Kotonoha no Niwa (Garden of Words)

Although I've complained about animation for television, particularly Japan's 2D anime industry, due to the slippage of quality that is produced, as one of the few places left in the world that has a strong 2D animation influence still, it is heartening to see when an anime movie is released. Particularly the ones that are more toward the slice of life genre I find to have just astoundingly beautiful art and so much deeper stories without the need to put all the money into creating action packed battle scenes. People have long loved Miyazaki and his films and now there is Makoto Shinkai, who is often hailed as "The New Miyazaki", who has created beautiful films such as "The Place Promised in Our Early Days", "5 Centimeters per Second", and now his newest film "Garden of Words".

According to Makoto Shinkai, the story is a classical Japanese take on love. The story will show the phenomenon of love as it happens but also show the overcast of standards and circumstances that hinders the emotion. The plot is an exploration of love and loneliness from the emotion that only comes once in a lifetime. Takao, who is wants to become a shoemaker, finds himself skipping school on the days that are raining. Instead he goes to a park and there he meets a mysterious woman, Yukino, who is skipping work to drink beer and eat chocolate. Without arranging times, the two start to see each other again and again, but only on rainy days. They deepen their relationship and open up to each other. The rainy days cannot last forever though and as it ends the two stopped seeing each other. Then on one fateful day, Takao and Yukino meet each other again and must resolve their emotions.

When I was watching this movie I kept going "Oh my god, this is so beautiful!" It really does make me miss the watercolor painted like quality that 2D animations have in their background mattes. The animation was solid and the lighting and color were beautiful. I love the compositions in that there is so much room to breathe and the shot stays long enough to appreciate the beauty but is fleeting and ephemeral at the same time. Here are just a few of my favorite moments in the movie. [gallery columns="4" link="file" ids="909,910,911,912,913,914,915,916,917,918,907,908"]