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Anime 5 Centimeters Per Second


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5cm Per Second (Byousoku 5cm) is the third major project from [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Makoto_Shinkai][u]Makoto Shinkai[/u][/url], who is frequently compared to Miyazaki. I wouldn't read too much into that, because Shinkai is still a rising director, and his work is very different--it's just amazing that someone would receive such high compliments with such frequency so early in his career.

Shinkai's past films are Voices of a Distant Star, a half-hour OVA, and The Place Promised in Our Early Days (Kumo no Mukou, Yakusoku no Basho). Both of them have been released by ADV, who more recently packaged them together in a "Shinkai collection" thinpak. Voices of a Distant Star comes with She and Her Cat, a five-minute black-and-white short.

5cm is a one-hour movie made up of three connected vignettes. Unlike Voices or Place Promised, it doesn't have sci-fi themes. The first story is about Akari and Takaki, middle-schoolers who struggle to stay close as their families move farther and farther apart. The second story jumps ahead in time to high school and takes place from the perspective of a younger girl who admires Takaki. In the third story, they're adults.

It has the characteristics of Shinkai's other work: hyper-real, luminescent backgrounds that make everyday life seem unbearably beautiful and sad; humbly drawn characters; soft, pained voices; the themes of distance, young love, longing & the irreparable passage of time. In 5cm, though, he all but refines his style to perfection. The very end is wordless, set to the film's theme song, and utterly brilliant. He conveys more emotion there than most anime can get across in 50+ episodes.

Anyway, ADV has licensed 5cm and plans to give it a limited theatrical release (as well as a DVD release this December). I'm going to do whatever it takes to watch it in theaters--anything by Shinkai deserves to be seen on as big a screen as possible.

For that very reason, I'm reluctant to link to the trailer--a little YouTube window could never do his stuff justice--but if it gets anyone interested, that's good enough for me. Here's a [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxKn5AwOTis&mode=related&search=][u]teaser[/u][/url].

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[COLOR="DarkOrange"]I almost watched this a while ago, but something distracted me and I never got to it. i've seen [B]Voices of a Distant Star [/B]and I thought that was utterly amazing. The animation was beautiful though the plotline may have even outshined it. The entirety of the film was laid with an overwhelming sadness that was simply amazing. I dare say that I would put this man over [B]Miyazaki [/B]in my own personal light simply because while Miyazaki's films are always imaginative and unique - I am more a fan of emotion and deepness of plot (not to say that Miyazaki films aren't deep, but they don't cause me to react the same way).

I will definitely check this out ASAP, especially if it gets theater release anywhere near me.[/COLOR]
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I've also seen Voices of a Distant Star, which was so beautiful (I think that was it D: It was either that or The Place Promised... Or maybe both). Makoto Shinkai's work with that was incredible. There's no doubt he is up there with Hayao Miyazaki. When I'm not as busy, I'll see if I can watch this new one, especially since it's not sci-fi. I tend not to like that much sci-fi, but of course, Shinkai's work is an exception.
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  • 2 weeks later...
Some weeks ago, I watched all of Shinkai's movies ( I think I exposed myself to each major one, anyway - might've missed some shorts). I was floored by each one... It's safe to say that he's now one of my favorite directors. These are more than just sad stories; they transcend the typical definitions of this genre with masterful storytelling and humble characters that are surprisingly easy to sympathize with.

As if that's not enough, the animation in his works is simply superb.. It may not be an exaggeration to state that every frame of his films would pass as a work of art in their own right.

Tenmon's compositions for the soundtracks serve as icing on the cake, adding boundless sweetness to an already tasty offering. Many of the songs will mix with the animation's atmosphere in the right way, crafting unique emotional sequences like none I've ever witnessed.

5 Centimeters Per Second builds upon these elements in almost every way, as Dagger mentioned. I grabbed Anime-RG's fansub of the first part, titled "Cherry Blossom Extract" I believe. While it's missing that sci-fi-esque setting that seems a motif of his films, that's certainly no detriment to this gem of a series (though I wouldn't mind seeing what he would've done next with a setting). I absolutely loved the story here; while ordinary and ultimately sequence of events that could be passed off as puppy love at a glance, Shinkai transmutes a typical scenario into an emotional rollercoaster that shines by the minute. [spoiler]While the first part was littered with sadness, I found the kiss near the end to be simply [i]epic[/i], not to mention heartfelt and hopeful. It really did add light to the dim situation of their young love, mixing in a few traces of happiness in a seemingly hopeless relationship.[/spoiler] The falling snow, the music, and the relation of their radically different situation to the cherry blossoms of bygone days made for an unforgettable scene.

I can't wait for the next part.
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This makes for quite pleasant news. I bought myself both Voices and Placed Promised and almost instantly feel in love with his work. I'm not quite ready to jump on the "New Miyazaki" boat, but I will say he is one of the most impressive directors I've seen. I'm already on pins and needles over this new movie and I already know I'm going to get it.
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  • 2 months later...
I think this is coming out soon on DVD in the States.

I wandered into one of the movie rooms at Otakon and cought the last half of this movie so I was a little lost, but I kept thinking how awesome the images were and that I had to chck out more of Shinkai's work. I went out and watched Voices ... and A Place Promised ... and was just blown away.

I can't wait for 5 CM per Second to come out so I can watch the whole thing. It's been a long time since I saw a movie or read a book or anything where I was actually moved by the experience (yes it's kinda cheesy, but its true). I'm glad I stumbled into that 35 MM room at Otakon.

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  • 1 year later...

I really do not have the words to express how I much I loved watching this. Of course it is visually brilliant -- that is actually an understatement. The sheer amount of detail is mind boggling, and the amazing landscapes and skies had me swooning. For a guy like me who loves the visual quality of space, seeing the starry skies and galaxies is just ... beautiful. Wow.

But even that is nothing compared to the story, which is deceptively simple and utterly heartbreaking. The distance Mikako and Noboru feel across the endless distance of space in [b]Voices of a Distant Star[/b] is nothing compared to the emotional distance felt by Takaki as he tries one last time to see Akari before he leaves her life forever. His time on the train is [i]so[/i] painful; as he says, each minute feels like an eternity. The shots of the train stalled in the middle of nowhere amid the cold of the snowstorm are just full of sorrow.

All that makes [spoiler]their eventual meeting[/spoiler] all the more wonderful. Seeing [spoiler]Akari slumped in her chair is such a simple image, but it says so much about her loyalty and the strength of her love for Takaki. Their kiss near the end of the first segment brought me to tears -- I think everyone hopes to feel that quality of love at least once in their lives.[/spoiler]

But as fantastic as that love felt in the first segment makes you feel, it fills the second segment with an almost unbearable sadness. It's easy to see in the way Takaki carries himself. He goes through the motions of smiling and treating Kanae with kindness, and he values her as a friend, but there is a certain coldness on his side. Not that he hates her, or anything, but he is [spoiler]still carrying the burden of his love for Akari, even though he knows there is no way they can be together again.[/spoiler] It's so sad to see a nice, bright girl like Kanae [spoiler]devote so much love to someone who will never return it.[/spoiler]

And the final segment ... wow. It is actually quite shocking at first, because of the harshness of Takaki's words and the bitter tone of his voice. Absolutely amazing voice acting work from Kenji Mizuhashi there. That, combined with the hopelessness of [spoiler]Takaki's adult life[/spoiler] makes the beginning quite depressing. But when the song comes up, man -- it's so emotional and so fantastic. I must have watched/listened to that scene three times this morning. Even though it's open-ended, [spoiler]there is still the hope that Takaki is able to get his life together and finally move on, since Akari has clearly moved on.[/spoiler]

Just a wonderful, beautiful movie. :)
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  • 3 weeks later...
Shinkai is definitely a director who deserves every bit of the praise that's given to him. I've seen all his works (at least the major ones), and they never failed to amaze me with all the detail put into ordinary mundane objects, and the beautiful scenery. It really makes for an interesting effect, the way he puts so much more emphasis on these things, as opposed to the characters.

I really love the calm atmosphere in his films. It's so sad, and in a way that's unsatisfying, but it really makes a bold statement about life. In 5 cm, I have to admit that the end did leave me unsatisfied. I wanted more---some closure, I guess. But that's what life is like, right?

Personally, I prefered The Placed Promised in Our Early Days to 5 cm, just because I guess it's more my pace. But both films are absolutely amazing.
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  • 1 month later...
5 centimetres per seconds is AMAZING. The story is so sad and touching and the animation is brilliant which adds to the emotion of the movie. One thing that im not too fond of is the eyes, I just wish he improved them and then i wouldn't have to be so picky. There is the fact that i probably picked out the eyes is probably because the film is so perfect that i needed something to criticize. I downloaded the to my MP4 so now i can watch it anytime I wan't which is really great :animesmil.

I also would DEFINATLEY recommend watching his other works although i haven't yet watched the place promised in our early days but i will definately watch it soon.

voices of a distant star is a beautiful love story about two peoples distance as is 5 centimetres per second but with a sci-fi twist too it. and she and her cat is an around 5 minute long video about a cats owner from the cats perspective and is really touching.

[CENTER]I think I kinda went a bit of topic there but oh well:animeswea[/CENTER]
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