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70 of 74 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short, beautiful, and charming
This movie is only 46 minutes, but this movie offers more in that short amount of time than most 90 minute films. First, the visuals are absolutely stunning. This is a true visual feat, although there is no fantasy in this film, obviously, just the simple look of the outdoors is done very tastefully and artistically.

The movie itself is a love story, its short,...
Published 20 months ago by TyGuy1882

versus
39 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's OK, but....
...I wasn't quite enamored with it. As usual, Shinkai's animation is breathtaking. Some of the shots had a palpable reality; quite breathtaking actually.

The story line, to me, felt contrived. It didn't grab me and pull me along. More importantly, I never felt empathy for the main protagonists. I'm hoping that future viewings will soften my opinion of...
Published 18 months ago by LA2019


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70 of 74 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short, beautiful, and charming, June 26, 2013
This review is from: Garden of Words [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
This movie is only 46 minutes, but this movie offers more in that short amount of time than most 90 minute films. First, the visuals are absolutely stunning. This is a true visual feat, although there is no fantasy in this film, obviously, just the simple look of the outdoors is done very tastefully and artistically.

The movie itself is a love story, its short, sweet, and enjoyable. The problem is that its really short, and although its all character development, you could use more time to care about the characters. The story is great, especially the conclusion, the ending scenes are executed perfectly, but again, its WAY too short.

I suggest you watch it before you buy it, if you love it, you'll want it in your collection.
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34 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly beyond perfect..., August 2, 2013
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This review is from: Garden of Words [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
**Some mild-ish spoiler info**

There is quite literally nothing negative to be said about "Garden of Words" save for its run time. As emotional and dramatic as it is, I could have easily watched it - at its existing caliber - for several hours. I may have run out of tears, but I would have done it.

The match between this 15 year old boy (Akizuki) and a woman he meets in the park (but only when it's raining) grows from barely a nod and a random tanka as she walks away from their first meeting, into what can only be described as something quite possibly more powerful than love. If there is such a thing. Yukino's need for someone to listen, to understand and accept her isn't something I saw as "tragic" per se...more so something that she simply hadn't found yet even when she thought she had. Through a quick series of "bad luck actions / reactions" Yukino is thrown under the proverbial bus by some of her students and can't remain in the school where she is a teacher.

In an ironic spin, the one person who DOES understand her - and cares for her even before he realizes it himself - is a student from her school...though neither has ever seen the other at school. He is a self-trained cobbler, though he admits not a good one. He finally decides he wants to make shoes FOR HER; but shoes that will make her *want* to walk in them. And while the events aren't necessarily rushed in the 45 minutes of run time, we see the events unfold where she allows him to do just that, including being a foot model as they sit in "their garden".

Because I hate to say more than I have already, I will wrap it with: watching the ending is worth EVERY, SINGLE MOMENT spent to reach it. And by this point I was a blubbering mess! The emotions that riddled the screen and story, by and within all, but especially the final scenes simply MUST have been difficult to perform...because as a simple viewer it's difficult to watch and not want to drag Yukino into your arms.

These are two very powerful characters, brought to life in the most superb way and who create once of the most beautiful stories I have ever watched - whether anime or mainstream. I can only finish with, I am glad I own it because this is one title I will watch many times over...and while I have written many of them here, 'words' are incapable of doing justice to this utterly perfect artwork.
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39 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's OK, but...., September 1, 2013
By 
LA2019 (Cleveland, OH) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Garden of Words [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
...I wasn't quite enamored with it. As usual, Shinkai's animation is breathtaking. Some of the shots had a palpable reality; quite breathtaking actually.

The story line, to me, felt contrived. It didn't grab me and pull me along. More importantly, I never felt empathy for the main protagonists. I'm hoping that future viewings will soften my opinion of the characters.

Concerning the soundtrack by Kashiwa Daisuke; some of the tracks in the film felt incongruent to me. The music didn't quite click with me the way Tenmon's music did with prior Shinkai works. To me, it felt like the music was written just to fill space while the film moved along. The beautifully heart breaking and melancholy music needed in this film was not there; it needed Tenmon.

Let me say that I do not regret buying this disc but my preconceived (and probably prejudiced) expectations of this film weren't quite meet. Maybe next time?

It's probably just me but I have this sinking suspicion that "5cm per second" may be Shinkai's magnum opus. Time will tell....
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As I wait in the rain, longing for the chance to meet you once more, the closing of a distance., June 26, 2013
This review is from: Garden of Words [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Having just received the Japanese release of Makoto Shinkai's latest work, The Garden of Words, in the mail and having viewed it twice as of now, I am certain that this film can be called the latest masterpiece in recent anime films. The animation is visually stunning and a huge treat to the eyes, from rain drops to the details of the garden, the city, and characters, everything is very crisp, clean, and beautiful. Unlike most reviews, I think the 46 minute length of the film is perfect, it isn't short nor does it need to be longer. I believe its more of people "wanting more" since it is Makoto Shinkai's latest masterpiece. It would be a treat to be immersed in Shinkai's new world for a bit longer but it isn't necessary.

Especially loved the Tanka used in the story. Very beautiful and touching.

Not going to dive into the story, as the synopsis should pretty much cover what the story is about anyways.

The voice acting is superbly done. Another film starring Miyu Irino and Kana Hanazawa as the two main leads. Both of them have done another amazing job, from the perspective narration of the characters, interactions between them, to the film's beautiful conclusion, both of them did spectacularly in conveying how the characters felt and the atmosphere of the scenes.

Although the Japanese version has English subtitles, the Makoto Shinkai and cast interview remains untranslated which is a huge shame, but is still good to have since I'm not a huge fan of English VA commentaries anyways which is what the English release will be getting.

The soundtrack CD is also nice, don't think the English release will be getting the same treatment though.

All in all, The Garden of Words is an anime film that deserves to be in anyone's collection(one who watches and can appreciate them).
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This movie is Art., October 7, 2013
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This review is from: Garden of Words (DVD)
I'm giving this movie a 5 star review because it's one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in animation. Blu-ray quality really comes through on this one; it looks like Shinkai literally painted it on my tv-screen. If you're looking for a really good story this movie probably won't work for you (watch From Up On Poppy Hill or 5cm Per Sec.) Despite that I believe it has a decent story with a very real and convincing issue, but the art is what I bought this movie for. I can even watch it without the sound, it makes a great background movie. It may be a little pricey for the length of the film and depth of the story but I feel like i got my moneys worth!
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, July 6, 2013
This review is from: Garden of Words [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I discovered this by constantly seeing people praising the gorgeous animation in it. After awhile, I finally budged and watched the movie. The praise was correct. The animation in this movie is stunning and the movie is worth watching just for this alone. But, that's not all it has. This movie has a deep, emotional, and quick story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps Shinkai's masterpiece?, May 5, 2014
By 
Steven Guy (Croydon, South Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Garden of Words (DVD)
I can not recommend this film enough, it is a masterpiece in its genre. Shinkai just seems to be going from strength to strength and what with the master, Hayao Miyazaki retiring, Shinkai's only serious rival is Hosoda.

The Garden of Words tells the story of a rather shy young man with an ambition to become a women's fashion shoe designer and a slightly irresponsible slightly older woman who sits with him in Shinjuku Park on rainy days. As the title suggests, the story is about communications, the things we say and the things we don't say. I shan't say much more because I don't want to spoil the story.

The environment created by the animators is really the third character in this beautiful, gentle story and boy-oh-boy, I bet few of you have ever seen animation this good and this stylish. Disney, eat your heart out!

The background music is almost entirely played on the piano and the score is as delicate and graceful as the animation. Children Who Chase Lost Voices, also by Shinkai, featured a similarly sensitive musical score.

I lived in Shinjuku for a time, so it was a delight for me to see places I recognised.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Moving, sad and amazing, August 4, 2013
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This review is from: Garden of Words [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Makoto Shinkai's latest film "garden of words" is another gorgeous piece of animation and storytelling. The tale of two people who meet by chance in a park one rainy day is filled with Shinkai's gorgeous skies, thoughtful attention to minor details and an appropriate music score. At about 45 minutes this movie does what it's supposed to do without a lot of filler or unnecessary scenes.

I wanted to give this film 5 stars but I did feel that this film explored themes already done in Shinkai's earlier film "5cm per second". I don't want to spoil it for anyone but there were similarities to me between both films conclusions. Still, this was a great film and had its own story, characters and issues to resolve by film's conclusion.

I recommend this film highly. It is absolutely gorgeous, intelligent and quite an emotional journey.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Anime was incredibly powerful, in spite of a rocky start, November 3, 2013
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This review is from: Garden of Words (DVD)
About 20 minutes in or so they cut to flash imagry to progress the story and I was so mad. Thinking there is so much story to tell here and I want to see them fall in love.
But when you get to the ending you realize if they had added that content in more detail the final scenes do not really work.

After watching this and sleeping on it, I can honestly say this will take its rightful place among my favorite Anime movies of all time.

When that boy is screaming and crying I felt all of his confusion and understood his heart. And her reply... OMG

OMG
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Photorealistic Animation, Sensitive, Adult Theme, March 10, 2014
By 
Mark A. Weiss "mweiss_reason_man" (New Milford, CT United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Garden of Words [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
The art is what grabbed me at first sight of this short film. That, and the fact that it is a Makoto Shinkai work. This is a story about a love that blossoms between a mature 15 year old and a 27 year old who admits she's in arrested development since age 15. It is a relationship that could be considered controversial, due to the adult/minor nature of it.
27 year old Yukari doesn't have a lot going on in her life, romantically, hence when she chances to meet 15 year old Takao at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, time and again, and always on rainy days, the combination of chemistry, coupled with her arrested emotional development, leads to an impractical relationship with a much younger person.
As the story progresses, it emerges that she is a teacher at the same school which he attends. At some point, rumors fly and she loses her job as a result. There isn't a lot positive that happens here, on the surface.
While this is all happening, we're treated to absolutely stunning scenery and animation that is breathtaking. An incoming thunderstorm, with it's sudden gust of wind, followed by the first few large raindrops, rapidly escalating into a deluge, as our subjects seek shelter under a gazebo, is astonishingly portrayed with perfect sound and visuals. The viewer almost FEELS the rain and the moisture in the air, it's that realistic. The garden is a nice setting for a romantic story, and we bounce back and forth between apartment living, riding the transit system and this park several times as the story unfolds. It's all amazingly real.
I would rate it 5 stars if the story were as good as the animation. It's not a bad story. It's somewhat pathetic because it portrays a dysfunctional relationship. Like most of Shinkai's films, Garden of Words is less than satisfyingly happy. But there may be a tiny hint of hope, if they can hang on a few years until Takao graduates and finds a stable career.
If you appreciate fine art in motion, then this film deserves a place in your collection. It is a marvel in terms of artistic design and execution. It's story is secondary, but may appeal to some viewers more than others.
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Garden of Words [Blu-ray]
Garden of Words [Blu-ray] by Makoto Shinkai (Blu-ray - 2013)
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