The short film Garden of Words / Kotonoha no Niwa came out back in 2013 on home video in Japan and we’ve had the North American release through Sentai Filmworks. The film has seen streaming in a few places over the last few years and most notably was on Netflix for a few years.
Now, the film from Makoto Shinkai is getting some new attention as Hobbyless Records has announced a vinyl release of the limited edition variety to start off 2024. Set for a January 12th, 2024 release, it’ll be priced at $46.98 and is described thus:
“Motohiro Hata’s timeless masterpiece ‘Kotonoha’, originally released in 2013, will be released on vinyl in a limited edition with special clear green vinyl that reflects the worldview of the animation ‘The Garden of Words’.The release will be under the joint label name of diskunion DIW and HOBBYLESS RECORDS, an independent analog label established by Motohiro Hata in 2018. The LP also includes a cover of the classic song ‘Rain’ (lyrics and music by Senri Oe) and a Tomita Lab. Remix of ‘Girl’!!-The cover art features the original jacket from the short animated film ‘The Garden of Words’, for which this work was used as the image song and the ending theme song. This timelessly loved work is finally available on vinyl!!*LIMITED QUANTITY*Tracklisting: SIDE-A A1. Kotonoha(Image song of ‘The Garden of Words’)A2. Rain(‘The Garden of Words’ ending theme song) SIDE-B B1. Girl (Tomita Lab. Remix)B2. Kotonoha (Backing Track)”
The packaging was released as well with:
The film was written and directed by Makoto Shinkai with character designs adapted by Kenichi Tsuchiya and animation production by CoMix Wave Films.
The Japanese cast includes Kana Hanazawa as Yukino, Miyu Irino as Takao, Fumi Hirano as Takao’s mother, Megumi Han as Satō, Mikako Komatsu as Aizawa, Risa Mizuno as News Announcer, and Suguru Inoue as Matsumoto.
The English dub was directed by Steven Foster at Seraphim Digital with a cast that includes Maggie Flecknoe as Yukari Yukino, Patrick Poole as Takao Akizuki, Allison Sumrall as Sato, Blake Shepard as Young Takao, Brittney Karbowski as Brother’s Girlfriend, Crash Buist as Takao’s Brother, David Matranga as Mr. Ito, Hilary Haag as Aizawa, Mike Yager as Matsumoto, and Shelley Calene-Black as Takao’s Mother.
Plot concept: While absconding from school, he encounters and befriends a young woman named Yukari. As the story unfolds, we soon discover that as their friendship deepens, the consequences will put their friendship to the ultimate test. Beautifully shot and with a tremendous amount of fine detail, Garden of Words really stands out as one of the most visually stunning anime films of the year.