Emotionally charged “5 Centimeters Per Second” tells a romantic story that transcends time and space. Through three segments the passionate story is told of a love that becomes distant but never forgotten. Takaki and Kanea meet in elementary school and keep in touch through letters and phone calls promising to be at the same middle school. Once Kanea is unable to keep that promise they continue to keep in touch finally making plans to meet. Takaki makes the long train rides to see Kanea. Many delays come about due to freezing temperatures and snow so he ends up being late to their meeting, about 3 hours late. At the station Kanea is waiting and because of the late hour Takaki is unable to return home. They end up sharing their first kiss and spending the night in a small shack talking the night away.
Segment one is fabulously drawn and incredibly detailed. The story grabs hold of your heart strings and won’t let go.
The second segment tells the story of Takaki always looking forward passed any other girl to the moment he can be with Kanea again. Introducing a second girl and using the metaphor of both college and space travel to signify the future. Takaki writes messages to no body. Tells his everything to someone he never gets an answer from. The story only intensifies through segment 2. The story becomes more powerful by giving Takaki this determination that will not be detoured.
Segment 3 continues on with sadness. Driven mostly by a Japanese song entitled “One more time, one more chance” by Masayoshi Yamazaki. The song tells the story of a person who has been distant and lost sight of his love but who will always be searching everywhere he goes for his love.
The ending is very bittersweet but greatly satisfying.
I give this animated film 5 out of 5 popcorn. There has not been an animated film that has inspired such a mix of emotions in me. It’s greatly drawn, strangely realistic story, and great music. This is a must watch animated film.
This Japanese animated film was released on Jan. 22, 2007 and is only available on Blu-Ray and DVD. It is not available for streaming on Netflix of amazon but if you can find a copy to watch it is well worth watching.