5 Centimeters Per Second
Anime DVD Review
Here's the only thing you need to know about this movie: Makoto Shinkai.
For those of you living under a rock for the past few years, Shinkai has pretty much been hailed as "the new Miyazaki" for his exceptional ability to craft an amazing story with compelling characters and infuse it with amazingly awesome artwork. His first film was a labor of love done almost entirely by himself (Voices of a Distant Star), which he then followed up with the critically acclaimed "The Place Promised in Our Early Days", both of which, if you haven't seen yet, you really, really, REALLY need to.
Like now. Stop reading. Go see these films.
Okay, if you're back now, Makoto Shinkai had expressed that, unlike his past works, there would be no fantasy or science fiction elements in this film. Instead, "5 Centimeters" would attempt to present the real world from a different perspective, giving a realistic view of the struggles many face against, time, space, people, and love.
The title 5 Centimeters Per Second comes from the speed at which cherry blossoms petals fall, petals being a metaphorical representation of humans, reminiscent of the slowness of life and how people often start together but slowly drift into their separate ways.
The film is split into three acts that are major points in the life of Takaki Tono as he makes friends, falls in love, and yet, slowly drifts away or loses touch as we all do, by the forces of life working against us. It's a heart-wrenching and believable tale of a common ordeal, something we all face, but because of Shinkai's poignant and emotional direction combined with breathtaking artwork; these simple moments create an indelible impression and sweep us away in the deceptively simple story.
In short, 5 Centimeters Per Second is both a masterpiece visually as well a stunning achievement in storytelling and you really, really, REALLY need to see it. Right now. Stop reading.
Below: Scenes from 5 Centimeters Per Second, the level of detail is just amazing.
Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, April 2008