“Garden Of Words – Memories Of Cinema” is the official picture book for Makoto Shinkai’s animated film Garden Of Words (Kotonoha No Niwa). It’s not an art book per say, but features background art plates used in the film, presented together with quotes from the movie’s screenplay. (background plates are shown on the left pages; quotes on the right.)
The backdrop of the film is set primarily in locations around Shinjuku (in particular Shinjuku Gyoen), one of the busiest areas in central Tokyo.
(above) One of the recurring structures appearing in the film’s background is the NTT Docomo building, a prominent landmark in Shinjuku. I used to cycle past the building every time on my way to Kinokuniya when I was still staying in Meguro. (below) The building in real life.
I watched this film together with some Japanese friends and they all agree that one of Makoto’s greatest strengths is his immaculate attention to detail in his background plates, immersing the viewer into a world that is immediately familiar and relatable. In many ways, his background art make better storytellers than the human protagonists in his films.
One of Makoto Shinkai’s works that I actually enjoyed more (possibly because of my affinity for the Shinjuku area), but the artist’s prowess for creating beautiful backgrounds cannot be trivialized. This book comes with plenty of those and is an easy recommendation.
“Garden Of Words – Memories Of Cinema” Makoto Shinkai book details :
Dimensions – 10.2 x 7.2 x 0.4 inches
Softcover, 79 pages. Comes with slipcase.
Full color, In Japanese
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