August 23, 2010

5 Centimetres per Second

5 centimetres per second is a three parts romance type of story but it also touches on concepts beyond that for a movie that is just a little over an hour.

This lovely metaphorical film is short and sweet and you will have to watch it to understand what I mean. I enjoyed it a lot but the interesting thing was that a friend of mine who now teaches English in Japan told me about this when it first came out back in 2007 before she left. Now it’s the August of 2010, it took awhile for me to finally get around to it. The reason is not that it’s the bad type of romance (ahem, Twilight), it’s just you get busy with life and things get put aside. Often it’s not just things that get put aside; feelings for people also get put away.

5 cm addresses this very nicely. It is no bad romance like Twilight, Makoto took an innocent approach to the relationship among the three characters – Takaki Tono (main male), Akari Shinohara (main female for Part 1 & 3) and Kanae Sumida (main female for Part 2). Like many anime, this is a bit like a coming of age story. However, the film explores how the characters interact with one another as they age and as different situations are posed to them in three linear stories rather than treating it as a whole, which I find to be very different from many other anime.

Some element of this romance story is a bit cliché because for anyone who watches enough Japanese anime and drama they will get what I’m talking about. That being said, Makoto wrote a good emotional story here translating all the feelings visually through each scenes/ moments – the train, the sun setting velvet sky, etc.

5 cm reaches out to everyone as the audience can relate to one of the three characters in one way or another. I would certainly recommend it to everyone who has not had a taste of Makoto’s work. Some of his other most notable works in my opinion would definitely include: a five minute short “She and Her Cat” and “Voices of a Distant Star” (Hoshi no Koe). Although I have not seen Voices, it is certainly on my list as it should for those who enjoy a good short film.

If you’re still contemplating watching 5 centimetres per second or not, I would post one question to you – don’t you want to know why this is titled 5 centimetres per second? Just a word of caution, it can be emotional for some viewers. Happy viewing!

For more info on this movie:


  1. Awesome review. I have had this in my collection for some time now but haven't really gotten around to watching it yet. Just as you asked, "do you really want to know why it is called 5 cm Per Second?", I often found myself put off a bit by the title. I had no clue what it was about. With the size of my collection I haven't had much of a chance to read a review all of the shows I am interested before watching them. For the most part, it sounds like this is a deep and emotional movie. I am going to check it out soon, but first I'll make sure to get a good rest so that I can follow and understand everything that is going on.

  2. I found this movie to be kind of depressing but I did enjoy it. Thanks for the review.