Friday, October 6, 2017

5 Centimeters Per Second (2007)

5 Centimeters Per Second is a Japanese romantic drama animation split into three parts, totalling around just over an hour.  The first act begins with a painfully sad separation of protagonist Takaki and his love interest, Akari.  It is entirely comprised of Takaki's long journey on the train, travelling to meet up with Akari after they were separated due to Akari being forced to move far away for middle school due to her parents' jobs.  It tells how the relationship between Takaki and Akari started and you can feel the same frustration, hope and sadness as the trains are kept being delayed due to the severe weather.  They had kept in contact via letters but slowly grows farther and farther apart until Takaki decides to meet up in person after he finds out he was going to move to a rural town even further away.  However, it does end on a happier note and cements the feelings of the two for each other.  The second act skips to around middle school with Takaki going on with his life in a rural town.  It focuses on another love interest, Sumada and while it feels off in the beginning, eventually you come to accept it and it sheds light on how Takaki is still depressed with his mind returning to Akari.  These events have a simple elegance and innocence to them.  The third and final act takes place when Takaki is now and adult and has a job.  We see how Takaki and Akari have each moved on with their lives (or still stuck in the past).  While 5 Centimeters Per Second doesn't exactly end on a sad note, it isn't a happy ending and the viewer is left feeling empty.  It is more reminiscent on what actually happens in real life and you're left to think what could have happened if Takaki had taken on a stronger initiative with Akari or if certain things didn't pan out like they did.  Overall, 5 Centimeters Per Second is a thought-provoking animation, which while the pacing is slow in a few areas, is well worth the time just to see how the protagonist gets by.

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