Name: Five Centimeters per Second
Released: March 3, 2007
Based On: N/A
Director: Makoto Shinkai
Produced By: CoMix Wave
US Distribution By: ADV Films
Major Japanese Cast
Takaki Tono: Kenji Mizuhashi
Akari Shinohara (young): Yoshimi Kondou
Akari Shinohara (old): Ayaka Onoue
Kanae Sumita: Satomi Hanamura
Major English Cast
Takaki Tono: David Matranga
Akari Shinohara: Hilary Haag
Kanae Sumita: Serena Varghese
Animation: 10/10 (x 4 = 40 pts)
Story: 9/10 (x 4 = 36 pts)
Music: 10/10 (x 4 = 40 pts)
Coherence/Story Arc: N/A
English Dubs: 9/10 (x 1 = 9 pts)
Gut Score: 10/10 (x 5 = 50 pts)
Total: 175/180 (97.2%)
Five Centimeters Per Second is trio of stories centering around a boy, Takaki Tono, as he struggles with his feelings for his childhood friend Akari as time and distance continue to separate them further and further.
The first story deals with Takaki trying to visit Akari by train after Akari has moved to Tochigi Prefecture, which is about 50 miles to north from Tokyo, and before Takaki moves to southern Japan – essentially making it impossible for the two to see each other again. Takaki must mull over his feelings for Akari as a couple hour train ride turns into a multi-hour train ride riddled by delays, also fearing that Akari may not wait for him to arrive.
The second story is deals with Kanae, a girl who likes Takaki, who is still in Southern Japan and now attending high school. However, Kanae is extremely indecisive, unable to decide what she wants to do in the future, nor how she’ll confess to Takaki. She soon sees Takaki as someone that has someone else in his heart, and thus decides not to confess, but also as someone who appears to see where he’s going, which gives her the confidence to look forward herself.
The final story deals with Takaki, now old enough to work, as he passes a familiar face at a train crossing, which causes him to think back on his life and his feelings.
While one may be tempted to label Five Centimeters per Second a romance, it’s hard to label such a thoroughly depressing movie as such, as all three stories end on a such a melancholy tone. While some movies may exist to show that love can endure reality, this is, at it’s core, a realization that love is just sometimes crushed by the realities of life, and that when it is, one just has to move on and try to live life to the fullest that you can.
On technical aspects, I kind of battled whether to give this a 9 or 10 on animation. The lines may not have been as sharp as they could have been, but the attention to detail is amazing, and I think the sharpness was such a minor quibble that it wasn’t enough to knock it down a point. As usual, Tenmon’s soundtrack is amazing.
Overall, my recommendation is, regardless of the genre you usually prefer, go watch this. I doubt you’ll come away unaffected somehow.
First Watched: July 2007
Do I Own: Yes
Do I Recommend: Yes