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Sentai Filmworks Adds Makoto Shinkai's The Garden of Words Film

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
Latest film from 5 cm/s, Children Who Chase Lost Voices director gets bilingual BD/DVD release this year

North American anime licensing company Sentai Filmworks announced on Wednesday that it has licensed Makoto Shinkai's latest film The Garden of Words (Kotonoha no Niwa). Sentai Filmworks will release the film digitally with a release on bilingual Blu-ray Disc and DVD to follow later this year.

The Garden of Words follows the story of shoemaker-in-training Takao, who begins sketching shoes in a Japanese-style garden. He meets a mysterious older woman and the two start meeting and deepening their relationship. Shinkai previously wrote that The Garden of Words will be his first story about love in the traditional Japanese meaning of the word. Originally, "love" was written as "lonely sadness" (koi), and, according to Shinkai, the modern concept of "love" (ai) was imported from the West. While his new film is set in the modern era, it will be about koi in the original "lonely sadness" meaning — of longing for someone in solitude.

Kenichi Tsuchiya is designing the characters and overseeing the animation process. Hiroshi Takiguchi is serving as the art director, and Daisuke Kashiwa is composing the music. Miyu Irino and Kana Hanazawa headline the cast as Takao and Yukino, respectively. Motohiro Hata contributes the theme song "Rain" with lyrics and music by Senri Oe. The film will open in Japan on May 31, and the film's Blu-ray and DVD release on June 21 will contain English subtitles. The film is approximately 46 minutes long.

Shinkai is hosting the world premiere of the film at Australia's Gold Coast Film Festival (GCFF) on April 28. Shinkai himself will be in attendance at the premiere.

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 2011's Children Who Chase Lost Voices.

Update: Background information added.

Image © Makoto Shinkai/CoMix Wave Films

Update: Typo fixed. Thanks, zensunni.

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