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April 19, 2012

Anime Review: 5 Centimeters Per Second

5 Centimeters Per Second mixes real life scenarios into fiction with this heartbreaking and bittersweet film that will truly touch your heart in many ways. Emotions will show and it will leave you with a memory you will never forget.

5 Centimeters per SecondSynopsis:
Tohno Takaki and Shinohara Akari, two very close friends and classmates, are torn apart when Akari's family is transferred to another region of Japan due to her family's job. Despite separation, they continue to keep in touch through mail. When Takaki finds out that his family is also moving, he decides to meet with Akari one last time.

As years pass by, they continue down their own paths, their distance slowly growing wider and their contact with one another fades. Yet, they keep remembering one another and the times they have shared together, wondering if they will have the chance to meet once again.

Review:
THE REVIEW CONTAIN SPOILERS (Do not read if you will watch the anime as this may impact on your viewing experience!)
I have not seen such a direct and amazing anime film that uses many quick scenes and little dialogue to convey a dramatic love story to the audience. Although the film was originally split into three sections, they each continue on with the previous story. Episode 1 shows Takaki and Akri when they were in junior high school, writing letters to each other already a distance apart. Already we see the emotional effect that has already impacted the characters as they struggle with being torn apart. Towards the end of the episode, Takaki decides to see Akari one last time. Episode 2 shows a little to the future where they both are in high school, they have pretty much lost contact with each other by then and Takaki is in a depressed mood, on top of that, another classmate, Kanae is secretly in love with him but he takes no notice of her. Episode 3, directly jumps into adulthood where he is working as a programmer and lives by himself. He basically has no direction in life and eventually quits his job. One day while walking down a road, Takaki and Akari appear to pass and recognize each other at a train crossing. At opposite sides of the tracks, they both stop and begin to look back, but the passing trains cut off their view. Takaki waits for the trains to pass, but sees that Akari is gone. After a moment, he smiles to himself and continues walking. The telling of the story is quite simple but rather deep in meaning. It will keep you thinking trying to decipher what the images are trying to convey. It was a well told story.

The art was so beautiful and stunning. I cannot describe how awesome the art is. It is just simply so detailed and vivid I could not stop going 'So beautiful~' throughout the film. The characters were really detailed and the changes of seasons, weather and lighting were just simply amazing. I have not seen another anime that has this much work out into it. It really shows the feeling and emotion that the characters bring out and also effects the emotional feelings of the audience. Well done.

The sound was also really well compiled. The voice acting was perfect and the characters' sounded right. The beautiful classical and slow-moving music throughout the film really set the mood. It was simply just a nice piece of work. I enjoyed listening to the ending theme song very much. The soundtrack was brilliant and it conveyed lots of meaning into the film.

For an anime it is pretty unusual to only contain a few characters. However, 5 Centimeters Per Second solely focuses on a few characters as so not to ruin the audience's focus and feelings towards them. It was really effective and I felt a deep connection to Takaki. We pretty much see his whole life play out from start to end. Although you may think lowly of Takaki, in the end you do feel some slight pity for him. Whether these kind of situations do happen in real life, I have no right to say anything.

In the end, it was an emotional and touching story. I did not cry at all but I was a little teary in the end. The film really affects you if you have experienced these kind of situations before. The film was trying to convey feeling towards a more realistic view on love and relationships in life. From my opinion the film was trying to say that 'close friends can drift away' or 'cherish your memories you had together'. It is really up to you how you viewed the film and what you felt about it.

STORY: 8
Simply well told from start to finish.

ART: 10
So beautiful and amazingly illustrated.

SOUND: 9
Nice soundtracks with classical and slow moving music to help convey feelings towards the audience.

CHARACTER: 9
Little about the development of the characters, more focused on the current situation.

ENJOYMENT: 9
Its not a total heartbreaker but more of a bittersweet memory.

OVERALL: 9
Just pure amazing, innocent and emotional.