The Garden of Words – a deeper look into themes and symbols

I love the Garden of Words. The 46 minute anime movie by (name) is a visual masterpiece with some of the best animation I’ve ever seen. As well as this, it’s full to the tip with symbolism and themes, perfect for dissection >:D So without further ado, let’s delve into the beautiful – and beautifully deep – world of The Garden of Words.

(Be warned, this does contain spoilers!)

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The Garden Of Words is a sweet 45 minute movie about Takao Akizuki, a 15 year old high school student who skips school and goes to a beautiful public Tokyo garden to sketch shoe designs instead. There, he meets 27 year old Yukino, skipping work to drink beer and eat chocolate on rainy days. She has good cause for this, however, as she has a stress-induced taste disorder, and yearns to taste her favourite things again.

For this analysis, I’ll be looking at the two big motifs in The Garden of Words: Rain, and shoes. Not generally two symbols you’d normally put together! Now, I’m not very good at analytical posts, so bear with me on this one!

Rain

Rain is a frequent occurrence in The Garden of Words. It creates a definite sense of solitude as Yukino and Takao sit together alone in the garden, but also feels like a veil between them and the world they’re escaping from. Rain also brings the two together as they only skip work and school on rainy days. Effectively, it serves as an escape from reality for them.

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While definitely a symbol of loneliness and escape, I think the rain in this movie also represents love – not just romantic love, but platonic love as well, like the friendship between Yukio and Takao. Just like love, rain cannot be stopped and sometimes comes at the most unexpected times. These points make rain a solid symbol in The Garden of Words.

Shoes

Takao dreams of designing shoes, which is why he skips school to draw designs. Yukino expresses interest in his passion and he uses her feet as measurements for some of his designs. At the end of the movie, Takao makes Yukino a pair of shoes and she can be seen wearing them in the final scene.

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In The Garden of Words, shoes are a symbol of moving on. Yukino visits Takao in the garden because she is insecure and stressed, stuck in a rut and worried that she isn’t mature enough for the adult world. At the end of the movie she has faced her problems and now, wearing a fresh set of shoes, she is able to walk forward in her life.

This movie honestly blew me away by the depth of its themes. The beautiful rain was symbolic of not only a disconnection from reality, but of love and friendship. To me, the shoes in The Garden of Words also meant a lot more than just walking. They represented hopes, dreams, moving on. These things, along with the stunning graphics of the Garden of Words, makes it a delightful film.

Did you enjoy watching The Garden of Words? Please leave your thoughts below in the comments!

 

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