, subtitled "a chain of short stories about their distance." is a 2007 Japanese animated feature film by Makoto Shinkai. The film was finished on January 22, 2007. The first part of the film was debuted on Yahoo! Japan as streaming video to Yahoo! Premium members from 16 February to 19 February 2007. On March 3 2007, the full length featured film had its theatrical premiere at Cinema Rise in Shibuya, Tokyo. The film consists of three segments: Ōkashō (桜花抄), Cosmonaut (コスモナウト), and Byōsoku 5 Senchimētoru (秒速5センチメートル), totaling about an hour of runtime. As in Shinkai's previous works, Tenmon composes for this film's soundtrack. The DVD was released on 19 July, 2007.
Makoto Shinkai had expressed that, unlike his past works, there would be no fantasy or science fiction elements in this film. Instead, the feature film would attempt to present the real world from a different perspective. Makoto's film gives a realistic view of the struggles many face against: time, space, people, and love. The title 5 Centimeters Per Second comes from the speed at which cherry blossoms petals fall, petals being a metaphorical representation of humans, reminiscent of the slowness of life and how people often start together but slowly drift into their separate ways.
Upon graduating from elementary school, Akari moves to Tochigi and Takaki moves to Tokyo due to their parents' respective jobs. The two keep in contact by writing letters, but despite the special feelings that exist between them, they inevitably begin to drift apart. When Takaki becomes aware that his family will be moving to Kagoshima, he decides to go see Akari since they will be too far apart to visit each other at all after he moves. However, when the day arrives, a severe snowstorm continually delays Takaki's trip, and it will be hours before he reaches the station where Akari is waiting for him. The two finally meet late that night and, as they share their first kiss, Takaki realizes that the two will never be together again. Stranded in a shed due to the snowstorm, the two fall asleep talking to each other late into the night. Takaki departs the next morning, and although they promise to continue writing each other, both silently acknowledge that their relationship with the other has effectively been ended.
One day while walking down a road, Takaki comes to a railroad crossing. He passes a woman on the railroad crossing, and he stops on the other side of the tracks when he realizes what a strong resemblance she bore to Akari. He turns around to see that the person on the other side has also stopped and then also begins to turn around, but both are cut off from getting a good view of the other by two trains which cross on the tracks. Takaki waits for the trains to pass, expecting the woman he had seen to be waiting on the other side of the railroad crossing. After both trains have passed, he is disappointed to see that the woman is nowhere to be found. With a slight smile, he turns around and continues on his way.
He realizes that it doesn't really matter if he could meet Akari again now. What he has been longing for is not Akari, but what Akari represented to him: pure, uncomplicated love and the freedom to pursue it. He wants the days back when he was in control of his life, before distance, disappointment, and the realities of adult life had stifled him.
This last scene seems to be symbolic of the entire movie: Takaki and Akari share a brief moment in time together, but before they can act they're separated by things neither of them has any control over. Both Takaki and Akari wait for each other, but by the time they can finally meet again, Akari has allowed herself to move on. Takaki waits longer, but in vain, and finally realizes that he must find happiness somewhere else. Akari didn't love Takaki any less than he loved her, but her circumstances simply allowed her to take control of her life and move on sooner than Takaki was able to.
The title was licensed by ADV Films and reported for a December 2007 release. However, Amazon.com's original English release date was the 4 March 2008 but then was later moved back to the 25 March 2008. The official Russian release was already in stock in January 2008. On July 11, 2008 ADV Announced that it was discontinuing print of the DVD. There is no word if it will be handed off to another publisher.
ADV has also more recently confirmed that they will also be launching 5 Centimeters Per Second on DVD in the UK.. ADV Anime UK are awaiting authorization to distribute it in the UK following the liquidation of its London Office. There is still much to be confirmed about the release of the movie in the United Kingdom.
Disc 1 (DVD)
Disc 2 (DVD)
Disc 3 (Audio CD)
The song was also the theme song of the 1996 Japanese movie Moon and Cabbage. The reason Makoto Shinkai chose such a famous song was that he wants to evoke images of everyday happenings, and choosing a song that "everyone knows about" would add realism to the movie.
In the second arc, viewers can see a tall, thin tower that is similar to The Place Promised in Our Early Days. Also, the first and third arc contain a railroad crossing similar to Voices of a Distant Star. Both movies were written and directed by Makoto Shinkai.
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