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Distant Star's Makoto Shinkai Makes Kotonoha no Niwa Anime Film

posted on by Egan Loo
Children Who Chase Lost Voices creator's "tale of 'lonely sadness'" in 1st half of 2013

The official website for Makoto Shinkai — the auteur director behind Voices of a Distant Star, 5 Centimeters Per Second, and Children Who Chase Lost Voicesannounced on Christmas Eve that he is creating a new anime film called Kotonoha no Niwa. Shinkai plans to open the film in Japanese theaters in the first half of next year, and he began planning this past spring. The tagline on the website reads, "A tale of 'lonely sadness,' older than even 'love.'"

Shinkai wrote on his website that this is the first time he is making a "love" story — in the traditional Japanese meaning of the word. He added that there were words long before there were characters to write them in this world. The Japanese language during the era when it had no written form is known as "Yamato kotoba." The language during this time had its own pronunciations, before the importation of kanji characters from China.

At the time, "love" was written as "lonely sadness" (koi). Moreover, according to Shinkai, the modern concept of "love" (ai) was imported from the West. While his new Kotonoha no Niwa film is set in the modern era, it will be about koi in the original "lonely sadness" meaning — of longing for someone in solitude, as opposed to the modern meaning.

[Via Purple Pig]

Update: The title can be translated as "The Garden of Words" or "a garden of thousands pieces of words."

Shinkai began his career by creating his own anime titles almost singlehandedly — being responsible for the writing, directing, and even voice-acting. He now works with CoMix Wave Films and other staff members on anime projects. His titles include She and Her Cat, Voices of a Distant Star, The Place Promised in Our Early Days, 5 Centimeters Per Second, and last year's Children Who Chase Lost Voices.

Image © Makoto Shinkai/CoMix Wave Films

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