After releasing the fantasy epic Children Who Chase Lost Voices From Deep Below (which was released here in the States in November 2012), Makoto Shinkai is back with another melancholy story of love and loss. (Or, as the trailer puts it, “A story of solitude and heartache that comes before love.”) Titled The Garden of Words, the film follows the burgeoning relationship between a high school student studying to be a shoemaker and an older woman as they constantly encounter each other on rainy days.
Having watched the trailer (which includes English subtitles) several times, a couple of things jump out at me. First, Shinkai’s films have always a lovely sadness about them, but parts of the trailer imply that The Garden of Words might move into some darker territory (e.g., the shot of the main character attacking one of his classmates). Second, Shinkai’s films have also always been lovingly animated, but sweet mercy, this one looks especially gorgeous. From the character designs to the rain animation, it looks like Shinkai has taken things to a new level. And I can’t wait to see it.
Which reminds me… I really do need to track down a copy of Children Who Chase Lost Voices From Deep Below sometime soon.