The Garden of Words was directed by Makoto Shinkai, who also wrote the original story and screenplay. He was responsible for the storyboards, animation composite, key animation, and editing. The Japanese release was initially slated for the first half of Production officially started after he had created storyboards based on the photos he took. Shinkai was approached in early about adapting the material into a manga,  which was then done by Midori Motohashi.
However, he did express interest in seeing the finished product. According to Shinkai's announcement of the film early during its production, The Garden of Words was his first attempt at making a love story using the traditional Japanese meaning of "love". In an interview, he said he created the film with the hope of cheering up people who feel lonely or incomplete in their social relations. However, he made a point that "this movie doesn't treat loneliness as something that must be fixed. According to Shinkai, shoes were a metaphor for life as Yukari learned to walk again,  while Takao's shoe-making typified their relationship.
In many of Shinkai's films, sad endings resulting from misunderstandings and unrequited feelings are common. According to Shinkai, his stories are intended to encourage teenagers as they learn to cope with these commonplace experiences. Shinkai himself could relate with Yukari in not feeling as smart or mature at age 27, stating, "We're all still just children at age 27,"  a point that voice actress Kana Hanazawa also agreed with.
The original idea for The Garden of Words came from Shinkai's desire to capture the beauty of the daily scenery in modern Tokyo and showcase it in a film. Having lived for ten years in Shinjuku,   he selected it as the location of the film and set about taking thousands of photos, upon which he created his storyboards. Like other Japanese anime, The Garden of Words was created using a combination of hand-drawn animation , rotoscoping and computer animation CGI , with the latter facilitating the realistic appearance of the film's rain sequences.
For the rainy scenes at the park, the color palette was toned down, and pale green shading was used to match the gloomy, rainy weather,  thereby increasing the detail and defining the characters.
Matching the tones to the background and lighting helped highlight the characters' faces. The method involved integrating the coloring for each character with the background, a "new innovation of sorts" that mimics the refraction of light on the skin as seen in nature.
This was accomplished by coloring the outline of the character, including the lines drawn for the separation of lit and shadowed surfaces, and then incorporating the background color onto the surface. Shinkai felt that this coloring method made the anime stand out from others. Shinkai originally envisioned Takao as a boy who wants to help people,  but also felt that he should have a passion for making something, since creative work can be rewarding and fulfilling.
On a list he made of potential crafts, he picked out the word "shoes". After testing it out with his initial plans for the story, he found that it worked out, and in hindsight, he realized that shoemakers also assist people with walking. When first presenting the original story to the rest of his team, Shinkai learned that Yukari had unintentionally come across as selfish. He felt that she had to be dressed in nice clothes, and particularly nice shoes. In order to balance realism with fashion, he researched shoemaking, worked with a clothing coordinator and stylist, and held weekly fashion meetings with his staff.
One of the "complicated realistic elements" of Yukari's character was her sense of purity that only her voice could convey. Though it took days of listening to the audition tapes, Shinkai finally chose Kana Hanazawa, who had a very low natural voice, despite typically playing the roles of high-pitched younger girls. One of the things that impressed Shinkai about Hanazawa's voice was her ability to cover such a broad range of expression.
It was the final scene of the film that made Shinkai glad he had cast Hanazawa. He knew that when Yukari cried, it had to be something impressive in order to emphasize an intense release of emotion. According to Shinkai, music alone could not produce the needed effect, and Hanazawa performed perfectly and without instruction. In an interview, he said, "I believe that Ms. Hanazawa's acting on that crying scene alone completes the film. In regards to the English dub, Shinkai did not feel that he could judge the quality of the voice acting since he could not speak English natively.
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He felt that it was good due to the feedback he had received and because he could feel the emotion in the characters' voices. However, he noted that the experience would be different for viewers and that the final judgment could only be made by English-speaking audiences. Instead, he intended for people to casually view the film on tablets, computers, and in home theaters. Shinkai acknowledged that it is difficult to sell minute films in theaters;  however, many individuals in the industry had requested to show the film in theaters and conventions.
Shinkai listened to these albums while writing the screenplay and then elected to base the film's music off of the songs from Kashiwa's album In an interview, Shinkai said that the music was primarily responsible for making the movie seem "unlike other anime". The theme song, "Rain", was written and composed by Senri Oe,   and was originally a popular Japanese song in He particularly liked the song because its lyrics reflected daily life, much like the film.
Shinkai also felt that Hata's voice was perfect because to him it carried an "underlying loneliness" and "sounded a little like an anxious young man".
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Kaze, Beneath The Tangles . Two common themes among Shinkai's films, including The Garden of Words , are subtle romances and lingering emotions. According to Cynthia Webb of The Jakarta Post , the loneliness is seen at the end of the film, when Takao learns to cope with Yukari's move to Shikoku. Kaze of Beneath The Tangles, however, disagreed with these interpretations of koi and the notion that the story was a "bittersweet romance" or "another love story", and instead felt that the theme was unrecognized. Focusing instead on the human need for companionship and understanding, Kaze noted that both Takao and Yukari lacked meaningful connections with their peers and friends,  a view shared by reviewer Bradly Storm at Hardcore Gamer.
However, because of the age difference, this discovery varied between the characters. For Yukari, an older and more experienced individual, her hopeless feelings of lonely sadness disappeared when she learned she could connect with Takao, a revelation that she saw as her salvation. For Takao, a boy with an unsupportive family and friends who seemed more like acquaintances, he did not realize his lack of companionship until he discovered it with Yukari, a new feeling he mistook for romantic love but only realized its true nature after she had moved away.
According to Kaze, "romantic love could potentially bloom from such feelings, but that is not what the story is about". Instead, the love they shared was more basic, making the age difference immaterial. At the end of film, both characters maintained their friendship through letters, but otherwise began growing as people by moving on with their lives and presumably finding new relationships with other people. The hope was that one day they could reunite and renew their companionship "without needing to cling to each other".
However, neither could "learn to walk again" if they continued to isolate themselves from the rest of the world and take shelter with each other in the garden at Shinjuku Gyoen. Another one of the themes discussed by the film's reviewers was rain or water. According to Cynthia Webb, the rain represented "unfulfilled longing",  while Bradly Storm saw water as a third main character to the story, acting to both bring Takao and Yukari together and to symbolize the renewal of life.
Following the reasoning that rain symbolized their lonely states, Kaze noted that the tanka had not only romantic intentions, but was also a "simple plea" by Yukari for someone to stay with her, even when she's no longer lonely, and not just out of pity. Additionally, the Japanese premiere would include a screening of Shinkai's short film, Dareka no Manazashi ,  which was released earlier that same year. The film was released in digital format on iTunes on the same day as the theatrical release,   which was very unusual for a film.
Furthermore, the DVD and Blu-ray were made available while the film was still playing in theaters. Its packaging did not include inserts or a reversible cover. With editing by Media Factory , Shinkai himself created a novelization of the story, which drew many responses on Twitter following serialization. Like many of Shinkai's other films, The Garden of Words was considered most appropriate for teenage and adult audiences due to its more intense and personal mood. At Anime News Network, Luke Carroll praised the film, calling it a "visual treat", but was disappointed in the short length and found Shinkai's new coloring method to be distracting.
In particular, she noted the beauty of the light reflections, rain scenes, and camera angles. He praised the natural progression of their relationship, despite the age gap, and enjoyed the emotional climax of the film. Although he felt that the film's ending was an improvement over the ending to 5 Centimeters Per Second , he described it as rushed and overly emotional.
However, he was very critical of the English dub, which he felt adversely affected both content and mood. Bradly Storm at Hardcore Gamer gave it a 4. Despite the film's length, Storm was impressed that Shinkai was able to connect his audience with his characters faster and more effectively than full-length films. He worried that some viewers might miss the subtle message of the film and view it as a "by-the-books love story that can feel cliche or even trite".
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She was impressed with both the sound and art, and particularly the sweeping view of the Docomo tower with the sunset in the background. However, she criticized it for its "tearfully over-the-top climax", "treacly" pop theme song, and lack of reflective silence. Andrew Hamlin at Northwest Asian Weekly gave it a 3. He described it as "clean and cute, a little bit cheesy" due to the highly emotional ending. Anime Reviews praised the artwork and claimed it overshadowed the film's flaws, which he felt were its short length and underdeveloped story. Chris Beveridge at The Fandom Post reviewed the Blu-ray release, noting that the dialogue was "clean and clear" throughout the entire playback and described the high definition video as something worth showing off.
He also felt the disc included a fair number of extras given the quick release. Serdar Yegulalp, of About. The museum, run by Z-Kai Co. In addition to the display materials and film viewings for each of the works, a replica of the shoes designed by Takao was also on display. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The Garden of Words Theatrical release poster. Madman Entertainment. Sentai Filmworks. Anime Limited.
If so, will you stay here with me? Lonely sadness is a state of solitude that deprives people of the most basic need for companionship. To call Garden of Words a simple romance story is to undermine the entire theme, cast away the significance of the message, and belittle the pain of those it is meant to depict. Every screenshot from his new anime masterpiece The Garden of Words could be framed and hung in an art gallery If you have never seen an anime film before, this is the perfect moment for you to immerse yourself into a whole new film experience.
The Otaku's Study. Archived from the original on November 22, Retrieved November 22, Madman Entertainment Pty. Archived from the original on November 18, Retrieved November 18, CoMix Wave Films. Retrieved November 17, The Fandom Post.
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