Makoto Shinkai’s Garden of Words came out in 2013 and was visually ahead of its time. The animation and art style captured the personal mood of the film with beautiful sceneries with intricate and in-depth attention to detail. It was fairly liked by the audience and is one of the director’s best works. And when it comes to Makoto Shinkai’s best works you can’t move ahead without mentioning Your Name.
Garden of Words has received favorable responses from both the audience and the critics but where does it stand in comparison to the director’s most loved work so far, Your Name? It’s a question that is bound to pop up when the two movies are mentioned. Let’s try to understand which one is better by exploring the different elements of both films.
Storytelling: Which one is better?
Garden of Words has its fandom divided between the two interpretations of the story. This can be seen in the two top reviews of the movie on MAL. One of the perspectives struggles in seeing the story beyond the romance between an underage kid and an adult whereas the other perspective understands the concept of ‘lonely sadness’.
The disparity between what Makoto Shinkai aimed to portray and what was portrayed to the Western audience drags down the story a little bit. Your Name has a more direct way of storytelling leaving almost no space for a difference between what was intended and what was received. The story tugged at the hearts of the viewers at multiple points with enough build-up and explanation.
Comparison between the characters
Takao and Yukari were so realistically portrayed that the fact that they’re the main characters becomes forgettable. They were very real and ordinary in the sense that they blend into the real world. Their set of struggles and their choices, which are sometimes flawed, make them real to a fault.
Taki and Mitsuha were under the spotlight the whole time, caught up in a supernatural phenomenon. Taki had the responsibility of saving the world. Besides them, all the other characters made the movie richer and more enjoyable. None of the characters were boring, they all added something to the story.
Musically and visually better one
- Your name easily stays ahead with its album. The soundtracks have a life of their own and contribute to the experience significantly.
- In Garden of Words, the music just helps in building the atmosphere. While the piano pieces sound exceptionally beautiful but don’t stand out as much as the Your Name album.
- Attention to detail in Garden of Words is on another level. The animation and art style capture everything the sceneries had to offer in an in-depth manner.
- You’ll see multiple frames just focusing on the scenery and the backgrounds. There’s more focus on the visual elements of the movie. Garden of words beats Your Name in this respect.
All these make Your Name a better overall experience, which can be a result of the difference in time duration between the movies. Both movies were trying to do very different things. Your name didn’t shy away from being a fiction whereas Garden of Words remained rooted in reality. If not for the problematic contradiction the movie presented itself with, the movie would’ve easily been on the same level as the former or maybe better.
Makoto Shinkai has proved himself numerous times. His works have all been great in their way. Your Name went down as one of the best anime movies ever made, similarly, nobody can take away from the breathtaking visual treat that Garden of Words blessed us with. Which is better doesn’t matter on the grand scale of things as the movies weren’t trying to outdo one another.
But great works of art will always be scrutinized and continue to shine through that.