The Garden of Words is an anime film. It was directed by director Makoto Shinkai. He has directed films such as Voices of a Star, The Place Promised in our Early Days, Children who chase stars, and 5 Centimeters Per Second. The Garden of Words is his most recent film.
It is about a fifteen-year-old high school guy named Takao Akizuki who wants to be a shoemaker someday. His family and close friends believe he would not benefit from the goal. During the rainy season, he skips first period and goes to the famous Shinjuku Gyoen Park in the rain. When he is sitting on a bench in the park, he encounters a woman drinking beer and eating chocolate near him. Every time, he goes to the park during the rain season, he keeps meeting her there at the same place. Over the times, they meet each other, they form a bond, and so he starts falling for her. There’s a moment when Takao tried to design a woman shoe and uses her foot to get measurements for the design. Then, it hints that the woman starts to be fond of Takao. Later on, the woman turns out to be a literature teacher named Yukari Yukino who was teaching at Takao’s school, but had been absent from teaching due to being harassed by students cause a student’s boyfriend fell for her. Talk about ouch, especially when she did nothing wrong. Because of that, she quits teaching at the school. One day, he goes to Yukino’s apartment. They eat food and basically chill out. He confesses that he thinks he’s fallen in love with her. She then tells him that she’s moving back to her hometown in Shikoku and at first, she rejects his confession. Then, he leaves for home, but she runs after him realizing her feelings. That’s when the theme song comes on; they finally embrace. As the theme song plays, it shows Takao continuing school while Yukino moves to her hometown. The film ends at an open note. After the ending credits, the film shows Takao walking in the park in the snow and sits at the same bench area, reading a letter written by Yukino. It shows Yukino is doing well teaching at a school in her hometown. Then, it shows Takao leaving and saying, “I’ll go to her”. The film ends there.
The film has remarkable art and is unique for its genre. The art is absolutely gorgeous, especially the scenes with the rain. The other thing in the film that stands out is the theme song “Rain” by Motohiro Hata, I have to say the song really fits the film as it perfectly sticks to the theme. The song really describes the relationship between Takao and Yukino. This film is worth watching. Also, I strongly praise that the characters are not sexualized, though their relationship is emotional, which is rare in anime. Even though, the relationship seems taboo, I find it interesting to see a younger guy and older woman relationship in anime. This film makes the relationship believable and I hoped that someday they would meet again. Although it is true that this is a short film, the plot still flows well.
I hope Makoto Shinkai continues to make films. I recommend this film to non-action fans and people who are are looking for something settle. This film can also be good for artistic people as the art is really worth praising.