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Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Garden of Words (2013)

The Garden of Words is from the talented director Makoto Shinkai. The film follows Takao Akizuki, a 15 year-old aspiring shoe designer, as he ditches his first period of school on rainy days to draw shoe designs in a park that is lushly green with a shelter of sorts. On one particular rainy day, Takao encounters the much older Yukari Yukino drinking beer and eating chocolate in his favorite spot. What follows is their interactions over the course of the rainy season and beyond. Yukari has been shamed and she is slowly drowning her sorrows in two of the lesser destructive vices available to her, and Takao is both trying to save her and trying to design a shoe for her that will make him forget that she is almost twice his age.

The reason to watch this film, which is well under an hour in length, is not so much for the story line but for the lush scenery that is the hallmark of Japanese animation.  The people's faces are so undetailed as to be anonymous but the landscape and the rain are just spectacular, the best I have ever seen.

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