Simple plot. Gorgeous Art…and add in some Rains with a tanka(japanese short poem) and directed by Makato Shinkai, the one who also did Kimi no Na Wa (Your Name), an anime film released this year that has been breaking records left and right. Kotonoha no Niwa (The Garden of Words) is a short 45 mins anime that boasts the same visual as Your Name. We will see if it is a great anime film or just another forgettable ones!
There are only two main characters who takes up 95% of the screentime here. This makes sense as the film is only 45 mins long and no other important characters can be added. The story stars off slowly with the rain theme being the most obvious and prevalent throughout the film. Our main character, Takao Akizuki, a 15 year old aspiring shoemaker, has a habit of going to a nearby park whenever it rains in the morning. One day, he does the same and sees a young woman, Yukino, sitting in the ancient shelter. They have an awkward conversation, with Takao trying to draw her shoes and feet while Yukino enjoys beer with chocolate. As they start to meet more often due to the monsoon season in Japan, their relationship starts to blossom and we will be seeing more of each of their’s life. Yukino gives Takao a tanka which will be an important story theme till the end of the film.
The art style is just fantastic. If it’s not for the fact that they are brightly coloured, you would have a hard time guessing whether they are a picture taken in the actual place. Each scene is so detailed like the train track and the park with each leaves drawn. In fact, most of the scenes are drawn 95% similar to the real place in Japan. I have to applaud the art team for bringing out such masterpiece that instantly catches your attention and makes you appreciate the film by drawing you into them. The same goes for the soundtrack which is pretty fitting. Rains, thunders and some awesome japanese pop with a more mild relaxed feel just clicks with me. The director knows what fits his film and all of the music/atmosphere tracks are just perfect.
There is a twist in the end, but its a simple one. This 45 mins will bring you into the world of rain, learning, love and personal development. it’s amazing how the director is able to create the mood and relatable characters using minimum dialogues and soundtracks. The quality of the art is one of the best I have ever seen as well. You will definitely love this anime film if you like Kimi no Na Wa. For this, I would give this film 8.5/10!