Sunday, February 24, 2013

5 Centimeters per second [movie review]

Movie Poster. [No Copyright Infringement Intended]

How long would you wait for someone to be back when you know it had took you almost a lifetime of waiting, longing and being stranded in a world you created deep inside your heart? This anime movie adaptation of a manga/novel by Makoto Shinkai moved not only my heart but my soul as a person who loves and values friendship so much. The story encapsulates rich and realistic emotions from the colors, crisp graphics to its heart-warming soundtrack which gave me last song syndrome for weeks. Unlike other anime movies, this one has a lot of essence because of its realistic story all of us could relate and fetch viewers’ attention until the very last minute of the film even though it yields a not-so-expected ending for romantic viewers.

Do you guys agree to this famous thought? Adolescence is a stage where we were developing not just physically but also emotionally and mentally. The two characters met and established a close bond earlier of this stage so no wonder they became emotionally attached when time went by. Looking at the angles of them having only just each other as companions and do not mingle with other younglings within their age, feeling comfortable being just together and him always protecting her, their sudden separation was super stressful yielding more outburst of emotions which is longing.
The kiss captured my inner senses, never watched an anime kissing scene that affected me this much. Symbolic is that cherry tree for which at the start they always run in front of it going home from school, the heartfelt kiss on that stormy winter night and the presence of it in the last part when they crossed paths with each other again. Also, not all young loves remain constant and ends in happy endings because this was just the first except for Tono who became fixated on his feelings. I really was annoyed with him on the second segment where he always that kind of a deep teenager staring always at the sky with paralyzed eyes. Maybe it is because I can relate with Kanae more because I too experienced her shoes once upon a time.

Yes, his love is so strong but for years, he did not look at other girls nor let it go? Good thing he managed to be strong enough in the end to kill all that bitterness and move on. As for Akari, I have read in the manga that she confessed still loving him but she bid farewell through a letter too and that she will always love him, he cried. As we can see, deeply she still had her feelings about her childhood friend but she is getting married now, maybe she was just considering her future and not just to be stranded by memories, we see her not so sad that she didn’t end up with Tono because she knows that life goes on, I conclude that she loves her future husband too and happy with him. First love really never dies but not all will end up the way they dreamed of.

As we can see, the story started in early 90s as young children to early puberty and the modes for communicating from a long distance were typically through a snail mail and old style telephone lines. Being on the same generation, I could say that love/friendly letters are much more sweeter and more exciting than today’s e-mail, social networking sites or video chatting despite the convenience, receiving a sincere hand written letter moves the heart and you can keep it on your cabinet too or under the pillow with the thrill of imagining how the sender wrote it with appreciation of his/her efforts. I began to fall in love with the story at the first segment when two childhood friends exchange letters especially when Akari’s letters were being narrated. On the negative side, it was indeed a hindrance of the two characters to communicate after the two of them moved into farther places. When Tono's letter was blown by the wind and Akari's letter was kept for years because she failed to give it to Tono- these circumstances wrecked their romantic bond. If they lived today where smart phones and social networking sites dominates the world of sharing and keeping in touch, maybe they could still be together now. With just one search on Facebook, Skype or even people finder sites, Tono could have found Akari not considering her choice to move on with her feelings after they parted ways. The film exhibited the development of technology from those mailbox days to cell phone age. We indeed are so lucky now living in the world of modern day methods of communicating and socializing.

For me the ending was not a sad end at all. When they crossed their paths each other again and almost recognized each other, they stopped but a speeding train appeared, we could clearly say that Akari never mind if it was Tono she have seen or not while he on the other side waited but smiled when the woman he saw disappeared failing to check if it was really Akari. I love it when he smiled because it says that he is now ready to move forward into life and start to live outside of his haunted romantic love for her childhood friend for years. He had been imprisoning himself due to that fact that he never had the chance to tell her that he love her when they parted while she had managed to move on with her new life while she was just entered a new high school. At the end of the second and first segments there are parts of me wishing they could meet again in the end like every other happy-ending-up-together movies, never had planned reading the plot before watching. Though the characters did not end up together, there is still that twist of positivity and learnings that in life, not all lovers who love each other so much would end up together and fate may have something in store for us in the future different from what we wish, hope or expect. It teaches us that life is sometimes not fair and we have to choose to be happy even if it means letting go of something that we know would make us happy. Being stranded like Tono makes us view life dimly and fixed when there are lot of things or people within our reached that could make us complete if we just take a look at them.


"There’s another thing that I must tell you. I’m writing this down in this letter just in case I can’t say it out to you.

I love you. I can’t remember when I fell in love with you but very naturally, I had fallen in love with you before I knew it. The first time I met you, you were a strong and kind boy. You always protected me.
Takaki-kun, I’m sure you will be all right. No matter what happens, I know you will grow up to be a fine kind adult. No matter how far you go, I will always love you."

"Every minute felt like an eternity time, clearly as if it had malicious intent, slowly ebbed away from me, I clenched my teeth and keeping myself from crying was the only thing i could do…" –Takaki


  1. I guess that's what gives manga the edge,they don't end the way we usually we want them but appreciate the story nonetheless.

    1. I agree, in real world, not all of us experience happy endings :)