Kotonoha no Niwa is a really powerful movie. It will leave you completely speechless for few hours. I personally could not do anything for the whole day after watching this. Makoto Shinkai really knows where to go to emotionally compromise me. He’s also the director of 5 Centimeters Per Second… so this should tell you all you need to know about this movie.
The Garden of Words will be his first story about love in the traditional Japanese meaning of the word. Originally, "love" was written as "lonely sadness" (koi), and, according to Shinkai, the modern concept of "love" (ai) was imported from the West. While his new film is set in the modern era, it will be about koi in the original "lonely sadness" meaning — of longing for someone in solitude.
Story : Meeting every rainy morning in a beautiful park, the two protagonist will help each other. She will help him move forward with his dream of becoming a shoe maker. Buying him an expensive book and allowing him to take the measurement of her feet. He will support her by simply being there helping her live trough her depression. She’s a teacher and was bullied by a bunch of third year girls. They spread horrible rumours about her and she had to leave the school. They both needed each other. Slowly fall in love… every day of rain… waking up every morning, hoping for it.
Characters : Makoto Shinkai films are always so hard to watch… the loneliness of the characters is almost physically hurting me. I could very much identify myself to both characters, the doubtful artist and the rejected teacher unable to come back from her depression. The rain being an other character of the movie is always beautifully present. It create a beautiful atmosphere and completely change the feeling of the park. If you the type of person, who could simply listen to the rain for hours… this movie is perfect for you.
Animation/music : The animation is possibly one of the most beautiful thing I ever saw. Every shot was carefully plan and the color scheme is simply gorgeous. It really helps making you sink into the movie, creating a bubble around you. If you look carefully, you will notice all the small details th…. the beautiful reflection on the wet pavement is a good example. I also very much enjoyed the tilt-shift effect they used for a couple of shots, i never saw any anime use this. And as for the music, it was always very fitting… even after re-watching it, the simple few note of piano brought tears to my eye.
The Garden of Words is a movie you will always go back to.