Dec 17, 2018
PentagramShogoki (All reviews)
It contains spoilers.

Ah, love... What would it be of our lifes without love? It moves the world, it makes us feel things, it makes us happy or destroy our heart... A strong feeling, motivation of hundred of people every day to fullfil their routine. You can love a person, an animal, the music you listen, anime and manga... I hope you agree in it, because Kotonoha no Niwa brings us some cups of sweet sweet love.

This manga is an adaptation of the well known movie made by Makoto Shinkai (the best he's made in my opinion) in 2013. In it, it tells the exact same story as the movie, but with some little differences, details that make Takao and Yukari more human.

For those who may not know about it (if you are here, I suppose you saw the movie and want more), Kotonoha no Niwa —or The Garden of Words— tells the story of Yukari Yukino, a 27yo woman, and Takao Akizuki, a 15yo student. Takao has decided that the rainy days, he'll not assist to the high school, because he would be drawing shoes in a park. His dream is to be a shoemaker. One day he encounters a mysterious woman drinking beer and eating chocolate in the same spot he always visit to be alone. The woman, out of nowhere, tells Takao a 'Tanka', a japanese poem. From that day, Takao and Yukari meet each other every day thar rains.

The story is pretty simple, but it's beautifully related as an impossible romance. One of Shinkai's main themes in his movies is the distance between two individuals and how they know each other. In Kotonoha no Niwa, we see how they begin to love each other. This tries so hard to tell us that it doesn't matter who you are, because if you support me, I'll support you.

Kotonoha no Niwa is, somehow, a bittersweet romance, impossible to complete by now. Different ages, different positions, but the same strong feeling of human need.

The ending is really satisfying. The movie showed us how Takao tried to convice Yukari (and himself) that he was only a tool, that he mattered none to her. In the other hand, in the manga, we are blessed with a mature but childish monologue that comes to say the exact same thing but different. Takao wants to know why if she had been treating him like his equal, now, in that exact moment (when he confesses to her), she starts acting like an 'adult'.

The art is incredibily good. It has some accurate details in the backgrounds and the faces are so well drawn, maybe better than the movie itself. The dialogues were sometimes messy, difficult to follow —because it uses a bubble system that misleaded me.

The character creation is the same that in the movie but with some improvements. We are delighted with some Yukari moments that build her personality. I could, in every moment, believe what I was reading. They treated each other like strangers, but like if they had known for all life. The intimate moments in the garden are perfect, and even if the magic scene when Takao draws Yukari's foot is the same as the movie, it felt even more intimate.

I love Kotonoha no Niwa, I can't deny it. It pierced my chest like an arrow, and I really hope that this manga adaptation is not the last thing we see about that impossible couple. If you liked the movie, I strongly suggest you to read this, because is the same but has more things to offer.