Kotonoha no Niwa

The Garden of Words

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Alternative Titles

Synonyms: Koto no Ha no Niwa, The Garden of Kotonoha
Japanese: 言の葉の庭
English: The Garden of Words
German: The Garden of Words
Spanish: El Jardín de las Palabras
French: The Garden of Words
More titles


Type: Movie
Episodes: 1
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: May 31, 2013
Licensors: Sentai Filmworks
Studios: CoMix Wave Films
Source: Original
Genres: Award WinningAward Winning, DramaDrama, RomanceRomance
Theme: Visual ArtsVisual Arts
Duration: 46 min.
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or older


Score: 7.881 (scored by 519160519,160 users)
1 indicates a weighted score.
Ranked: #8252
2 based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.
Popularity: #202
Members: 861,915
Favorites: 7,052

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Preliminary Spoiler
Jun 2, 2013
Makoto Shinkai is a name that has become increasingly prevalent over the years. And for good reason, too. After hitting the anime industry in 2007 with his opus magnum "5 Centimeters Per Second", he quickly established himself as a director with the ability to combine masterful artistic talent with emotional, bittersweet storytelling.

Does his latest animation achieve that same ideal? In some ways, it does. But if you are awaiting another great story, this is not what you are looking for.

"The Garden of Words" is a short film depicting the romance and relationship between a 15-year-old boy and 27-year-old woman. Takao, the boy, feels ...
Jun 28, 2015
The greatest injustice that can be inflicted upon “Kotonoha no Niwa” is to falsely and narrowly label this 46-minute film a simple story of love. Too often do you see people claim that this movie is one about a "forbidden love" created by an age difference and it is through these lens that unwarranted and confused criticisms of the show sometimes emerge. The Garden of Words has a level of nuanced complexity that is concealed for the presumptuous as it requires you to think and pay attention to its use of visuals as well as its dialogue to ...
May 31, 2013
“Oh lord my eyes!” Well, that's the first four words that I thought when I watched this 46 minute film. I mean it in a good way though because this movie is something of a beauty. A few words to describe them from my mind are: alluring, charming, bewitching, glorious, and elegant. But beyond just the visuals lies a story about a young man (shoemaker to be exact) and a woman named Yukino. Together, they formulate this movie that is expressed in the Garden of Words.

Garden of Words (also known as Kotonoha no Niwa) is a 2013 film and the latest installation of Makoto ...
Jun 5, 2013
If there’s one, obvious theme that connects all of Makoto Shinkai’s works, it would be “distance”. As a bittersweet love story, The Garden of Words carries similar expectations to Shinkai’s other popularized works, Five cm per Second, The Place Promised in Our Early Days, and Voices of a Distant Star. Shinkai uses beyond-gorgeous animation to tell a modest yet believable story, and The Garden of Words is as bare-boned as a love story comes.

The movie takes place over a summer, where a 15 year-old aspiring shoemaker meets an eccentric and mysterious 27-year old woman. Their backstories are hardly touched on, but the boy ...
Jun 11, 2013
Mixed Feelings
I knew what I was getting into but still I can't help being a bit disappointed.

The art was breathtaking, obviously. I found some of the lightings and humans to be way too simple compared to the so-realistic-you-can't-help-wonder-if-it-really-is-drawn backgrounds.

The soundtracks sometimes hit the right spot at the right time but they aren't really that memorable.

But really the low point of Kotonoha no Niwa is the story and the characters.
Characters: I know, some people enjoy the just-sitting-in-silence kind of thing but it made it too awkward for me. So I'm not saying they were bad characters. But they weren't good either.
Story: They brought in this whole ...
Feb 1, 2015
Breathtakingly beautiful, but that's about all it is.

I really wanted to like this film, but I can't. I understand that Makoto Shinkai is known for romantic dramas that explore the human condition, but I feel that sometimes the way he goes about it is really contrived. There are clear attempts within Shinkai's directing to relay symbolism and other "subtle" insights into the characters' emotional conditions, but they ultimately fall short. Sometimes the "camera" (from a directorial standpoint--I know there isn't actually a camera) lingers on certain things to insinuate deeper meaning--her heels at the end of the film, for example--but there isn't anything significant about ...
Mar 10, 2019
Mixed Feelings
Makoto Shinkai is one of the most talked about Anime directors in Japan, and he gets better and better with each new project of his. When Shinkai and his crew sit together to work on a project, the final product is nothing short of a beauty in directing. The fact that a human tries his hardest to learn from their mistakes and work on them to become better at their profession, that alone deserves colossal amounts of respect. This review is not meant to attack Makoto Shinkai or any of his fans, nor is it written to try and ruminate over what kind of art ...
May 29, 2014
Given that you may not care for my opinion, let me start this review by letting you know whether you should watch Kotonoha no Niwa (KnN from now on) on an attempt to make this reaview more useful.

You should NOT watch it if:
You dislike Spice of Life, slow pacing, little dialogue and/or romance anime. This movie is with certainty not shounen, there's no fight scenes, no world-scale-plot, no ecchi, no fanservice nor unbeatable main characters.

I also think that you would like it better with at least a basic understanding of japanese, as it will, IMO, give you a better understanding of some of the plot's ...
Sep 14, 2020
I know many people will disagree with what I am about to write, but I have to say this was one of the most ridiculous movies I have ever watched to the point where I laughed.
Makoto Shinkai is a big hit at the moment after his successful movie 'Your Name' (which was extremey overrated) and I feel like people are just giving him praise because of that movie.
I can understand people's admiration towards the visual aspect of the animation since the artwork is beautiful (although it's not my personal taste) however the plot of the story is so laughable and absurd it defeats ...
Jun 2, 2013
When I heard Shinkai was releasing a movie this Summer, my excitement could hardly be contained. I was always a fan of his works, having met him at a convention a few years back and getting him to sign my copy of 5 Centimeters per Second. So of course, after watching the visually stunning preview for this movie I couldn't wait.

I noticed that it was another short movie by Shinkai, which I never consider a bad thing. It's just long enough to build up characters and a story but not lengthy enough to need unnecessary elements or time wasters. And man, this movie did not ...
Jul 16, 2014
Garden of Words. I remember seeing a couple of gifs of this and thinking that the animation was astoundingly beautiful, so naturally I checked it out - and I wasn't disappointed.

And just to add, I re-watch this once every three months or so. I don't know what it is, but it creates so much peace for me that I love it. This review is more of a personal aspect than a professional one, so bear that in mind whilst reading perhaps.

To get the generic business out of the way: this anime is based around love, particularly of what you cannot have. It also enforces ...
Oct 25, 2019
I watched this movie based on its sheer praise alone, and I can’t see what the fuss is about. To put it bluntly, it didn’t feel like anything happened. The two characters start getting some characterization, but never got as interesting as I hoped. Likewise, there’s not much of a story beyond showing their relationship and what they mean to each other, which obviously isn’t very compelling if they aren’t interesting. There are a few developments that caught my interest, especially some sadder moments…but only for a little bit because the movie ended without fleshing them out. It definitely had potential if it either used ...
Nov 27, 2015
Kotonoha no Niwa, or The Garden of Words is a short anime movie depicting a troubled teenager, Takao Akizuki, and a young woman in an identity crisis, Yukari Yukino. In this movie both these character often skip their responsibilities to relax in a small gazebo in a lush garden. One day they happen to meet each other in this sanctuary and a beautiful, yet hidden bond starts to form between them.

Story: 9/10

One of the most amazing prospects of this film is its simplicity. Something I was not expecting considering that the writer, director, and producer of this film is Makoto Shinkai; famous for ...
Jul 6, 2017
After watching the likes of Kimi No Na Wa, I find it hard to believe that these two films stem from the same seed (as long as you ignore the trademark Shinkai artwork of course).

I dived into this expecting a torrent of emotions, carried by a wave of gorgeous visuals, but what I got instead was merely the latter. And that too, coupled with its own flaws or two. There's absolutely no denying the sheer attention to detail paid to the art direction and imagery here; in fact, I'd be lying if I said there weren't a few moments that had me wanting to capture ...
Jun 28, 2013
Mixed Feelings
Makoto Shinkai provides us with yet another stunning visual treat with his latest film. "Garden of Words".
For those of you who don't know this man, he was most famous for directing films like "5 Centimeters per Second" and "The Place Promised in Our Early Days" as well as "Children Who Chased Lost Voices from Deep Below" recently in 2011.

The hype train built up a lot of steam with this film, especially after watching the trailer a few months ago. Judging by the gorgeous artwork, fluid animation, and brilliantly simple piano score, this looked and sounded to me like a potential summer blockbuster in the ...
Jun 19, 2015
A Dialogue Between Nature and Man

NATURE: I have existed since aeons, beyond aeons, and encompass the whole of Earth, Time, Space, and the Firmament. I am the crux of all matter, the crucible of all conflict, and the context of all society.

MAN: I was born from the intercourse between a puddle imp and a flop of algae. I am a furry ape with a spot of consciousness. I think myself as rather grand, if I do say so myself. I've made cars, the electric guitar, and bishoujo games. Clearly the achievements of these three startling innovations outweigh the whole monument of leafy greens and greeny ...
Jul 21, 2013
I had pretty big expectations for this movie and dare I say it, it didn't disappoint me one single bit. Makoto Shinkai has always amazed me with those beautiful stories of his. His work is always centered around the small things in life that can be so easily ignored, yet are what makes us who we are.
His stunning "The Graden of Words" is no exception. A magnificent tale of a sweetbitter love that struck two ordinary people and changed their lifes irreversibly. The characters were nicely developed and had all the depth needed for their story to be felt close and personal. The amazing ...
Jun 4, 2013
After many years passed when I watched 5cm per seconds, which burned itself into my memory, as not only a beautiful dramatic romance, but also as one of the best looking anime, I was so looking forward to The Garden of Words.

Not knowing what to expect but beautiful imagery I tried to absorb as much as I can in one sitting.


Takao is a 15 year old highschool boy who wants to become a shoe designer. Skipping school on rainy mornings he came into contact with a young woman in a nearby park.
There he spends time with her having various conversations and drawing and sketching shoe-designs.

On ...
Jun 8, 2013
"The Garden of Words"... Elegant and attractive, but lacks a bit of spice.

As the title says, be prepared for a lot of dialogue. Inside the romance genre, not all stories follow the same pattern neither have the same setting (boy meets girl, girl likes boy) and not always this love will be reciprocate. While the majority of romances have heartwarming kiss scenes, love declarations and a "physical" interaction between characters, this other kind of setting chooses the conversations and thoughts to conduce the story.
From one of the best storytellers of drama/romance anime industry, 'Kotonoha no Niwa' mix a bit of poetry and symbolism with one ...
Feb 15, 2015
"A faint clap of thunder. Clouded skies. Perhaps rain comes. If so, will you stay with me?", "A faint clap of thunder. Even if rain comes not. I will stay here. Together with you."

If the simplest method are the best, then what happens when someone almost prefects the simplest methods? Pretty sure something like Kotonoha no Niwa is the answer to that question.

So Kotonoha no Niwa is a 45 min short romance movie about a student, who dreams of becoming a shoe maker, meets a woman on one rainy morning in a park and from that point on that is the entire basis for their ...