[[caption-width-right:350:''We have met, for each of us to walk forward.'']]
Released in May 2013, ''The Garden of Words'' is the fifth film Creator/MakotoShinkai has directed. The film follows Takao Akizuki, a fifteen-year-old student aspiring to be a shoemaker. On rainy days, Takao skips his morning classes and spends his time in Shinjuku Gyoen, 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 in spite of their age differences.
''The Garden of Words'' marks a return to the style Shinkai employed in ''Anime/FiveCentimetersPerSecond'', illustrating how factors such as age may contribute to separation and the loneliness that individuals may experience in their lives. The soundtrack is composed by Daisuke Kashiwa. In the English-speaking world, the film is licensed by Creator/SentaiFilmworks in the US and Canada, Creator/AnimeLimited in the UK and Ireland, and Creator/MadmanEntertainment in Australia and New Zealand.
!!''The Garden of Words'' provides examples of:
* AdultsAreUseless: The adults present in the film do very little to assist Takao; his mother is an oft-absent ditz prone to chasing romances rather than contributing to household finances, while his brother is well meaning but somewhat condescending, moving out halfway through the film. Despite her age, Yukari does not fit in with the adult world, finding herself unable to solve her own problems, and her coworkers did nothing about the rumors that forced her out of the school.
* BittersweetEnding: Despite Takao and Yukari's time together allowing them to inspire one another and provide the other with an emotional outlet, [[spoiler: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, resolving to see her again in the future]].
* BlatantLies: Yukari states that she's meeting an old woman in the park when one of her former colleagues inquires about what she's doing.
* CaughtInTheRain: 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.
* ComfortFood: 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.
* CooldownHug: Yukino embraces Takao at the film's climax (the first contact they make in the film), stopping the latter's [[spoiler:TheReasonYouSuckSpeech and tearfully thanks him for helping her learn to walk again in the darkest time of her life]].
* CueTheSun: A momentary break in the storm allows sunshine to illuminate Takao and Yukari [[spoiler: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]].
* EmpathicEnvironment: [[EnvironmentalSymbolism The weather directly mirrors the mood within the story]]. Takao and Yukari spend gently sprinkling mornings peacefully together. When he takes her measurements to make her shoes, the rain is distinctly more scattered as light breaks through. Later, a storm rages on outside as the two come to terms with their emotions, and golden sunbeams are cast upon them after the two [[spoiler:reconcile at the film's climax]].
* FeetFirstIntroduction: The first we see of Yukari is her feet and shoes as seen from Takao's POV. A nice touch on the "getting on your feet" symbolism in the movie.
* FlyawayShot: From the park into the sky before the WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue.
* FootFocus: Aside from Takao being an aspiring shoemaker, Yukari's (often fancy) shoes and feet get highlighted in several scenes as part of the theme of her metaphorically learning to walk again. There is also a prominent scene at the apex of their meetings at the park where Takao takes Yukari's measurements as part of a promise to make her a pair of shoes, with shots if him holding her feet and sketching an outline as she stands on a park bench.
* HairColorDissonance: Yukari's hair has a slight green tint to it here, but she is shown to have black hair during her appearance in ''Anime/YourName''.
* HappyRain: Takao and Yukari enjoy rainy days more than sunny days and only meet when it rains.
* IWillFindYou: Takao resolves to [[spoiler:find Yukari once more after the credits finish rolling]].
* KarmaHoudini: Aizawa and her gang of friends manage to escape the repercussions of spreading rumors [[spoiler: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 that point.
* LeavingYouToFindMyself: After the events at the film's climax, Yukari and Takao have gone their separate ways and begin pursuing their own dreams and aspirations.
* LonelyPianoPiece: Save the ending song, the soundtrack is composed entirely of melancholy piano songs that speak of loneliness.
* LoveConfession: [[spoiler: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.]]
* MaybeEverAfter: The epilogue presents Takao and Yukari's fate ambiguously: despite being on good terms with one another, they are separated. [[spoiler: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]].
* MysteriousWoman: Takao considers Yukari to be the personification of the adult world, mysterious and distant. Ironically, Yukari herself is ruminating on disillusionment with the adult world and her abandonment by her peers. The disconnect is displayed in the two foods she can still taste due to a temporary disorder; beer, an adult beverage, and chocolate, a comfort food usually associated with children.
* OppositesAttract: 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.
* ProductPlacement: Fila and Ginza Diana, two apparel brands depicted in the anime, are real. Fila is a sportswear manufacturer and Ginza Diana is a shoe company that advises their customers not to wear their shoes in the rain.
* RaceForYourLove: In the climax Yukari races down the stairwell to catch Takao on his way out.
* RealPlaceBackground: The garden where Takao and Yukari meet is [[http://infinitemirai.wordpress.com/2013/09/29/shinjuku-gyoen-home-of-the-garden-of-words/ Shinjuku Gyoen]], a park located in the Shinjuku and Shibuya districts of Tokyo.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Takao delivers one to Yukari at the film's climax, citing her [[spoiler:cowardice, incapacity to speak for herself, and how she had taken advantage of a student to assuage her own troubles]].
* TheReveal: While initially appearing as a mysterious older woman, Yukari is in fact [[spoiler:a former literature teacher at Takao's school who left in psychological shambles due to false rumors about a relationship with a student]].
* SceneryPorn: In keeping with Creator/MakotoShinkai's style, ''The Garden of Words'' features incredibly vivid and detailed settings, making use of the weather and lighting to [[https://infinitemirai.wordpress.com/2017/06/21/revisiting-kotonoha-no-niwa-the-garden-of-words-another-review-and-reflection/ accentuate the gardens, cityscape and even the interior shots]].
* TheStinger: A scene after the credits shows Takao at the meeting place in the park at winter, leaving a pair of new shoes and a letter for Yukari.
** Takao initially sees Yukari as an interesting individual who lives in a more mature and adventurous world than his own. Even after discovering that [[spoiler: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.
* TheyCallMeMisterTibbs: Yukari gives a distant, willful response that she is to be referred to as "Miss Yukino" (sensei in Japanese, a title that invokes superior social rank and being a teacher) following Takao's [[spoiler:declaration of love]] with the intent of reaffirming that there is a professional distance between them.
* TimeCompressionMontage: 10 minutes in there is a montage of key shots showing the male lead during the Kanto raining season at school, [[HardWorkMontage working on his shoes project]], and [[FallingInLoveMontage meeting the female lead at the park]].
* UltimateJobSecurity: Takao initially assumes that because of Yukari's capacity to skip work so frequently, her job must be a reasonably secure one. [[spoiler:In fact, she's on paid academic leave pending formal resignation.]]
* UmbrellaOfTogetherness: 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.
* WestminsterChimes: The September chapter starts with a scene at school where the Big Ben sound can be heard in the background.
* WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue: Right before the closing credits Takao details what he did after the summer had ended.
* WouldHitAGirl: Takao slaps Aizawa after the latter gloats about [[spoiler:getting Yukari kicked out of school.]] Her boyfriend is right there and much larger, so Takao immediately takes a beating.