Anime Film Screening (preceded by Prof. Suzuki’s lecture) Nov. 13th, 2015, 6:00 p.m.

The Voices of a Distant Star / The Garden of Words


(C) Makoto Shinkai/CoMix Wave Films

Consulate General of Japan in New York and Japan Foundation, New York co-host a special film screening of director Makoto Shinkai’s productions on Friday, November 13th at 6:00 p.m. at the Japan Information Center. Admission to the screening is free but RSVP is required. Please RSVP to kanako_shirasaki(a ) (please change (a) to @) by Tuesday, November 10th. This screening is in Japanese with English subtitles, preceded by an introduction by Prof. Shige Suzuki, CUNY Baruch College.

The Voices of a Distant Star is a 25-minute animation set in 2046. This science-fiction feature tells the story of a long-distance relationship between a girl in space and a boy on Earth who try to keep their young love alive through text messages. The Garden of Words is a story about the unique relationship that develops between a fifteen year old boy and a twenty-seven year old woman after a chance meeting on a rainy day. Against a beautiful, dreamlike backdrop, director Makoto Shinkai uses motifs such as rain, Manyoshu poetry, and the Japanese garden to tell this story.


Time and Date:
Friday, November 13th, 2015, 6:00 p.m.

Japan Information Center Gallery
Consulate General of Japan in New York
299 Park Avenue, 18th Floor
New York, NY 10171
Please bring photo IDs.


The Voices of a Distant Star (2002, 25min)


(C) Makoto Shinkai/CoMix Wave Films


Middle school students Mikako Nagamine and Noboru Terao are close friends and members of the same club activities. But in the summer of 2046, Mikako tells Noboru that she has been chosen as a Select Member of the United Nations Space Army. Mikako leaves Earth in the winter of 2047, while Noboru goes on to high school in Japan. Separated by space, the two try to stay in touch by mobile mail. However, as Mikako goes farther out in the solar system on board the Lysithea spaceship, it takes increasingly longer for each to receive the other’s mail. Noboru stays on Earth, frustrated by his situation and resigned to the fact that he can only wait for Mikako’s emails. As time goes by, the Lysithea fleet approaches a time warp, a situation that make both Mikako and Noboru acutely aware of the time gap separating them.

The Garden of Words (2013, 46min)


(C) Makoto Shinkai/CoMix Wave Films


When Takao, a high school student dreaming of becoming a shoemaker, skips school one day in favor of sketching shoes in a rainy garden, he has no idea how much his life will change when he encounters the mysterious Yukino. Older, but perhaps not much wiser, she seems adrift in the world. The two strike up an unusual relationship through chance meetings in the same garden on each rainy day. But the rainy season is coming to a close, leaving many things left unshared between them…

Prof. Shige Suzuki


Shige (CJ) Suzuki is Assistant Professor of Modern Languages and Comparative Literature at Baruch College, The City University of New York (CUNY) where he teaches courses in Japan Studies such as Japanese literature, film, and popular culture. Professor Suzuki received his Ph.D. in Literature from University of California at Santa Cruz in 2008. His current research interests are comparative literature, cultural studies, critical theory, and comics/manga studies. He has published articles in both English and Japanese. Recent published articles include “Tatsumi Yoshihiro’s Gekiga and the Global Sixties: Aspiring for an Alternative” in Manga’s Cultural Crossroads, edited by Jaqueline Berndt and Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer (2013), “Traversing Art and Manga: Ishiko Junzo’s Writings on Manga/Gekiga” on Comics Forum (2014), and “Autism and Manga: Comics for Women, Disability, and Tobe Keiko’s With the Light” in International Perspectives on Shojo and Shojo Manga: The Influence of Girl Culture, edited by Masami Toku (2015).

This screening is co-presented by Consulate General of Japan in New York and Japan Foundation, New York.
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