Rating: G – All Ages
“A faint clap of thunder,
Perhaps rain comes,
If so, will you stay here with me?”
Like all Makoto Shinkai movies, Kotonoha no Niwa is a masterpiece of art. The beautiful visuals and animation coupled with the most subtle audio that fits perfectly with what is going on gives the work an impression which will last in your head forever. The storyline is not all that captivating though, unlike his 2007 blockbuster 5 Centimeters per Second. It follows a romantic plot with a small twist at the end. What I was happy about is that the story ended well. I mean, after watching 5 Centimeters per Second, I was left with a strange mixture of feelings, which eventually made me read the manga. I guess I felt satisfied after that. Well anyway, I feel Kotonoha no Niwa is a light movie. Nothing much to think about, especially because it has a happy but it has an uncertain end. What I mean by that is the story wants to tell the viewers that things will work out for them in the near future. A similar understanding is brought upon the viewer even in 5 Centimeters per Second; it’s a nice feeling, but I could even do with a confirmed happy ending.
The protagonist Akizuki Takao is the ordinary good guy; he works hard, has good character and is honest with himself. Yukino Yukari is going through a bad phase in her life, and hence she is in a depressed state. Even though I am making it apparent now, the movie didn’t drill into my head that fact that Yukino needed Akizuki to make her see the light again. I guess, when I think about it, that meaning was there all along. I guess it is not such a light movie, after all it’s a Makoto Shinkai production. Just like his other works, there are a lot of not-so-obvious meanings in this movie, which are mostly depicted in the narration and the visuals.
I’ll keep this short, and try not to spoil the fun too much. By the way, from what you’ve read up till now, I might have made it sound pretty bad, but that’s not the case. It’s definitely an excellent watch. Especially if you like Makoto Shinkai’s works, or if this is your first time watching one of his movies, give it a shot, it’s totally worth the time. I frankly don’t know what else to say; it’s just that when you are watching the movie, it feels great, but when I am writing the review, I don’t remember the emotions that went through my head and all. I wasn’t thinking too much.
Simply, Kotonoha no Niwa is a perfectly ordinary story which is beautiful. Yeah.