A faint clap of thunder
perhaps rain comes
If so, will you stay here with me?
That word summarizes my impression regarding Makoto Shinkai’s latest film. Honestly, I’m not that familiar with his films except for 5 cm per second. Of course, made by one person, there’s a lot of similarities here and there but all I can say is I prefer this one. Unlike 5 cm per second which gave me a lot of headaches (not in a horrible way), this show is so relaxing. I was not bored, which at first I thought I would.
This show is all about a young guy who meets an older woman during one rainy day. Both are not able to move forward in life and they find peace with each other’s company. Takao, the guy, is always on his own little world. He dreams of becoming a shoemaker but is not confident with his skills. Yukino, the girl, is traumatized by her awful experience at work, which made those around her, even her boyfriend, turn their back on her.
The story is rather simple; what made it so beautiful is that it takes the love story of Takao and Yukino in a subtle and heartwarming way. I haven’t seen this kind of romance for a while now. I’ve been reading too much romance manga (and you know the drill) and watching shoujo and harem anime that it’s so refreshing to find this kind of love story. Their relationship and feelings for each other developed nicely and naturally. With its stunning visuals and well-written script, it makes use of the “show don’t tell” method very effectively.
It still has the chance to tackle and deal with the concept deeper but Shinkai chooses not to. I’m satisfied with the end result. The characters are developed, in a 46-minute film, and it deals with the main problem heads on.
I love drama. I love it when the characters are yelling to each other and crying until their eyes are swollen. I love it the most when a show can make me cry- or much better, sob. The last part of the movie, the stairs scene, makes me so sad and happy at the same time. Yeah, I admit, I cried for a bit. I love drama after all.
The highlight of this movie, aside from the story, is its stunning visuals. I’m a sucker for good art and animation so this film is so for me. With this alone, I could give this show a very high score in MAL. The animation is flawless and the background and sceneries are so detailed. It’s so refreshing and relaxing to eyes. Also, I’ve never seen so much rain in an anime before and A Garden of Words makes use of them a lot. It’s indeed a visual spectacle.
The soundtrack is also very plausible. The piano piece that’s being played throughout the movie helps a lot in building up the atmosphere. The voice actors done a very good job that the emotions flowed so naturally through their voices. Anyway, I love the ending song – Rain. After reading the translated version of the song, I discovered how perfect it is for our main characters. I’m LSS to that song right now.
I’m not going to say that this movie is a masterpiece or the best thing I’ve ever seen but it’s close. This film has definitely gained its right spot in my heart. It ends in a vague way, but I still consider it a happy ending. Both are able to move forward in life so I strongly believe that one day, they will be together again… in one rainy day.
Let me end this rather long review with Takao’s answer in Yukino’s tanka:
A faint clap of thunder
Even if rains comes not
I will stay here
Together with you