Thursday, March 5, 2015

5 Centimeters Per Second

5 Centimeters Per Second received a lot of attention when it was first released in Japan. People loved the breath taking animation and the mature story that was told. It was recommended to me by a friend who agreed that critical acclaim was rightly deserved. I watched the whole thing over the weekend and while I did appreciate the illustration, the story and characters didn't seem very realistic to me.
The story takes place in the 1990's and centers around Takaki Tono and Akari Shinohara, two elementary school students who form a strong bond between each other. Over the course of the film, the story follows them as they try to maintain a long distance relationship as Akari's family moves away. It follows them throughout their high school and early adult years and highlights the hardships and the crippling truths that arise from trying to maintain their relationship.

The film does do a good job of showing how realistic long distance relationships can be, especially in the early 90s when instant messaging and texting wasn't really around. However, I feel like the main characters, especially Takaki, wouldn't let a childhood relationship inevitably ruin there lives. In the third part of the film when they are both young adults, it shows how they are still heavily invested in a relationship that ended years before. The entire movie is only about an hour long and I feel like they really could have made the film a lot more impactful if they had added another half an hour of content. The characters would feel much more fleshed out and the time skips wouldn't have felt so rushed. The breathtaking animation is definitely worth sticking around for though, even if you find yourself less than invested in what is actually happening in the story.
Overall, I don't think I would really recommend this movie to anyone other than people who appreciate really nice artwork and animation. The story and characters fall short in my opinion, but it is only an hour long film so maybe I was expecting.          

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