Tuesday, 13 January 2015

The Garden of Words

Boy Makato Shinkai has come a long way.

One day many years ago my dad came back from a trip. I don't remember if it was for a job or attending a film festival but he handed me a DVD as a souvenir.
"this was made by pretty much one person" he told me.
I was stunned.
it seemed like an impossible idea to little me. The most i had done at that point was make a really shitty short film on my 11th birthday and i had needed so much help with it. help with writing, help with the camera, help with editing... and this guy made a 30ish minute piece pretty much by himself?
granted now that i'm older i understand i was lacking some perspective on the situation but it's still pretty cool that Voice of a Distant Star was made the way it was. and even though it takes place in space and isn't one of his better films it's still powerful to watch.

Ever since they i have tried to see all of his films.
and have failed in many ways.
I know i saw places promised in our early days but i don't remember it at all which is odd.
i own 5 cm per second but i haven't seen it cause every time i go to watch it i can't find it.
i didn't even know children with lost voices was him till i looked at the discography thats ones of the special features.
so yeah....

Still seeing the difference a decade can make (and a team of people).

So here we are, The Garden of Worlds.
it's only 45 minutes long but wow is it pretty. It has a painterly feel, the colours all pop and you could look at any still of this film and consider it a work of art.
The plot is essentially these two people happen to meet on a rainy morning and then over the course of a year they continue that tradition but only on rainy mornings.

It's extremely relaxed especially considering the length but it still does a great job of telling the story it needs to tell.

Is it Makoto Shinkai's best film? I don't know, it's better then voices of a distant star...
it's also a really good use of CG in anime, it's still pretty noticeable but not in a distracting way... it's meant to enhance the artwork instead of make the artwork easier.

So yeah, if you see this for a good price (or maybe sentai is streaming it online for free) i would suggest you check it out. It's an enjoyable hour.

Funny side story: I got the Bluray and i went to watch it in japanese with english subtitles and when i told it to play... it was still in english... it had the japanese translation subtitles but the audio wasn't right.
"thats odd...." i muttered to myself as i tried the other options and still it would only play the english audio.
so either someone at sentai didn't program the menu correctly OR my Bluray player just has a quirk... i'll know when i watch the commentaries later on a different bluray (both english AND japanese commentaries? so excited... if i can get it to work).

Oh right.

The good:
Animation/bacgrounds are just too pretty, i almost want to watch it again right away just so i can take in the scenery.
Music is pretty fatastic too.

The ok:
The story is decent but like many japanese films is left a bit open ended and i would have loved to have some closure.

The not so good:
Short, so very very very short and it feels like some things were sped past where if the was a standard 90 min film we could have gotten all the info.

Still a very good movie and hopefully tomorrow i'll get to watch Summer Wars and then i have a lot of new shows to watch thanks to my rightstuf order arriving~

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