Tuesday, June 28, 2011

5 Centimeters Per Second - review

I had all but forgotten about this anime, but I have a good excuse.  This anime came onto my radar right when I was starting to build GoNintendo.  I had to sell my anime collection to fund the site, and with that I lost track of what was going on in the anime world.  The one time I did look for a DVD to buy, it was out of print.  I could only find ridiculously pricey versions for sale, and I just didn't have the funds to grab it.  That lead to the anime's disappearance from my mind...until I wandered into Best Buy this past weekend.

To my surprise, 5 Centimeters Per Second was sitting on the anime shelves.  A rush of memories came back to me.  This was an anime that I had read fantastic things about and was, at one time, dying to see.  Now I had my chance to grab it and watch.  I didn't mind purchasing without seeing because of those great reviews, so I ran up to the counter with my copy and quickly became an owner.  Boy am I glad I did, because this is one of the most gorgeous, endearing anime films that I've ever seen.  Yes, this is the film that made me tear up most recently!

From the get-go, I have to mention how absolutely beautiful this anime is.  I cannot speak highly enough of how amazing it looks.  I think it's safe to say that I've never seen an anime that is as beautiful as 5 Centimeters Per Second.  The colors, the amount of detail put into every nook and cranny, it's absolutely mind-boggling.  This is an anime that needs to be seen to be believed.  Some of this artwork looked strikingly real, and other times I was taking in landscapes that were enormous in scope and design.  Seriously, you absolutely have to see 5 Centimeters Per Second just to take in the visuals.

It's not all pretty visuals though.  5 Centimeters Per Second tells a wonderful tale of two young children that have a very deep connection with one another.  This boy and girl grow up together and create a special bond, and that bond is tested as the two move away from one another.  The anime follows the pair as they grow up and apart, and takes you through the different changes that happen as they reach adulthood.  You mostly follow the main character, but the female is always on his mind no matter how far from home he goes.

I've never seen an anime that felt so alive.  We did an article the other day about anime being easier to believe than some live-action films, and that definitely applies to 5 Centimeters Per Second.  There's such a realized world here, and the visuals only help to bring the story to life that much more.  You are going to feel tons of emotions while watching this anime.  I truly felt myself getting sucked right into 5 Centimeters Per Second, visualizing it as a real event rather than an animated feature.

I really don't want to ruin the story for you guys, because it's told absolutely perfectly.  I can't think of a film or TV show that married visuals and storyline as well as this does.  5 Centimeters Per Second uses the anime medium to complement itself.  Visuals tell a story of their own, but it connects directly to what's going on with the actual story.  It's one of those anime features that seems like it was made by one collective mind rather than a mish-mash of people.

There is one warning, though.  5 Centimeters Per Second isn't going to be the happiest anime you've ever seen.  This is a heartfelt story, and one that tugs at the heartstrings as you watch.  It's going to weigh heavy on your heart for years to come, and it's sure to influence the way you think and react as life goes on.  If you're planning on checking this one out, you might want to keep a box of tissues nearby...just incase.  I'm sure I'm more easily stirred up than most people, but I know that 5 Centimeters Per Second will bring more than a few to tears.

5 Centimeters Per Second is an absolutely must-own anime.  If you are a fan of fantastic stories, beautiful visuals or anime in general, you cannot go on without having this in your collection.  Hands down, 5 Centimeters Per Second is one of the more gorgeous anime I've ever seen, and that goes for every aspect of the film.

10 out of 10


  1. More from the same director, Makoto Shinkai:

    The Place Promised in our Early Days [previous movie, full length, has science fiction elements. Still heartfelt, same gorgeous visuals]

    Voices of a Distant Star [independent film, 30 mins, all done by himself and a guy who did the music, plus a couple of actors in the final studio version. About separation, and a girl in a robot in space]

    Children Who Chase Voices from Below [theatrical release in Japan, no video release yet. Fantasy adventure movie with Ghibli influences]

    She and her Cat [5 min short about a girl and her cat. Very good, up in youtube for a quick and easy watch]

  2. Yeah I saw this movie a few months ago, and I agree.

    I think I liked it so much, because number one I love to see boy/girl relationship type stuff.

    Second, because I can relate to it in a way. I used to move a lot, and it was always sad having to leave people you loved. And as I would do things, there would be times I would think about them...What they were doing, what it would be like to be there still, etc...

  3. I saw this movie last day... at first i didn't quite understand it... I actually thought it was boring and started to wonder why are these people keep on saying that it's good when it is so so boring. I didn't felt anything on it. I dunno if it's just because i was sleepy or not.

    So i decided to read the manga as well. I think i liked the manga more. It made cry alot. I feel sorry for the main guy. He really didn't forget her even though they are not talking to each other anymore.

    I feel a little bit annoyed with the girl. Because she didn't even dare to wait for the guy when they saw each other on the rail road. I feel sorry for him