Released in May 2013, The Garden of Words is the fifth film Makoto Shinkai has directed. The film follows Takao Akizuki, a 15-year-old student aspiring to be a shoemaker. On rainy days, Takao skips classes and spends his time in a Japanese-style garden. During one of his excursions, he encounters Yukari Yukino, a twenty-seven year old woman. As the two encounter each other more frequently, they gradually open up to one another and confide in one another their problems, finding comfort in the other's presence despite their age differences.The Garden of Words marks a return to the style Makoto Shinkai employed in 5 Centimeters per Second, illustrating how factors such as age may contribute to separation and the loneliness that individuals may experience in their lives. The anime is licensed by Sentai Filmworks.
The Garden of Words provides examples of:
Adults Are Useless: The adults present in the film do very little to assist Takao in their troubles, and despite her age, Yukari does not fit in with the adult world, finding herself unable to solve her own problems.
Bittersweet Ending: Despite Takao and Yukari's time together allowing them to inspire one another and providing the other with an emotional outlet, the two eventually go their separate ways. Yukari moves to a southern part of Japan, and Takao continues to follow his dreams of becoming a shoemaker.
Blatant Lies: Yukari states that she's meeting an old woman in the park when one of her colleagues inquires about what she's doing.
Caught in the Rain: Takao and Yukari only meet when it rains; after several weeks, the two run into one another underneath a gazebo at the garden, and a storm picks up, prompting the two to return to Yukari's apartment.
Comfort Food: Because she has a taste disorder, Yukari binges on beer and chocolate, the two foodstuffs she can taste. However, after she begins meeting with Takao, her taste gradually returns, and her diet diversifies beyond these items.
Cooldown Hug: Yukino embraces Takao at the film's climax (the first contact they make in the film), stopping the latter's "The Reason You Suck" Speech and tearfully thanks him for helping her learn to walk again in the darkest time of her life.
Cue the Sun: A momentrary break in the storm allows sunshine to illuminate Takao and Yukari after the former finishes venting his frustrations to her outside her apartment. The sunlight falling unto Yukari's face mirrors her finally opening up to Takao.
Happy Rain: Takao and Yukari enjoy rainy days more than sunny day and only meet up when it rains.
I Will Find You: Takao resolves to find Yukari once more after the credits finish rolling.
Karma Houdini: Aizawa and her gang of friends manage to escape the repercussions of spreading rumours about Yukari, getting away with it because their school regarded its reputation as more important than the well-being of one of their teachers. They go unpunished even after Takao gets into a fight with them, although the real damage had already been done by this point.
Leaving You to Find Myself: After the events at the film's climax, both Yukari and Takao have gone their separate ways and begin pursuing their own dreams and aspirations.
Love Confession: From Takao to Yukari. It proves to be something of a breaking point in their time together as she can't legally or ethically reciprocate, and her indirect rejection makes Takao reconsider his feelings.
Maybe Ever After: The epilogue presents Takao and Yukari's fate ambiguously: despite being on good terms with one another, they are separated. Even though Takao resolves to see her again after they've matured further, whether or not Takao will go about doing so, and its outcomes, are left to the viewer's imagination.
Mysterious Woman: Takao considers Yukari to be the personification of the adult world, mysterious and distant.
Opposites Attract: Takao is a wistful teenager who falls in love with the excitement and the mystery in Yukari's maturity, whereas Yukari is a burnt-out adult who is inspired by Takao's childlike passion.
Product Placement: Fila and Ginza Diana, two apparel brands depicted in the anime, are real. Fila is a sportsware manufacturer and Ginza Diana is a shoe company that advises their customers not to wear their shoes in the rain.
"The Reason You Suck" Speech: Takao delivers one to Yukari at the film's climax, citing her for her cowardice, incapacity to speak for herself, and how she had taken advantage of a student to assuage her own troubles.
The Reveal: While initially appearing as a mysterious older woman, Yukari is in fact a literature teacher at Takao's school.
Scenery Porn: The Garden of Words features incredibly vivid and detailed settings, making use of the weather and lighting to accentuate the gardens, cityscape and even the interior shots, as would be expected from a Makoto Shinkai production.
Takao initially sees Yukari as an interesting individual who lives in a more mature and adventurous world than his own. Even after discovering that she's a teacher at his school, his feelings do not wane.
Yukari was accused of having a relation with a student prior to the events in movie. The amount of shame and bullying she has to endure for the rumors leads to the depression and melancholy state she is in when the film starts.
They Call Me Mister Tibbs: Yukari gives a distant, willful response that she is to be referred to as "Miss Yukino" following Takao's declaration of love with the intent of reaffirming that there is a professional distance between them.
Ultimate Job Security: Takao initially assumes that because of Yukari's capacity to skip work so frequently, her job must be a reasonably secure one.
Umbrella of Togetherness: Because Takao only skips school on rainy days, he only spends time with Yukari during downpours; they sit together beneath a tiny shelter in the park, a sanctuary from the rest of world. Takao and Yukari rapidly come to enjoy their time together and begin praying for rain every morning and every night.
Would Hit a Girl: Takao hits Aizawa after the latter gloats about getting Yukari kicked out of school.