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Old 2013-06-11, 14:47   Link #101
SQA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilfriback View Post
Can anyone confirm me this. 5cps left angry and crying all the way to home .
You are very unlikely to be depressed at the movie and its ending. Just watch AFTER the credits, or you'll miss part of it.
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Old 2013-06-11, 15:34   Link #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilfriback View Post
Can anyone confirm me this. 5cps left angry and crying all the way to home .
The movie leaves on a hopeful note. It's bitter-sweet but still positive so just make sure to enjoy the stunning end credits to catch the final scene.
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Old 2013-06-12, 22:52   Link #103
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its not depressing, but it is realistic. in that sense, it is similar to Byousoku.
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Old 2013-06-18, 11:47   Link #104
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Oh, how I loved this movie. Just another example of how something can accomplish so much in such a small time frame.

And the imagery! The first time I watched I'm sure my jaw was one the floor the whole time, which remains unconfirmed due to the fact that every fiber of my being was dedicated to the movie itself.

That being said, I watched it once for the sole purpose of getting wallpapers for my desktop, and am now running a shuffle of 10 spectacular wallpapers. Couldn't be happier.
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Old 2013-06-21, 18:24   Link #105
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The Garden of Words was remarkably fun to watch, doubly so for the superior effort that went into all of the artwork. The movie itself seems to embody the concept that Brevity is the soul of wit, but its short length works in its favour. Lastly, the ending was not particularly depressing for me, just wistful.
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Old 2013-06-23, 20:35   Link #106
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For some reason this movie seemed to hit all the right places for me. It had a lot of depth and it made you think throughout the whole movie. The scenery was absolutely gorgeous, and I was so impressed by every raindrop and water reflection.

Though I did wish they didn't use letters since it reminds me of 5cm and we all know how that ends.
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Old 2013-06-24, 02:08   Link #107
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You can catch Director Shinkai live tomorrow in Komatsu Mikako-shi's radio program Lady Go on 1700 JPN time. [twitter announcement]
Live streaming here. Just click Play button on the right side and for first time streamer, you're going to fill in a simple form.

Expect some fatherly advice from Director Shinkai . He will be the third guest after Director Satou, and I forgot the first one, to come visiting for Mikako-shi's A&G Lady Go.
Hopefully I can finish my work early tomorrow.
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Old 2013-07-21, 16:54   Link #108
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I really hated Makoto's last film, so I'm glad to see him return to form here. The imagery is beautiful, and the emotions definitely are realistic; raw, powerful, and kind of ugly. Two emotionally starved people with precarious prospects for any future that form a connection and entertain desires for an impossible relationship that might actually have a chance to not work someday. The fact that they could empathize with one another was amazing.
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Old 2017-07-15, 23:44   Link #109
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This is an abridged comment previously posted elsewhere. I wonder if someone here might be interested in correcting and/or expanding on the literary references identified throughout this film. Yukino first recites a poem at the end of their first encounter in the garden. Akizuki finds the response poem and recites it during their final moments together there. While those two essential lines of poetry are spoken out loud and subsequently tied explicitly to Man'yōshū by the characters, other literary references are shown fairly overtly in the film as well in the form of books or externally attributed lines of prose while additional quotations or their significance have no doubt escaped my attention. Shinkai has given hints in interviews what lightning/thunder signifies, because of the kanji with which it is written, and what Yukino represents in that respect during his world premiere Q & A which Kakkou very usefully transcribed and linked earlier in this thread.

Akizuki shows his older brother his note with the partially remembered poem and shows some awareness of the technical aspect of the poetry. His brother is of no assistance himself but offers a suggestion for a potential source of information in such matters. In the following scene Akizuki's class is taught about the Man'yōshū anthology. (Based on what his teacher, Mr. Takehara, writes/has written on the blackboard because there is no sound from his lesson.) I haven't identified all of what the teacher wrote yet - although it looks like at least two of the tanka written out are Book 8, Poem 1569 and Book 11, poem 2383.

The Man'yōshū collection is also the subject Yukino teaches her class in Shikoku at the very end of the film. She too has written about the collection on the blackboard but we don’t hear her speak the poetic words in that classroom setting either. Three poems from the anthology are clearly visible, on the next page of the book from which she is seen teaching, in her final scene, before she looks up from her book, looks out the window and we cut back to Akizuki walking away from the bower in the snow in Shinjuku Gyoen. The three poems are: Book 1, poems 8 and 32 (33 is directly related to the latter) and book 4, poem 496. Given how meticulously each detail is arranged in this film it is probably deliberate that the last poem, 496, is only partially visible even to us because of the way the book is held open in Yukino's hand. At the very least it seems to be another reminder that there are many hints indicating where to look further - that not everything is revealed in the film itself.

I think the abstraction of a flower in seal script appears in the school crest and is in part possibly an inverted 大 - also found on the spine of, 額田女王 (Nukada no Ōkimi) by Yasushi Inoue, one of the library books as shown on the bookshelf in Yukino’s apartment. A book Yukino earlier read in the garden, with a titular character whose poetry is also included in Man'yōshū. Other books seen throughout the film have been identified as well, here, for example, while a few of the titles are either unknown or may be figments of Shinkai's imagination. One of which has 古都を夢く 万葉集の風景を訪ねて printed on its spine. The little volume Yukino used in the classroom might be another image of a book he created himself.

Because of the way the -bookmarked- pages are rendered in the film with legible print I think it worth singling out Natsume Soseki's Wayfarer here as well (The bookmark is between Page 262, the last page of chapter 42, and page 263 with the first line of the next chapter.). Midori’s line from Murakami’s ‘’Norwegian Woods’’ has already been mentioned in earlier commentary and there must, imo, be other lines not explicitly attributed throughout the film as well. Curious what they might be.

With once again the caveat that such references fascinate me but that I’m well out of my depth when trying to explore and interpret them.

Edit. Umi no hi but no ocean in sight, so ... Appending another recycled comment, stripped out of its previous conversation but relevant to some commentary here too, imo. As is without further intro, probably clear what was addressed in context:

For me that Yukino is a teacher did work and I’ll go so far as to say that -to me- the point that Yukino is not just a teacher but a classical Japanese literature teacher in high school is crucial to the story and its themes because at the very least the interactions between these two people demonstrate that the poetry she loves and the love for which she tries to instil in her students can have relevance in and impact on their daily lives beyond the classroom.

By reaching out to and reaching this one student her faith in her profession is restored. Restored in a place where traditional and modern Japan interact - or even clash - but can be said to be in a coexistence in perpetual flux. A place from which she herself retreats by the end of the story. It is no coincidence either that Akizuki's chosen path is one of an artisan focused on what his own hands can produce and that the lessons he learns to hone that craft aren't restricted to lessons taught within the confines of a classroom and the strictures of a standard curriculum - a curriculum which is poignantly not wasted on him either, however.

There are things you can learn about poetry in school but there are things you can only truly appreciate through experience. Personal or vicarious. Had Yukino not been a teacher and Akizuki not a student at the same school she would most likely never have spoken the poetic words to him and she would not have felt validated only after he had come up with the response poem by himself. This story would not have existed if it were not for the very fact that she is a teacher and he is a student and indeed a gender reversal would be irrelevant in that respect because it is the transmission of knowledge from an immature adult to a precocious -but somewhat naive- child and the link they forge between past and future which drives the very narrative. Which on one level is very much about carefully nurturing so that neither modernity for its own sake nor tradition stifle progress. The gender issue is not irrelevant, however, because Shinkai explores traditional roles here and this story has roots in ancient Japanese mythology.

One of the points of the story is that Yukino never stops teaching even though she temporarily leaves the classroom and is about to give up that vocation completely. Even though she behaves in ways that most people will find irresponsible when the two first meet in the garden she very much remains a teacher and even becomes a substitute mother. The age gap and age groups are just as carefully chosen as the colour palette and are entirely necessary for that dynamic to work as well since it is Akizuki who teaches Yukino to behave responsibly while the adults around her failed to reach her and to some extent abandoned him.

It is the unfounded accusation of an inappropriate relationship with a student which almost made Yukino give up her teaching career while it is the suggestion of an inappropriate relationship with a different student which puts her back in the classroom as a responsible adult. That their connection is mostly but not entirely intellectual is what makes the story work for me. The times the story focusses explicitly on the physical aspects of human interaction are right before separation, when Akizuki defends Yukino's virtue by resorting to -ineffective- violence against people who only think in terms of the physicality of a teacher student relationship and when he measures her feet. Then there is the food they share and the change in her diet… If they had been college age it would be an entirely different story and I for one don’t think such a change of setting or change of gender or age would have been an improvement.

Last edited by Verso Sciolto; 2017-07-16 at 20:50.
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Old 2018-06-22, 00:01   Link #110
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It's been five years since I watched the Garden of Words, and with time, there are elements in the film that further strengthen the film's meaning. Everyone speaks of the age gap between Yukari and Takao, the associated inappropriateness of such a relationship, and the references to classical Japanese literature, but it seems that everyone's forgotten another aspect of the film that makes it so moving and relatable.

I am speaking of the portrayal of a non-clinical approach to mental health in this movie, which is presented in a strikingly powerful manner. As Takao continues to support Yukari, Yukari begins to recover. Her inability to taste naught more than beer and chocolate is more than just a metaphor, it's an actual representation of what happens in folks who suffer from depression. When Takao cooks for her, her recovery and renewed sense of taste again shows the power of companionship. All of the elements that come together in the film are simply brilliant, and I would count Garden of Words as tied for first with Five Centimeters per Second as his strongest work.

As such, I see it prudent to disregard Verso Sciolto's remarks on the film: they are deliberately vague, misleading and untrue, evidently an exercise in purple prose intended to obfuscate rather than assist. Having background in classical Japanese literature is definitely not a prerequisite for enjoying this film, and none of the points mentioned in the novel above mean anything to the film.
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