Garden of Words, a kid falls in love with a teacher

Dude didn’t even know she was a teacher at his own school.

Garden of Words (Kotonoha no Niwa) is a visual treat. The film is animated in a distinctive style that makes it really pop off the screen causing every frame of the movie to eventually end up on an “Anime Wallpaper” thread on an image board. It’s beautiful is what I’m trying to say. With Makoto Shinkai (5 Centimeters Per Second, Voices of a Distant Star) directing it, there was no doubt that the movie wouldn’t at least look good.

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Some gripes with the soundtrack: it was sometimes too overpowering in terms of what was happening on the screen. I personally love Kashiwa Daisuke as a composer but his music is as forceful as it is beautiful. Considering subtle nature of the film, it felt like most of the music should have been saved for the climax of the film and felt out of place most of the time. It’s almost better if the entire movie was silent save for the soundtrack. But then Kana Hanazawa wouldn’t voice the female lead, and we can’t have that.

In terms of the plot, while it was entertaining and even a little sweet, it paled in comparison to the medium it was portrayed in. Everything about the plot was really subtle and didn’t progress -until one scene which is just an explosion of feels- and felt out of place with the striking visuals and the emotional soundtrack.

Overall it was a decent film and is less than an hour long. Definitely worth a watch for the visuals alone.


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