Fragglepuss Anime Review 163: 5 Centimeters per Second / Byousoku 5 Centimeter
Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans
Genre: Drama, Romance, Slice of Life, Movement Rates
First Released: February – March 2007, 3 episodes combined into a 63-minute film
Summary: The story is set in Japan, beginning in the 1990s and continuing to 2008. Takaki Toono and Akari Shinohara are classmates and close friends, but their friendship is put to the test when Akari is forced to move with her family to the country, on the other side of Japan. They remain in contact via mail until Takaki discovers his family is about to move, placing the two of them even further apart. Takaki decides to make a trip to the country to meet Akari one last time. The years pass and even though the two grow further apart, they are reminded of the past they shared and hope to meet again someday.
5 Centimeters Per Second is directed by Makoto Shinkai, who has continued to direct such films as: Children Who Chase Lost Voices, The Garden of Words, and Your Name. Shinkai has been hailed as “The next Miyazaki”. I agree with the statement in the way his films are high quality, intricate, thought out, and memorable. However, I disagree because the two directors make entirely different styles of film. Shinkai’s style shows in several aspects of this film. The scenery in the background shows attention to detail and the realism of the animation pulls you in. The emotional attachment to the characters is something else I’ve gotten used to with Shinkai. The raw human emotion he portrays through his characters is captivating. That ending! I’ll leave it at that.
You might enjoy this if: You are like Alfred Lord Tennyson and believe it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
You might not like it if: You are not keen on Shinkai’s work. 5 Centimeters differs from many of his films due to the lack of a fantasy or science fiction aspect, but the general feeling throughout is the same. You can tell he’s the one steering the ship.
Note to the Viewer: The 5 Centimeters Per Second novel was the first written by Shinkai. It contains photographs taken by him as well.
Music Video – One More Time, One More Chance by Yamazaki Masayoshi
(Just in case the film wasn’t emotional enough for you)