Yukari Yukino (雪野 百香里, 雪野 由香里) meets Akizuki Takao (秋月 孝雄) for the first time. (The Garden of Words)

The Garden of Words – So Many Emotions in This Garden.

The Garden of Words (言の葉の庭) really made me feel so many emotions. The most stunning and the best animation film in the world in my opinion. The music while watching this movie. And many thoughts in just 45 minutes anime film. I want to tell you this Kotonoha no Niwa wins many people’s heart, including me.

The garden of words (Kotonoha no Niwa) is 45 minuted anime film written, directed and edited by Shinkai Makoto, in many genres (Drama, Psychological, Romance, Slice of Life). There are many Japanese anime movie but I dare say this movie will pull you into the perfect world of animation, in other words, this anime is masterpiece. If this anime can be in the museum, I would not be surprised. It will make many people who are walking in the museum, would stop their feet and watch it like time was stopped.

But before you will proceed to read more, make sure to watch this film first. See the real thing is the best, believe me. But if you already watched it, feel free to continue.

How did I find the garden of words?

By coincidence, I guess. Back then, I don’t have any anime to watch, my favorite LN still is postponed to an undetermined period. I’m so bored. So I visited some board that related with anime to kill time. That board has some daily topics but I didn’t expect to find something good. But I remember I found a topic with an image and title that made me pause a bit. That image is a beautiful woman’s face and the title said something like… asked readers how to save this woman.

When I look at the title, “What the…?” was in my mind. I can say I never see this picture before, but since I don’t have anything to read/watch anyway, and I’m curious too. So you know what I did next, right? Go to read this topic. There, I read some comments and some people sympathize with her. So it seems she would be a female character who got trouble or has sad life or something like that. When I look at that image again, I think she is sad but tried to smile. When I saw her expression, I thought she is very beautiful and I want to watch her role in anime.

With many comments from many people that want to cheer that sad woman up and I’m curious what kind of this anime film. Later I finally have a chance to watch this movie. So many emotions started here.

Amazed, stunned & refreshed

The green colored tone from the first scene when the main character, Akizuki Takao (秋月 孝雄) (a high school boy who have a dream to be the shoemaker) meets the woman I saw in picture earlier, named Yukino Yukari (雪野 百香里, 雪野 由香里) (a teacher that teaches in the same school with Akizuki) for the first time. The scene in this movie will focus on the public park in Shinjuku. I forgot what I do while watching this scene, but it’s not important. What I realized is, I am amazed the animation in front of me.

  • This movie has many gorgeous scenes, but what this film is amazing is using the same view but in different time. The same picture but when the scene is in different time, it gives me different emotions. This is what I am amazed from Kotonoha no Niwa.
    • The beautiful green leaves and green water in the summer. But when the winter has come, they change by season and become white & blue tone instead.
    • Or the road scene like picture above. When in the daytime, it’s like what the scene in the daytime should be. But when it is raining, the same scene changes to what it should be when the rain have come. Each scenes present different emotions. I’m never bored to watch these.

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  • How Shinkai used the same scene to tell us how Akizuki and Yukino’s distant changes is another amazing thing too. Maybe I am wrong, but he tries to use light effect to explain their closeness. What am I talking about? Please see four images above.
  • I feel stunned by some scenes of this movie. Such as the featured image of this review. And another scene. That scene (when Akizuki meets Yukino again) starts with blur effect and contrast later. This combo make Yukino’s beauty becomes stunning beauty. You are genius, Shinkai-san.
  • For the songs, I feel stunned with the accordance between the song and the scene. Do you remember the scene when Yukari gives Akizuki poem for the first time and leaves from the park. I like how mysterious of Yukari to tell poem for rain like that and makes him feel stunned. When she uses her umbrella and leaves, the next scene is the title of this movie, and the music was organized concordantly. The song that time is so beautiful, but when you arrange to explain emotion with scenes, if you done well, the stunning beauty will happen.
  • All trees look like I am watching the real trees in the forest.
  • Green color from leaves look refreshed and how they are moving when the wind and rain touch them. I don’t expect to see anime team tried so hard to made them move slowly but naturally.
Yukino Yukari is drinking and Akizuki Takao is drawing. (The Garden of Words)

Feel cold.

  • Anime team of this film made the town and the public park are so beautiful. I feel like I watched another paradise that placed in the reality world.
  • Many scenes have so many detail. I’m paused by these many times, such as this scene. It got time and labors just to make these scenes. Some of them were made with high contrast I thought this object is the real thing.

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Calm & comfortable

Can’t help if I feel like this.

  • Green theme from trees and leaves made me calm and refreshed. If anime team can make me feel the smell of both of them, I would sleep where I’m sitting for sure. Oh I forgot the smell of rain too.
  • Colors can make human feel happy, sad and etc. Green color can make us feel safe, comfortable and relax. Green is one of cool color, and this anime made this color send these feeling to watchers clearly and efficiency. Oh! and it’s not just green only. Other colors likes grey, made me feel depressed a bit or want to get to the bed.
Grey color tone. (The Garden of Words)

How do you feel when watch grey tone?

  • The raindrops in this film look like the real thing. I mean, I can see water drops while they are raining. They are not like raindrops from other anime. In other anime, I just see only ” lines” moved from above to the floor. But raindrops in this anime made me feel refreshed. It’s like I am in this scene too.
Rain drops. (The Garden of Words)

Rain drop to the floor and …

  • This anime can make me remember when I watched the rain from the window in the building. Anime is not the real thing, but Kotonoha no Niwa was made to be the real thing.
  • The sound effects are well made. When Akizuki and Yukino-sensei are sitting in the pavilion in the public park. The sound of rain made me want to sleep and relax. The raindrop animation, the sound of rain and green theme made me want to go to my bed and sleep instead.

Hungry, warm & yummy

When I saw genres of the garden of words, I never expect to see some characters will make dishes before. And I never expect more that all dishes look yummy. …They are traps and I can’t help but fell into the hole.

Akizuki’s dishes – If you watched the garden of words, you would remember when Akizuki made the  dishes for family and Yukino. All of them made me feel hungry, warm and want to try his dishes.

Two yellow noodle dishes by Akizuki Takao, for him and his older brother. (The Garden of Words)

Homemade and look healthy …but this portion will be enough for grown up men?

  • When Akizuki Shouta (Akizuki’s older brother) came back home, Akizuki are making noodles. When he arrange noodles, some vegetable and meats, a certain sound from my stomach… Well, I like to watch the yellow noodles. They made me can imagine they are boiled and ready to serve. And when you want to make some noodles, you need to boil soup too. The sound effect of hot water in the pot made me feel like his dishes are homemade.

Akizuki Takao is preparing onion. (The Garden of Words)

  • When Akizuki are making sandwiches and omelette rice, I like to see he slice vegetables (tomatoes, onions) with knife. I mean, what I want to say is anime team work hard to make animation when vegetables were chopped into pieces. His hand used the kitchen knife naturally. And sound effect when vegetable were sliced is excellent. I watched many cooking clips in a certain website, but all of them can be compared with this anime. …Are you sure this Kotonoha no Niwa is not cooking anime?
Akizuki Takao cooks two omelette rice for him and Yukino Yukari. (The Garden of Words)

You shall suffer by these dishes.

  • For omelette rice, I can enjoy watch him cooking. And this time, he did his best for the one he loves. Hohoho I enjoy to watch him break eggs. Anime team did their best to this scene again. When egg was dropped into the cup, it look like real thing again. It’s not different from when I break eggs into the cup. How it flowed from eggshell to the cup.
    And when he served two omelette rich dishes for him and Yukino and pasted them on the table, Why do they look yummy although the colors are not bright.

 Queasy, fidgety & irritated

When we reached the middle of this movie, it’s time to know the bitten & surprise story of Yukino-sensei. She has no choice but to quit from her teacher job. But the reason to quit is not fair to her. When two close friends of Akizuki explained how she faced bullying from her students, I’m not surprised when Akizuki finally realized Yukino-sensei’s suffering in detail from his close friends (Matsumoto (松本) and Sato (佐藤)), he had the queasy feeling and wanted to do something for her.

If appeared that one of her students (Aizawa (相沢)) stab her in the back by using all students in her class, plus with their parents, and ended with Satou (her coworkers in the school). It’s very fidgety to me that, the one who have a grudge against her, used social power to punish her, and her/his hands will not be dirty.

It’s more irritated that the clique that bullied Yukino-sensei, have no any intention to look back what they did. They think what they did is right and can do whatever they want, and never realized that they used everyone to bully a teacher.

Depress & hurt

These negative emotions are what two characters feel, but I feel what they feel too.

  • After Yukino-sensei is speaking with her coworker (another teacher) via smartphone, it’s depress to watch her “good friend” tried to comfort her, but when she is facing trouble, this good friend never stand for her and treated her like she is at fault.
  • When Yukino-sensei’s suffering was revealed, Akizuki met her again in the certain park. She tried to smile but her eyes and other face expression betrayed her. She is doing her best to not say anything more than what he already knew.
Yukari Yukino tries to smile but her eyes betray her. (The Garden of Words)

She tries to smile but her eyes didn’t say that.

  • Yukino-sensei is hurt and crying after she rejected Akizuki with distant but gentle words. Many people who are suffering will not let anyone invade to their personal space. And that’s why she pushed him away, although he is her only ally. The result is she hurts him by using their different status (teacher and student) wall. She realized later when he said goodbye and left.
  • Akizuki can’t stand Yukino to never tell him anything about her. But he is different from her. What she did is hide her pain, but he chose to open it. He told her to not hide pain because if she continue to do that, she will end up be alone forever. His words and loud expression of emotion swash to her like the thunderstorm. It’s hurt to see her suffer while listened to Akizuki’s shout, but it’s necessary to share her suffering.

Pleased & proud

  • Akizuki and Yukino made their own breakfast to eat while they are in the park. It’s pleased to see him tease her after tasted her unique favored delicious bento.
Akizuki Takao can't wait to TRADE his bento with Yukino Yukari's. (The Garden of Words)

That’s a trap!!

  • At least I am pleased to see Akizuki and Yukino have omelette rice and some hot tea together. How they helped for each other (such as iron clothes and cooking). Akizuki always take care his family member (cooking) and I can see he likes to use his skill to make his crush pleased too. He is worried when his mother run away, so it’s not surprised to see him worried about Yukino too.
Yukino Yukari & Akizuki Takao's happy time. (The Garden of Words)

~Happy time~

  • After Akizuki and Yukino shared their suffering for each other, I am glad for them. He wants to know about her and she canceled AT-field and let him invade her private space. They are not a student and teacher, or a boy and a woman anymore. They stand equally and developed mutual understanding.
  • I’m pleased to see Akizuki can make Yukino’s shoes. When I watched him hold these shoes and paste to the bench, I can see he is so proud in his skill and success. Yukino’s shoes would be the first woman’s shoes he ever made. These shoes was made for her only.
  • In manga, the ending is different from anime. I’m glad to see Yukino wears shoes Akizuki gave and says happily that these are her lucky charm so she can move on and do her teacher job in her hometown.

Curious & Wonder

In The garden of words, we have chances to look at rooms, especially, character’s room in their residents. Their own rooms can tell us how they live.

  • In Akizuki’s room – It’s not large size enough to be the bedroom and workshop in just one place. But he arranges area very well. This zone is workshop, that zone is for sleeping. There are many appliances but he organizes them so he has more space. However, he likes to paste shoe materials near his desk so he can pick them whenever he wants.
  • In Yukino’s rooms – we know she lives alone in the apartment? No one lives together with her so she doesn’t need to be considerate to anyone. I’m not surprised when I see her rooms. In bedroom and living room, many appliances are pasted near her so she can use them easily. But we can see her rooms are different from Akizuki’s. Some appliances in her rooms were pasted where they fell. She doesn’t care to arrange them like he did. Some cans are still there. Some furniture was organized in a little weird degree.
    However, she doesn’t let her appliances scatter forever, I see when her room is neat too. So it explains when you live alone, you would clean less than when you live in home.

Yukino’s life style makes inside her rooms like we watched. But I think there’s more than life style. Some plants in balcony are withered. This scene makes me think she might not care the environment around her. Maybe it because of her bitter story?

However, when Yukino invites Akizuki to her apartment to dry their clothes. The sudden change happens but in anime I don’t know how she transforms her labyrinth rooms into super neat room. There’s no scene explains how she does. But never mind. It’s no reason to let guest see that, right? Maybe she is mahou shoujo.

Ending?

  • Shinkai didn’t give us the ending we expected to see. So we don’t know they will end up as the couple or have other relationships. But in the movie, Akizuki intends to see her again (and gives her the unique shoes he made too, I think). And in manga, the ending was focuses on to how Yukino can move on only. Shinkai wants us to imagine their relationships. I don’t mind to imagine the ending, but I hope he will give us more hints.
  • In manga, Yukino told her mother more that she will wear her lucky charm and will change to school uniform shoes later. I wonder she treasures them or they are made by the one who cares for her, or both.
  • I don’t know the ending of The garden of words novel, so if you read it, please feel free to spoil me. If this Kotonoha no Niwa will be translated in my country, I will buy it anyway. So dozo.

Suprised!!

While I am watching another masterpiece piece anime film of Shinkai Makoto, Kimi no Na wa (君の名は。, Your name), I notice someone familiar. She is the Japanese literature teacher who is teaching in the classroom of the main character, Miyamizu Mitsuha (三葉 宮水). And it appears that this teacher have the same face and hair style and wears the same clothes as Yukino too. If you want to confirm, you can watch this movie.

And if this teacher is Yukino for real, let me spoil Kimi no Na wa a bit. Does it appear that she is one of survivors from “the certain natural phenomenon” in this movie?


And all of these are my emotion package while watching/reading The Garden of Words. I hope to write character analysis of this too, since some characters are very interesting. But this is just a plan. I hope I have free time and can do it.

If you have some interesting or thoughts related to Kotonoha no Niwa, feel free to write in the Comment form below. And if you think my review is worthwhile for other people,  Share buttons below can serve you.

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38 thoughts on “The Garden of Words – So Many Emotions in This Garden.

  1. Arria Cross says:

    This has been recommended to me numerous times before but I have yet to watch it. I don’t watch that much anime films compared to episodic series, so films are not really my priority. That’s why I’m quite picky when it comes to films and more critical about them. But your post about Kotonoha no Niwa is quite positive, so I’ll move it up a bit on my to-watch list. Great post, by the way. Keep it up. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • YahariBento says:

      @Aria Cross, it seems our starting point are similar. I read some review of Kotonoha no Niwa, and saw some its images. Both of them are the signs I watched it in the end.

      Hope you will like it. And thanks for reading my green tone post. :3

      Like

  2. mrconair says:

    This is my favourite Makoto Shinkai film (I’ve not seen Kimi no na yet, of course). I think the application of colour and depth of field is stunning, and the scenery is unrivaled. The characters are distinct and fit in well with the world, and the characters made a much bigger impression on me than those in 5 Centimeters per Second. While some may argue that the length is too short, I feel that it was as long as it needed to be, and the conclusion was genuinely emotionally powerful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • YahariBento says:

      This is my fav Makoto film too, @mrconair. :3

      I already watched Kimi no namai, but I still luv this movie. KNN’s story is exciting, but I fall in luv with beautiful, character, story and songs in GOW more.

      I don’t mind about time range of GOW either, but I hope I will see a “tiny hint” how relationship of both of main characters will end up in movie.

      Like

  3. Lakatos says:

    In the novel, Akizuki went to Italy after graduation to learn the profession of making handmade shoes. Yukino became a high school teacher again in her home town. They kept writing letters to each other. After five years, Akizuki returned to Japan for a break and Yukino went to Tokyo to meet him. Akizuki carried the shoes he finally successfully finished in his backpack without Yukino knowing it. They reunited at the garden. Here ends the story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • YahariBento says:

      So Yukino comes to Tokyo to meet him especially? Ahh… I want to shout to the sky!!
      @Lakatos, thanks for spoil this to me.

      ps. Wait. If they met again after Akizuki study in Italy after graduation, it means age of Yukino is 3x (shut up, my mouth and brain!!).

      Like

      • Mon-Chi Lio says:

        (1) Yes. In fact, she goes to the garden directly after she arrives in Tokyo. However, she just tells Akizuki it is because she happens to have some business in the period of time (Japanese politeness, you know). She is very nervous before Akizuki shows up, and she does not even know if Akizuki still remembers the promise of shoes. (2) Yes, she is 32, and he 20. Anyway, FYI, Akizuki’s mother’s boyfriend is also 12 years junior in the novel. Makato elaborates in the novel to show that there will be few if any family or social problems at the end if they decide to be together. So, yes, I think everything will be fine for them.

        Liked by 1 person

        • YahariBento says:

          Her polite tsudere wants me to shout to the universe instead. XD

          Wait! If you said Akizuki visits to Tokyo for a break, it means their long relationship still continue at least few years? Noooooo. (@o@)

          Like

          • Mon-Chi Lio says:

            (1) Akizuki has not finished his training in Italy yet, so it is a short break. (2) They wrote letters to each other over a span of maybe half a year (not mentioned clearly in the novel) before Akizuki’s graduation from the high school, then they “advanced” to send emails to each other bi-monthly but avoid to inquire each other’s personal life. They just so care about the social reaction and don’t want to bother each other while, in fact, they still love each other deeply and both stay to be single.

            Liked by 1 person

            • YahariBento says:

              Wow. Thank you for telling me more, @Mon-Chi Lio.

              I really really want to own novel more, after read your comment.

              Like

  4. Mon-Chi Lio says:

    One more thing. The title GIF pic you choose to use in this post happens to be the ending scene depicted in the novel (to be exact, the last three sentences). What is different is after five years Akizuki becomes a grown man. Yukino is raising a cafe cup instead of a beer, and instead of a surprise look, this time Yukino starts to give Akizuki a warm smile.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mon-Chi Lio says:

    Just found this. The line printed at the bottom of Yukino’s letter appeared at the ending of the movie is “When I grew up and fell in love, I asked my sweetheart: What lies ahead?” (from Doris Day’s Que Sera, Sera). Shinkai had confirmed this in a tweet. Furthermore, it is very likely Akizuki received Yukino’s letter just one week before Valentine’s Day as she wrote the letter at 3 Feb. These two hints indicate that Yukino has clearly let Akizuki know she loves him at the ending of the movie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • YahariBento says:

      …Collapse!
      But I doubt Akizuki will get what Yukino means in letter. I mean… man likes to get direct answer from woman.

      Like

      • Mon-Chi Lio says:

        The scene shows that he has read “…..fell in love, I asked my sweetheart….” before he folds the letter. Then he smiles as the sunlight suddenly shines on him. And it is very likely Akizuki is “celebrating” the Valentine’s day alone by reading Yukino’s letter at the garden. This explains why he puts the shoes which represent Yukino at his side. Shinkai really hides many hints in the movie’s ending.

        Liked by 1 person

        • YahariBento says:

          OK! So I know how they feel for real.
          @Mon-Chi Lio, thanks so much for spoiling me. I’m full for real. ( ^3^)=3

          I hope I can watch live action of Kotonoha no Niwa too, but can’t find where to watch.

          Like

  6. wb says:

    Thanks. Exteremly detailed review. I will watch the movie again to reanalyze. BTW I find the “shoe measuring scene” extremely sensual more so then the usual garbage sex scenes in modern movies. Having been introduced to anime by my teenage daughter recently, I find good animes(like Miyazakis) from Japan much more satisfying emotionally then the whizz bang stuff mainstream Hollywood is peddling nowadays. I also find Garden of Words more adult oriented and edges “Your Name” slightly, its still my no 1 Shinkai movie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • YahariBento says:

      About “shoe measuring scene”, if you have a chance to read manga of this anime, you will know Yukino’s feeling when Akizuki starts measuring her foot. I’m blushing after saw her feeling.

      Miyazaki’s anime series are good quality. I watched “Whisper of the Heart” & feel the same as main character in this anime. It’s hard to find out the path we want to walk.

      The Garden of Words are rise from anime for kid & teenage so I am pleased to see awesome anime film like this.

      Like

  7. Ryuji's Anime Review says:

    Whoa, that’s an amaizing review! You paid attention to the smallest detail and noted it down with the review, I’m impressed! Great work.
    I’m really really glad that you noticed her in Kimi no na wa. At first, I didn’t realised it but when I watched the film for the second time, I was totally surprised. I think that maybe Shinkai used her as a cameo and gave the viewers a little bit of fan service. A great post, thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • YahariBento says:

      Wow! Thanks for comment & your visit. I want to exchange opinion with readers & bloggers about this awesome anime.

      I think Shinkai want fans of Kotonoha no Niwa who watched Kimi no na wa to re-watch Kotonoha again. Or transfer Kimi’s fans to watch Kotonoha.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Rambling Review says:

    Thank you for your beautiful review. It is such a detailed one. I love how you named each section by emotions. I skipped the “Surprise” though, planning to watch Kimi no Na Wa in theatre in 4 days :p
    Keep up the great work!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. A.Foo says:

    Agree – I loved this masterpiece and the director’s skill continued to rise for Your Name which I think had equally stunning visuals and a more rounded story arc.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. alfredopasta says:

    I appreciate you showing me your review on my blog and this is definitely very, very detailed, which is a great thing. It was an interesting read and I never really thought about how the food being shown actually makes you feel hungry. Thanks for making me reanalyze and think about the smaller things this film!! Also, can’t wait to watch Your Name. :)

    Liked by 1 person

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