One man army anime filmmaker, Makoto Shinkai, has announced that he’s working on Kotonoha no Niwa (The Garden of Words—no official English title as of today), a new anime movie scheduled for release in Spring 2013.
In a blog post by Shinkai, he wrote that it’s his first time taking on a love story movie. However, the story of Kotonoha no Niwa isn’t something that focuses on the typical meaning of love. Shinkai writes that the concept of romance (恋愛) did not exist in the Japanese language before the modern period. 恋 (love), was written as 孤悲 (solitary sadness) since the 8th century. He adds that the present concept of love (愛) was imported from the West.
Now, with all of Shinkai’s historical background on the word love, you would probably think that Kotonoha no Niwa will be a historical romance.
Actually, that’s not the case.
Shinkai has emphasized that Kotonoha no Niwa is set in the present day. The story will interpret the ancient meaning of love—“an emotion of longing for someone that can only be felt in solitude.”
Makoto Shinkai’s previous works include Voices of a Distant Star, The Place Promised in Our Early Days, 5 Centimeters Per Second and Children Who Chase Lost Voices.