Japanese Title: 言の葉の庭
Romaji: Kotonoha no Niwa
Release Date: May 31st, 2013 (Japan)
Running Time: N/A
Director: Makoto Shinkai
Writer: Makoto Shinkai
Starring: Kana Hanazawa (Yukino), Miyu Irino (Takao)
Did the end of 5 Centimeters Per Second leave you teary-eyed? Was The Place Promised in Our Early Days emotionally rough? Brace yourself for more sadness fuel as Makoto Shinkai is back!
Anime production company CoMix Wave Films posted the first trailer for acclaimed director Makoto Shinkai’s newest film The Garden of Words (Kotonoha no Niwa) on Wednesday and fan reaction was quick (check out Anime UK News for an interview with Makoto Shinkai where he answsered one of my questions. We love his work over there!).
“We met, for each of us to walk forward.
Takao is a 15-year-old boy with dreams of becoming a professional shoe designer and was skipping high school, sketching shoes in a Japanese garden when he encounters a mysterious older woman named Yukino who is 27. Without arranging it they end up meeting again and again, but only on rainy days, deepening their relationship and opening up to each other. But the end of the rainy season soon approaches…
Hmm… Another visually gorgeous film about loneliness then. The trailer is gorgeous and I like the music a lot. Even the theme song by Motohiro Hata (Kids on the Slope). The audio and visuals evokes a feeling of emotional intensity but maybe that’s trace memory in me from Shinkai’s other films… Who are the staff and seiyuu?
Shinkai is famous for his mastery of telling melancholy stories of love and separation and has gained a lot of respect for creating a lot of his early titles almost single-handedly. This one is a little different. We know that it is directed and written by Makoto Shinkai over at CoMix Wave Films and he is aided by Kenichi Tsuchiya who takes charge of character design and animation direction. This looks to be Tsuchiya’s biggest role yet. Art designer Hiroshi Takiguchi is a little more experienced having worked on the background art one the excellent films Mai Mai Miracle and Sword of the Stranger.
Kana Hanazawa takes the female lead as Yukino. She has appeared in a lot of titles I like including Bakemonogatari/Nisemonogatari (Nadeko Sengoku), Occult Academy (Kozue Naruse), Haganai (Kobato Hasegawa) and Psycho-Pass (Akane Tsunemori). The male lead is performed by Miyu Irino who voiced Shin in Shinkai’s last film Children Who Chase Lost Voices, Akira Tsubaki in Mysterious Girlfriend X (yes, I watched that and regretted wasting my time…) and he put in a good performance as Seigen Hayami in Un-Go.
Anyway, the film gets its theatrical release on May 31st and it is getting a manga adaptation courtesy of Midori Motohashi in Kodansha’s Monthly Afternoon magazine starting in April. For a more in-depth look at the trailer, visit Otherwhere!