Byousoku 5 Centimeter

Title:Byousoku 5 Centimeter
5 Centimeters per Second
B5C ~a chain of short stories about their distance~
Byousoku 5CM
秒速5センチメートル (Japanese)
Keywords: , , , ,
Notables: Animation - CoMix Wave
Original Concept - SHINKAI Makoto
R1 License - ADV (Renamed)
A movie consisting of three parts, basically telling the story of two people, Tohno Takaki and Shinohara Akari, who were close friends but gradually grow farther and farther apart as time moves on. Takaki and Akari become separated because of their families yet continue to exchange contact in the form of eMails. Yet as time continues to trudge on, their contact with one another begins to cease. Years pass and the rift between them grows ever larger. However, Takaki remembers the times they have shared together, but as life continues to unfold for him, he wonders if he would be given the chance to meet Akari again as the tale embarks on Takaki's realization of the world and people around him.

Part 1 - The Chosen Cherry Blossoms (26 min): Because of family movement, Shinohara Akari had leave Tokyo upon graduation from elementary school. The deep feelings between Takaki and Akari for each other keep them in contact, but they worry they may not meet again. Then, one day, Takaki learns that his familiy will move from Tokyo to an island in the far south of Japan, so he decides to use this last opportunity visit Akari by train...

Part 2 - Cosmonaut (21 min): Years have passed, and Takaki still writes eMails aimed at Akari, only to never send them to her. Meanwhile Sumita Kanae, his classmate, has special feelings for Takaki, but she does not have the courage to express her love to him...

Part 3 - 5 Centimeters per Second (16 min, more of a music clip than anime): Takaki is working as computer programmer now, occasionally remembering his former life - and love. And then, at a railroad crossing he suddenly passes by a woman who looks familiar to him...
[3-part Movie, 2007, 63 min; Animation by CoMix Wave & Shinkai Makoto; reported as being licensed by ADV Films, but there might be issues. ANN reports that the DVD release of this title has been discontinued by ADV, effective July 11th, ’08.]

From the same animation team who worked on Hoshizora Kiseki, Hoshi no Koe and Kumo no Mukou, Yakusoku no Basho

1:39min Movie Trailer (Eng-sub) - YouTube Video
Episode Details 
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch 10 10 9 8 8 8 Dreamer [series:1507#2279]
Seeing some of the screenshots was enough to convince me to pick this one up. The artwork was just breathtaking.

Art, Animation & Character Designs
Art and animation is just superb and near flawless.... as expected of an OVA. Some scenes were as close to realism as you can get. Wow! Character designs were done well as well. Lots of details and smooth animation. Some of the scenes were so realistic, I couldn't tell if it was artwork or video. And the lighting was just unreal. Especially in the 2nd part of the OVA where the boy (Tomo) is holding his bow and the girl (Sumida) is in the background with a scenic view. My God the lighting there was just breathtaking.

The soundtrack had some nice piano pieces.. quiet, subtle and peaceful. Most of it was there to help drive an emotional scene.

Series and Episode Story
This is a very touching and emotionally driven anime. In nearly every scene, there's the rustle of leaves, or trees, the whistle of the breeze or placid rush of ocean waves.... all to lend to the serene and peaceful nature of the show and the emotions it portrays. What this show is all about is adolescent love and heartbreak and what we think is love at a young age, we soon forget as we enter adulthood and life moves on. The OVA is broken into 3 segments, each showing a different period in Takaki an Akari's lives and relationship. The end was a nice touch (with the encounter at the railway crossing) but left me wanting more.

Overall, it was a visual masterpiece with a subtle depressing story. If you like the feeling of depression, then pick this one up.

Last updated Tuesday, December 29 2009. Created Tuesday, December 29 2009.
Buy 10 10 9 7 9 Ggultra2764 [series:1507#1552]
Now this is a definite improvement. Makoto Shinkai's past works with Voices of a Distant Star and Place Promised in our Early Days were problematic for me because of the mix of sci-fi to the romantic drama that took place which made me more curious over the sci-fi environment in both titles than the romantic drama. It was especially a train wreck with Place Promised. 5 Centimeters per Second takes a more down-to-Earth approach. There's no sci-fi or fantasy elements to be found in this title. Just a simple focus on the long-distance relationship between Takaki and Akari as their thoughts of each other drift away from each other over time. This movie is divided up into three shorts to show the time periods in which Takaki deals with his relationship with Akari in junior high (the first short), senior high (second short), and as an adult (third short). The second short is notable as it's mostly focused on Kanae's efforts to confess her love of Takaki. All three shorts give enough depth to the main characters where you get enough sense of their struggles and desires in life, even the uncertainties of facing the future. The movie makes a strong point of noting that as time goes on, we move on from thinking about those we met in our younger days which makes it easy to relate with for me. We have had our crushes or lovers from middle and high school which we eventually don't recall as often as time goes on and we move on with our lives. For having such believable developments with the thoughts of the characters, I have to give kudos to this movie. Only blemish in the plotting was that we never got to learn what Kanae's future was like in the third short of the movie.

5 Centimeters per Second's visual presentation is quite impressive. Artwork is stunning featuring vast scenery and some realistic visuals. Animation was also very fluid and a feast for the eyes. From seeing a moving bullet train to the firing of an arrow from school archery practice, this was one visually pleasing title.

Overall, I would think of 5 Centimeters to be Makoto Shinkai's best work to date. The more down-to-Earth focus on a long-distance relationship and the believable developments that occur with it make this an easy work for older viewers to connect with.

Last updated Sunday, April 26 2009. Created Sunday, April 26 2009.
Watch 10 9 5 7 6 3 Devil Doll [series:1507#752]
[Score: 63%]
Absolutely stunning Art and Animation, probably the best Makoto Shinkai has done to date... and that's quite something, given his record of previous works. Yet I deducted 1 point from Animation because of the video clip nature of the final part which is too far away from what I expect "anime" to be. That's more like an AMV, actually.

Once again, "long distance relationships suck" is the message of this anime (this time extended to "and it sucks so hard that it can destroy a person"). And that's not enough for me, watching the potential couple(s) suffer and sob through this movie. Few dialogs, long flashbacks and soliloquies; less actual story than even in Hoshi no Koe. The events boil down to all characters feeling unable to do anything against their fate (without actually trying, that is); never before have I watched an anime that was so frustrating. And I do like drama and even tragedy stories... but suffering for no particular reason, where's the point in watching this show? "Such is life" isn't sufficient for me as an answer.

I guess Makoto Shinkai's works are just not my cup of tea. I want character development, not three painful momentary snapshots of epic dimensions each. The high ratings for all the technical aspects didn't allow me to give an "Avoid" rating here but it was a close call.

Last updated Thursday, January 31 2008. Created Monday, January 28 2008.
Unevaluated chibi [series:1507#2380]
Right away the first episode reminded me strongly of "Voices of a Distant Star", and, sure enough, when I checked it was by the same team. Beautiful artwork -- if this is computer-generated, it's a clear jump in the use of the technology. The story is also about a boy and girl separated by distance, but connected by messages they send each other and their feelings. Only 3 half-hour episodes in the series? It will be interesting to see how they're used.

Last updated Thursday, March 01 2007. Created Thursday, March 01 2007.

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Japanese Language Web Site
Wikipedia entry for "5 centimeters per second"
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