily of these two Main characters with Supporting characters which contribute to the personality of the characters
Takao Akizuki - A 15 year old highschool students who wants to be a shoemaker. He is a hardworking person who probably provides for himself so he works for part time jobs to provide money. He suddenly meets Yukari one day at the garden park while its raining.
Yukari Yukino - A 27 year old young woman who Takao meets in the garden park. While she may be a young and a refined woman she has her own problem that she cannot face by herself. To me she looks like a motherly version of Mikasa Ackerman of Shingeki no kyojin. She works also as teacher.
Both Takao and Yukari are very memorable since the show focuses on the growing relationship of the two. At times there will be moments in the show that made me feel attached to those characters cause they both want to have there own time knowing each other but at the same wanting to know what purpose they can they really give for one another which made me feel very happy and at the same time sad. But the only person I was interested the most was Yukari because while the story shows why she can't face her problem head on only little is known about her and nothing was told in the story on how she became like which is very sad cause it could have made the show longer than 46 minutes actually.
The music here in The Garden of Words is compose by Daisuke Kashiwa. While little is known about him the music the show is very pleasant with every scene having dramatic feeling of calmness and romantic vibe to it. It's actually hard to describe it since it has this certain kind of feeling you get that makes you feel the urge to cry right in your sit .The last time I felt like crying was also in the movie of Makoto shinkai which is 5 Centimeters Per Second. When the music plays, it just hits the right spot in your heart. Another music i would like to add is the song Rain by Motohira Hata which is spectacularly played during the end of the "Raining stairs scene". Not only did it fit in the scene but it gave me a sense of comfort and have a strong heart believing everything will turn out okay for the both of them. Here is the song to give you one of the many reason why you should watch this film.
The voice acting in the film is also top notch and felt like they didn't fake their scenes. You could almost feel that the voice actors were actually giving their whole heart into it. They didn't just acted it out like it was just part of script but played it like they really are the characters themselves. While I only watched the Japanese Dub, there has been already an English dub of this film. Takao being voice by Patrick poole and Yukari as Maggie Flecknoe with notable roles as Saya Takagi in Highschool of the dead. I don't know how they sound like yet in the movie but if I were to guess it, they can deliver their characters well but you will not get any impact from it from the original Japanese actors as this film really is about having there emotions used heavily.
Makoto Shinkai is considered to be the called by many reviewers and by fans of his work to be the "New Miyazaki". And their right on pointing that to him cause he has one of the most beautiful and detailed scene I have witness in my whole life so far in this movie. Almost everything is Amazing in this film. From the city street of Japan to the Wonderful environment shown in the Garden park. Whats also interesting is that the park backgrounds are based of photographs taken in a real park in Japan called Shinjuku Gyoen Park. The animation of this film is very fluid and almost realistic to the point that I though the rain is CGI'ed in this film but to closer inspection the rain is actually handrawn and was put lots of effort to it. Here are some comparison of locations of Shinjuku Gyoen Park seen in the movie and its real life comparison.
The garden is 58.3 hectars in Area. There are more than 20000 trees in the garden, including 1500 cherry trees. If the real world images not been mention, it is highly possible that you have to take more closer inspection on which is the real one and which is from the anime. The detail and composition is just that impressive, although this Makoto shinkai's work, it is expected that such a observation is hardly unexpected and will take your breath away. I will also add more pictures of more locations in the film in my next blog about how anime is getting to the point of realism so do check them out some time in december.
Since this is a movie made by Makoto Shinkai, He focuses on themes that involve Romance especially about Long-Distance relationships on how one struggles to cope up with life while being also affected by the distance given on the relationship. Just like in the 3 part film 5 Centimeters Per Second the characters Takaki and Akari use letters as a form of communication until they shared a kiss they realized that no matter how far apart they are, they always know that they will always be lovers but as time passes and grew older they went to their seperate ways. Takaki wants to find and reconnect with Akari not knowing the fact that Akari is already engaged to another man but Takaki knows that she has already move on from their Long-Distance from each other and that he too must also move on.
In The Garden of Words, Yukari only meet when it's raining to the point of them having rain as a sign of Blessing and Happiness to escape the normal and unhappy life they have. When the rainy season has ended they go back to their normal lives but they don't feel that kind of Happiness they found when they met each other during the Rainy days. That's were the Long-Distance Relationship theme comes in. They both wished that it rains so they meet and talk with each other again.
This movie deserve a score of 95 out of 100 or 4.5 out of 5 stars.
While this movie is closed to being a perfect score, I can't really give it a perfect since the 45 minute time give in the film was the flaw of it. There was enough time for me to understand Yukari's situation yes, but i really wanted to know how she got to that problem. Then i would feel more attached to the story more than want i know so far about them. Romance here is can be a bit weird since it passes the borders of "Forbidden Love", but if there's one thing I believe is that If you know that its Real love then go for it! If Love will bring you Happiness in the end then I salute you and wish you many more to come. I just wished that Makoto Shinkai would announce like some kind of expansion of the movie focusing on what happened to Yukari, but still the 45 minutes was enough for me to have deep thoughts and reflection upon my life. And I guarantee you that this film never fails to make your heart sad and at the end it will leave you with a sweet note.
The film is licensed under Sentai Filmworks in America and is now available in Blu-ray. This movie is a must buy for fans of Makoto Shinkai's and is worth a part of your collection. If you can't buy it you can watch it in legal streaming sites or download it.
For Recommendations I suggest 5 Centimeters Per Second since it is also one of Makoto Shinkai's works and the most memorable of his many films. It also deals with themes such as Romance with Long-Distant Relationship as his vocal point to the audience that leaves the film with a Bittersweet note yet satisfying.
And with that ends my review. I do expect that some of you might disagree on some of the things I explained here but it is understandable since this is my first review (Certainly won't be my last). I'm still finding a show to review but I would really be happy that you guys can suggest what anime I can review. I appreciate your time for reading this and till next time, ARD out
Images seen in this review belong to Makoto Shinkai and Nagaru Tanigawa. They are use solely for this review and are not used to gain profit and it is license under Sentai filmworks. No copyright infringement intended. Please do support the official release.