World Famous Comics: Garden of Words [Blu-ray] |
| Garden of Words [Blu-ray] |
|Starring: Maggie Flecknoe, Patrick Poole|
Directed By: Makoto Shinkai
Average Rating: see reviews
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audience Rating: PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Format: Animated, Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
Number of Items: 1
Picture Format: Widescreen
Publication Date: August 06, 2013
Region Code: 1
Release Date: August 06, 2013
Running Time: 45 minutes
Studio: Section23 Films
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When Takao, a young high school student who dreams of becoming a shoe designer, decides to skip school one day in favor of sketching in a rainy garden, he has no idea how much his life will change when he encounters Yukino. Older, but perhaps not as much wiser, she seems adrift in the world. Despite the difference in their ages, they strike up an unusual relationship that unexpectedly continues and evolves, without planning, with random meetings that always occur in the same garden on each rainy day. But the rainy season is coming to a close, and there are so many things still left unsaid and undone between them. Will there be time left for Takao to put his feelings into actions and words? Between the raindrops, between the calms in the storm, what will blossom in THE GARDEN OF WORDS?
Like many 15-year-olds, Takao Akizuki, the hero of director-screenwriter Makoto Shinkai's featurette The Garden of Words (2013), feels trapped in high school. On rainy days, he cuts his morning classes to sit in a park modeled on Shinjuku Gyoen in Tokyo. Sheltered in a pavilion, he draws and dreams of becoming a designer/shoemaker. One morning he meets an "older woman," 27-year-old Ms. Yukino, who seems as lost and directionless as he is. A curious friendship develops between the two misfits. At 44 minutes, The Garden of Words suggests the anime equivalent of a short story. In his earlier, longer films--Voices of a Distant Star (2003), The Place Promised in Our Early Days (2004), Children Who Chase Lost Voices (2011)--Shinkai combined a lyrical visual sense with a frustrating inability to present a story with a satisfying beginning, middle, and end. The shorter form allows him to focus on evoking the atmosphere of the rainy Japanese spring and summer: the camera lingers on spattering droplets, reflections in puddles, dripping leaves, flowing streams. But neither Takao nor Yukino emerge as fully realized as their surroundings, and Takao's bitter outburst when Yukino rejects his fumbling expression of affection comes out of nowhere. Although The Garden of Words ranks as Shinkai's most satisfying work to date, the viewer can't help wishing he would find a writer-collaborator who would give him a script worthy of his directorial talent. (Rated TV 14 D: alcohol and tobacco use, profanity) --Charles Solomon
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