5 Centimeters Per Second

5 Centimeters Per Second is a 2007 Anime movie that depicts a strong bond of love between two people. Even though they are miles and miles apart from each other. This movie touches one’s heart and in the end it teaches us something. Whether you’ll notice that in the end or not, it’s up to you to discover. You may be disappointed or not, but the ending conveys a message to each one, whether it’s a positive or a negative, it all boils down personally. Makoto Shinkai’s (the director, producer and writer of this film) film gives a realistic view of the struggles many face against time, space, people, and love. The film shows the harsh realities of life and also the successes that it brings.

In the movie, the story is set in Japan from the early 90’s and ending in the modern time. The main characters are Takani Tono and Akari Shinohara. Takani and Akari met in their elementary years. Takani befriends Akari and in the end they become close friends. They are so close that they don’t use honorifics on each other anymore. In Japan, this means that if you don’t use honorifics, you are very close friends or even lovers. Upon graduating from elementary school Akari moves to Tochigi. This saddens Takani but there’s nothing he could do but to write letters to Akari. Both of them write letters from time to time. When Takani’s family decided to move to Kagoshima, he decided that he should see Akari personally, since they will be too far apart from each other . Takani also prepares a letter for Akari, containing his feelings. However, during the journey he loses the letter and a severe snowstorm continuously delays Takaki’s trip for several hours. As the two meet and share their first kiss, Takaki realizes they will never be together again. Stranded in a shed due to the snowstorm, they fall asleep after talking late into the night. Takaki departs the next morning, and they promise to continue writing to each other. As the train rolls away, Takaki thinks that the loss of his letter is not important any more after that kiss, while Akari silently looks at her own letter addressed to Takaki. Then the story rolls out when Takani is in his third year in highschool and he meets a girl named Kanae. Now, it’s up to you to discover what lies ahead. Experiencing the whole movie for yourself and be drawn into it. You’ll see how love works and the harsh realities it faces.

The movie is indeed moving and it’s very mature. You’ll learn a thing or two depending on how you understand each scene and how you interpret the ending. The ending may be a little different than what we expect, leaving to a conclusion of self growth and reaching a level of maturity. We all have hardships in life but it’s up to us whether we want to let something dire control or ruin our lives. In the end we must face it and move on with reality.

The film won the Lancia Platinum Grand Prize at the Future Film Festival for best movie in animation or special effects. The level of detail and atmosphere in this movie is spot on. Makoto Shinkai was highly praised for his realistic animation and lighting and sound effects. While I was watching the movie, I can never help myself but praise the wonderful animation. It’s indeed beautiful, the art style is really amazing and it adds more emotion to the movie. Fantastic artwork and lighting is one of the strengths in this film, aside from the story itself. Indeed, Makoto Shinkai knows his craft quite well.

“Shinkai has been hailed as the next Miyazaki, and his dreamy mindscapes often equal or surpass the anime maestro in breadth of detail and depth of emotion. Shinkai extends the innate possibilities of the anime dynamic, reapplying its principles of lush effects, inflated background detail and sometimes undernourished character animation to mirror the interiority of the characters in every nuance of their surroundings.” -Ronnie Scheib 

The movie is indeed a work of art. You’ll be moved by this movie and definitely it’s worth checking out. Garnished with a story that never ever does come out of its way, it shows how people see love in a different way of understanding. Taking into action that’s very important in one’s life, love is extremely intense, especially if you’re apart from each other.

  • Absence Makes the Heart Go Fonder- This is subverted to some degree, while Takaki’s mind does indeed go yonder, his heart remains fixated on one constant point. This accounts for Kanae’s observation that he is always looking toward something distant, and fails to notice people around him. For most of the movie, he is unable to have the individual who invoked such feelings in him because he was too rigid to move toward anyone , until the end.At a point that  he becomes capable of actually taking control of his own life and taking it in the direction that he wants it to go. To this end, his heart has not gone yonder. Rather, it becomes a little more malleable and open.

Many critics love the movie because of its tie with reality. In this sense, it shows a depth of realism. It teaches us something that we often take for granted. This movie is of high quality, even the sound is superb and well integrated. There’s a bow and arrow scene and the sound implemented here is spot on towards realism. Other critics and journalists praise the movie in its entirety, because of the wonderful message it brings to each individual laying a personal pattern on how each thinks. In other words, it’s a personal reflection, it lets the viewers analyze and make conclusions or realizations based on their own experiences in life.

“Taken individually, the parts offer nice little vignettes, but taken as a whole they paint a broader picture about the progression of life and love. The ending, which is where this work differs most from Shinkai’s previous efforts, will doubtless be controversial and may leave some fans unsatisfied, as it opens itself to multiple interpretations. Some may feel as if it just ends without resolving anything, but if one considers Takaki’s few lines of narration in part two, how that part ends, and how everything fits together, it becomes clearer that actually resolving things was never the point. Whereas voices was about trying to maintain a connection and Place Promise was about reestablishing one, Five Centimeters is ultimately about moving on from past connections instead of just living in the past, about finding a way to become happy in the present rather than just pining for what has been lost over time. In that sense Five Centimeters is Shinkai’s most mature and complicated work yet.” – Theron Martin from Anime Network

I recommend you guys to watch this movie. It’s worth it and there’s a value into it. Makoto Shinkai really did an amazing job here, as expected of him. Mark Schilling commends Shinkai saying that he is better than Hayao Miyazaki, the founder of studio Ghibli and a well known manga artist, film director and animator. Makoto Shinka’s 5 centimeters per second is considered to be one of his great works. The film’s ending theme music “One more Time, One more Chance” by Masayoshi Yamazaki is also very beautiful and very moving. I hope you guys would really have the time and watch this amazing and heart warming movie.

“The title 5 Centimeters Per Second refers to the speed at which cherry blossom petals fall and acts as a metaphor for the nature of love and human relationships.”