Friday, August 31, 2007

5 Centimeters per Second ~ A Chain of Short Stories About Their Distance

What can I say about 5cm. Not much is to be said, you simply have to watch it.

Oh you don't trust me then? Fine, I'll blurt out some text, I was planning on doing that anyway. OK so what is this about. It's a movie, fine. The full title says something about a chain of short stories about their distance, but who's distance? Distance between lovers is a common theme in Makoto Shinkai's works. This work, however, is very close to perfection.

Akari and Touno are two childhood friends (sounds common enough, right ;)) who share special feelings. However, they are abruptly separated, and as if that were not enough, they are separated a second time. This movie reflects their views in very interesting ways!

It is divided in 3 parts, which I will use as well in order to limit my comments to certain aspects of the movie.

The first part, Oukashou (something about extract cherry blossom, cherry blossom extract) is a nice introductory tale about Akari and Touno's initial relationship. It is pretty sweet and almost goes straight to the point. There's is a great part where suspense is involved, and it is very strong and emotional. One of the things I like the most about this part is that dialog is reduced to a minimum. It may sound weird, but this part of the story is driven by memories, letters, and thoughts. Pretty nice touch in my opinion. This part was a little bit hard to grasp for me in the beginning, due to the character's ages in this part (~13). I don't feel like such feelings could emerge at this age. But it is probably because I'm putting myself and our culture as an example.

The second part, Cosmonaut, is a beautiful follow-up to the separation between Akari and Touno. They are last year high-schoolers now, and Akari is nowhere to be seen in this part. There's a new character, Sumida. I like her as much as the other two main characters. She gives a very interesting perspective on the relationship based on her own perceptions. There is more dialog in this part, and it has a very pleasant "small Japanese island" (Sumida is a surfer, for example) theme. This, however, is a very very sad segment. It is sort of inspirational, too.

The third and last part completely blew me away. It shares the name with the whole movie, Five Centimeters per Second. I don't want to spoil anything, but a great deal of story is solved and amplified in a very short period of time. Watch it, and believe me. This part is very short, but you will probably need to watch it a couple of times to get the full detail. Besides that, the soundtrack playing is a song I have already expressed love for. In a few words, this part is mostly a music video concluding the three stories.

Want to know how the story unfolds? Watch it :D

There are several themes covered in the character's thoughts. Oukashou deals with distance, and time. Cosmonaut deals with space. 5 cm deals with sadness and beauty, which is a theme covering the entire movie. The ending, is a combination of all of these factors.

Did I like it? I think I did. A lot. The unusual love stories always get to me. It just has this feeling of real, and one can form a strong bond of identity with the characters, even if one doesn't belong to that culture. The dialog is good, the style is superb, the pace is fast enough (it lasts barely under and hour) without sacrificing emotion and thoughts, and reflection. The piano music is an excellent ambient factor. The ending song is incredibly fitting, the video is wonderful and the bittersweet ending is just enough to crown this incredible masterpiece.

*cough About the animation, if you find a flaw in the animation, I'll personally invade your house with a bunch of angry... dogs or something (or with a bunch of internet trollz, they seem to have a lot of free time, oh and are practically the same thing as dogs). In other words, even if you hate the story, the animation itself is worth viewing. In other words, it can compete with Hayao Miyazaki's / Ghibli films in terms of animation.

"They say it's 5cm per Second." You'll know what the title means right at the beginning :)

Favorite Part: Chapter III (5cm per Second)
Overall: 9.8
Closing comments: As beautiful as it is, I'm not sure it's perfect for most people. Bah damn people, always find something bad about any given thing :P. Especially for people who are a bit picky about "deep" Anime like this.

*cough I'm working with a group for a spanish release, stay tuned. cough, I wonder who's talking? Lately there has been some odd voices in my head. Sorry for the image heavy post, I should probably figure out a screenshot thumb system. Yeah right, as if I had any free time as it is...

5 comments (Click to Show/Hide):

Anonymous said...

Nice review, you somehow showed us this movies magic without giving much of it away. It's licensed now so we'll have to wait, but I would recommend this movie to anyone who likes romance anime. It's much like his previous works

Sooki said...

I've watched Voices from a Distant star and it's pretty nice. The sadness is there, the distance is also there, but I carried this feeling that it could've been better. The plot has a good direction but I feel it could've been put to a more dramatic feeling. It was pretty good considering he did all that by himself, if you think about it that way. I still haven't tried any of his other works.

C said...

I just watched it.
Beautiful. Fantastic movie.
I loved it.

I can think of 2 words for this movie.
Love Lost

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