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Showing 1-10 of 234 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 272 reviews
on September 23, 2017
I bought this because I was just looking to increase my anime collection and saw some good reviews of the movie. After watching I think I had my expectations too high. The movie felt short and I didn't really enjoy the plot much, at least on my first viewing. It looks very nice in HD, that to me is definitely the highlight of the film along with the soundtrack. But after watching I think I would have rather spent the $20 some dollars to get another movie or anime season and save this one for much later after I had a good core collection.

I'm probably the minority though that didn't like it that much though.
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on March 5, 2017
The storyline only suffers a little due to the length but the animation is next level. This movie is a must watch due to the beauty of the animations and also the direction the film takes. It's a becoming of age tale like no other
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on February 3, 2014
Anyone who is seriously interested in the art and craft of modern animation should put this short movie at the top of his or hers "Must Watch" list.
As an exercise in depicting the world around us, it is one the best animated films in the realistic style I have ever seen.
The portrait of nature and the urban landscape is remarkable in its beauty and richness of detail.
The blu-ray version includes an hour-long interview with the director and the two Japanese voice artists that impersonate the main characters.
The story has been stripped down to the barest of plots: it has essentially two characters -- and there is hardly any conversation between them. (In fact, the narration felt a little too thin to me, that's why four stars.) They are, for most of the 46 minutes of the film, an enigma to each other, and to the audience. We know more about one of them because the "camera" follows him for much of the time, so we learn that he is a rather mature and serious 15-year old in middle school, who thinks he has found an uncommon vocation (making beautiful shoes) that might take him somewhere else, beyond the confines of his unremarkable life, and is keen to find out if he is up to it. The other one is a 27-year old woman going through a rough patch. They meet repeatedly, at first by chance, at a gazebo in a park in central Tokyo during rainy days (he uses rain as an excuse to cut classes). This gives the animators plenty of opportunity to show some masterful visualization of clouds, rain and running water. There is a little drama towards the end, but nothing much happens that can be seen - there is plenty going on deep down, but one can only guess what that might be based on one's own experience of life. Definitely a movie for adults.
This short piece of graphic chamber music comes after Shinkai's previous full-orchestra, operatic fantasy-action movie "Children Who Chase Lost Voices", and shows that he can do equally well telling such different types of story.
After Hayao Miyazaki's retirement and Satoshi Kon's untimely death, Makoto Shinkai should be welcome as one of the most promising and brightest stars of Japanese animation.
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on February 12, 2017
Everything about Garden of Words is beautiful. From the storyline to the main characters to the detail of the animation. I knew what the movie would be about from the description they give you, but this movie was so much more than that. It's a really beautiful story, so if you're thinking about buying it and giving it a chance, please do so.
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on January 22, 2014
Very japanese, this is one of those perfect examples on the divide between the protagonist in japanese movies, Takao wants to become a shoemaker, not save the world nor the galaxy and Yukino san is facing emotional distress after being a techer in a japanese HS.

The interviews are longer that the movie in itself, so, be warned this is only 43 minutes long (it accomplishes its goals, so no need to drag on)
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on October 31, 2013
I have seen most of Makoto Shinkai's animation films: Voices of a Distant Star, The Place Promised in Our Early Days, 5 Centimeters per Second, Children who Chase Lost Voices, and Garden of Words. All of them are works of art with the best character development in films I have seen. The most unforgettable part of Shinkai's works is the vivid portrayal of character emotions, and through which the inner struggles of multiple characters are steadily laid bare. In summary Shinkai's works are never action driven, but rather they are character driven.

In Shinkai's early works, one can sense a disturbing trend of faint silent despair permeated in all the protagonists; Distant Star and 5 cm are the most obvious ones. With Lost Voices and Garden of Words, a steady shift of Shinkai's outlook on the world is evident; the protagonists stopped being portrayed as the victims of circumstances in the society. With Shinkai's latest work, The Garden of Words, the old theme of lamentation has become a journey of inner strength and emotional growth. No scifi action, nor any grand scheme, is needed to steer the story to a satisfying conclusion in The Garden of Words. With two believable protagonists, a well crafted plot, and scores of artistic scenery decorated with masterful background music; I believe Shinkai has delivered his best masterpiece with The Garden of Words.
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on August 18, 2017
The 4-stars are for animation but, the story line was lacking and overly dramatic. The animation is worth it. Stunning and at times you'll forget you're watching anime.
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on November 3, 2013
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

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on April 19, 2017
This one of those movies that you watch and enjoy. It moves pretty quickly and is well made. I highly recommend this blu-ray if you like Japanese animated movies.
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on June 17, 2017
Beautiful story, and very well told within the time that the movie lasted. Very emotional, and I felt very connected with the story. Its all about those steps.
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