Category Archives: Koto no Ha no Niwa

Inertia of Social Network Sharing; The Garden of Words

I, like many others, read Anime News Network’s news feeds. I, unlike many others, also read a lot of tweets. By a lot  I mean I probably go through 2000+ a day on average.

But let’s put that into perspective. Twitter is a massively popular social platform compared to ANN. In fact, it’s kind of incomparable because one is really just a news site–I’m guessing it’s the sort of thing some people check once a day to get their daily dose of news. Maybe some people do the same with twitter; it certainly allows for that sort of slow-paced, not-drinking-from-a-fire-hose sort of consumption.

What I’m trying to get at is I’m wondering why people share the ANN story to the Makoto Shinkai’s new movie trailer, rather than the Youtube page itself or Shinkai’s tweets. I am going to assume this is mostly because these people either didn’t click through ANN’s embedded Youtube video, in other words engaging the content without digging in; or because it’s more convenient to share that.

The reason why I’m wondering is largely because the ANN story basically copy word-for-word everything the Youtube page has. The Youtube page has English-translated credit and English-language film synopsis and everything. It’s Youtube, not some awkwardly-programmed 20th century Japanese website. Maybe if I was reading about this news the first time, getting it from ANN makes sense. But as someone who read it from Makoto Shinkai’s twitter account, it feels really cheap? I don’t know how to put it in the right way.


I’m sure there are plenty of reasons to do it either way, but why does it feel oddly off in this specific case? Is it because Shinkai tweeted it in English and some of us were fortunate enough to see it? It’s no different than say if FUNi or Sentai did something and ANN reported it, although typically you don’t get the kind of layering we get here in those cases. Actually, maybe another factor here is that watching that movie trailer as an embedded video feels wrong. You really should watch it in high definition, and that’s something no news source reporting it mentioned.

Instead of me making something out of probably nothing, consider it a PSA: If you haven’t seen the latest trailer for Koto no Ha no Niwa, and you think Shinkai’s animated movies are possibly something interesting, do yourself a favor and go to Youtube, select it for the language you would like for the annotations, and change the resolution to 1080 and let it cache before you watch it. I promise you it’s 10 times more gorgeous looking than most embedded resolution you’ll find.

Bonus: A lot of us were initially surprised at casting Kana Hanazawa as the female lead. Shinkai actually tweeted about it shortly after the initial wave of tweets, saying he had trouble deciding who to select for the role, especially since Hanazawa is younger than the lead character, but her acting won him over. If you want to read between the lines, it probably means someone older got passed over for the role!

Bonus 2: Some people were disappointed about TENMON not partnering with Shinkai again on Garden of Words. While I’m definitely looking forward to more TENMON, I’m okay with the new guy. In this case the new name is Daisuke KASHIWA–seems like a post kind of guy who turned to soundtrack/neoclassical music, according to his profile. Seems like right up my alley.