From the award-winning director and author Makoto Shinkai
The Garden of Words
story by Makoto Shinkai
art by Midori Motohashi
Paperback, approx. 200 pages, 5 x 7 inches
Can a poem save your life?
Words are powerful. Insults and rumors can derail a career; a bit of encouragement can give someone the strength to pursue their dreams. When a high school boy skipping class to sketch shoe designs and a taciturn woman drinking a morning beer meet in a Tokyo park, they say little, but the woman bids farewell with an ancient tanka poem. Will the boy figure out the poem’s meaning—and its corresponding response—before it’s too late?
Praise for the author:
“One of the interesting things about this adaptation is just how much more leisurely the time does pass. The film is fairly neatly divided into three parts... In this manga, the second two sections are greatly expanded upon, giving us a much closer look at the stories of both Kanae and Takaki’s later girlfriend, Risa, which ultimately teaches us even more about Takaki and the women he’s unintentionally hurt with his kindness over the years. Good adaptations can be difficult to come by, but this one is quite good indeed.”
—Manga Bookshelf, “Off the Shelf“
“[W]hat this version has over the film – more depth. The format just allows for it, and Shinkai and Seike take advantage of that. Really exploring the sort of existential crisis that Takaki is having as he grows older. And also giving each of the main women in his life – Akari, Kanae, and Risa – much more individual time, so they are very well fleshed out... So, if you’re a fan of the film, there are plenty of reasons to pick this version up. If you’ve never seen the film, I highly recommend it.”
“5 Centimeters per Second, a manga adaptation of Makoto Shinkai’s anime of the same name. It has a bit of an anime feel to it, with lots of reaction shots and wordless panels, but the art is well done, and it doesn’t look derivative at all. When I interviewed him at New York Comic-Con, Shinkai called 5 Centimeters per Second “a real life story,“ but of course it’ s not really...it is a romantic, wistful tale of childhood love.”
“Shinkai has been hailed as the next Miyazaki, and his dreamy mindscapes often equal or surpass the anime maestro in breadth of detail and depth of emotion.”
“In 5 Centimeters [Shinkai’s] imagination may not leap to Hayao Miyazaki’s strange and wonderful heights, but he is better (blasphemy!) at piercing the veil of the everyday to reveal a poignant, evanescent beauty most of us notice only in rare moments...Is he really the ’new Miyazaki?’ He won’t become one by imitating the master, but at 34 he is the anime world’s bright new hope. That and a brilliant minor gem like “5 Centimeters per Second“ are enough, for now.”